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Morning Coffee: Nomura banker defeats smartphone addiction. The best place to work at Goldman

man hand wrists wrapped  with mobile phone cable handcuffed

If you’re a banker with an addiction, try going cold turkey first. This approach worked for Bilal Hafeez, Nomura’s London-based global head of G10 FX strategy and head of EMEA research. His cravings, however, weren’t of the Wolf of Wall Street kind…they were for his smartphone.

“I’ve discovered I have a smartphone addiction. I have the itch to take out my phone every 15 minutes,” Hafeez wrote in his blog after his device bit the dust while he was on holiday last month. “I initially suffered withdrawal symptoms without my iPhone. My mood went down, I felt uncomfortable, even angry at times. But once I got through that, I realised I had more time to fill with things to do.”

While Hafeez’s phone is now repaired, his stint without it made him determined to avoid it hijacking his life ever again. In a new post, Hafeez presents a practical guide for other bankers battling phone addiction.

You should, for starters, switch your phone to a black and white display (this makes it “much much less appealing”), and keep it out of the bedroom so it doesn’t bookend your day. Hafeez also recommends switching off all notifications and – most dramatically – only checking your phone three times a day.

Hafeez has, admittedly, only been taming his phone habit for a few weeks, but he claims this has already made a “big difference” to his life. “I’m no longer intravenously feeding my mind the neurosis of people who post stuff in the digital world. The real world is a lot nicer place to be in.”

Separately, Gregg Lemkau, co-head of Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division, has revealed where he wants to hire next: China. Goldman has already added 25, mostly junior, bankers in APAC countries over the past year, reports Reuters.

It is now turning its attention to recruiting senior bankers in China, following the appointment in July of Bill Chu to lead investment banking in the country. “The growth in China, even in a more subdued GDP environment, is still much more significant than anything else we see globally,” Lemkau told Reuters.

The catch? The recruitment comes almost exactly a year after Goldman axed scores of experienced M&A, ECM and DCM bankers across Asia, including China. This senior hiring spree may actually be more about replacement than expansion.

Meanwhile:

UBS said to move 250 jobs out of London because of Brexit, with Frankfurt the preferred location. (Bloomberg)

How to lose 83,000 banking jobs. (Bloomberg)

Asia, not Europe, is the biggest threat to London finance jobs. (The Conversation)

Macquarie hires Credit Suisse’s Daniel Kaye to run European cash execution and sales in its commodities and global markets team. (Financial News)

Leading Citi banker in Australia jumps to UBS. (The Australian)

Merrill Lynch financial adviser uses boat to help stranded Houston residents. (Charlotte Observer)

MUFG hires in Southeast Asia debt. (Finance Asia)

The top-15 best looking Swiss bankers. (Finews)

The books Goldman Sachs bankers like to read. (Goldman Sachs)

Why bankers wear big watches. (MarketWatch)

How the world’s mega rich have fared since the financial crisis. (Financial Times)


Image credit: OcusFocus, Getty

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