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Morning Coffee: Is this why Edith Cooper is leaving Goldman Sachs? The problem with Q3 2017

Edith Cooper, Head of Human Capital at Goldman Sachs

It’s the end of an era. After 21 years and innumerable interviews on getting a job at Goldman Sachs, Edith Cooper, Goldman’s erstwhile head of HR, is leaving the firm.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, Cooper has seen Goldman through all sorts of changes. Under her watch, GS has adopted Hirevue interviews as part of a broader policy of diversifying its intake by gender, ethnicity and social background. It’s ditched end of year appraisals and gone for an appraisal system known as OngoingFeedback360 in which juniors get to rate managers (and vice versa) at the end of every project. It’s also added a lot of staff in “low cost locations” like Mumbai, away from its traditional hubs.

Cooper seemed to like her job. Visibly pally with CEO Lloyd Blankfein, she regularly gave interviews and with the exception of Lazlo Block, the Google head of HR who stepped down in 2016, was one of the highest profile HR people on the planet.

So, why has Cooper gone? The WSJ doesn’t say, although it does note that Cooper’s continuation as a senior director at Goldman Sachs suggests she’s not off to somewhere else for the moment. The reason for her exit might therefore have something more to do with wanting some life back. In a Forbes interview ten years ago, Cooper explained that her standard workday was 12 hours, plus the standard dinners with clients, conference calls from home and answering emails at night and on the weekends. As a result, Cooper said she’d missed a lot of time with her three (then) young children, but tried to even it out at the weekends. “To be exceptional at work, giving 150% of what you’ve got, work will need to be a priority at times,” added Cooper. Maybe she’s simply decided to prioritize non-work instead?

Separately, Citi CFO John Gerspach said yesterday that the bank’s third quarter trading revenues are likely to be down 15% on last year. Bloomberg explains why: last year’s third quarter included all the volatility around the U.S. election in early November. There’s none of that in 2017.

Meanwhile:

BBVA, NatWest, Credit Suisse, ING and Daiwa, are preparing to provide some or all of their fixed income research for free in preparation for MifID II. (Financial Times) 

FX revenues have been quietly growing at European banks. At Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Societe Generale and UBS, FX’s share of FICC revenues was 26.4% at the end of 2016, close to that of credit. In 2012 it was less than 20%. (Financial News) 

Christian Kern , J.P.Morgan’s former head of European equity research joined STJ Advisors, an equity advisory firm set up in 2008 by John St. John, an equity capital markets banker who worked at Commerzbank and Nomura. (Financial News) 

Sweden, Spain and Ireland want derivatives clearing to remain in the UK after Brexit. France is arguing against this the most vociferously. (Bloomberg) 

Don’t even think about studying in the UK now. (Hindustan Times) 

Some UK employers are starting to advertise jobs as only open to candidates who ‘have the right to stay and work permanently in the UK, and a valid UK passport.’ (Guardian) 

Big companies cluster their highest performing employees in the most business critical roles. Trouble is, those roles are changing. (Harvard Business Review) 

In trading and asset management, beliefs are constantly defeated by cold hard facts. In asset gathering, sales and investor relations, however, bullsh*t works. (Stumbling and mumbling) 


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