Life is good for equity capital markets bankers in the UK – at least in theory. The flurry of deal activity in the first couple of months of 2014 has led many to predict a bonanza of a year, and yet investment bankers are still grumbling.
Deal activity may be up, but competition is much more intense, complain senior investment bankers speaking to the Financial Times. Fees for UK IPOs were 2.06% last year, down from 2.26% in 2012 and less than the global average of 2.86%. What’s more, many banks are working on deals in syndicates, meaning that their margins are pressured even further.
“I don’t think the year has started very well for anyone. I don’t see where everyone is seeing all this IPO volume – we’re not seeing it,” bemoaned one senior ECM banker, speaking anonymously.
Separately, Kevin Roose’s book on the life of a young Wall Street banker has hit the headlines in the U.S. – you can see our report from last week here – painting a life of turmoil and suffering. One Goldman analyst, writes Roose, contemplated getting hit by a car in order to secure some time off work – a few broken limbs would be worth the trade-off, he thought. Another had a clock in his bedroom counting down the hours, minutes and seconds until his two years at the bank – and therefore opportunity to embark on an alternative career path – were up.
“The private equity recruitment process is where a lot of really accomplished people deal with failure for the first time” (NY Post)
If you think Wall Street executives live ostentatiously, try looking at Silicon Valley (Dealbook)
Investors have pulled $4.9bn out of quant hedge funds in the final months of 2013 (Bloomberg)
The banker who jumped to his death from JPMorgan’s Hong Kong office yesterday was 33 and has the surname Li. No other details have yet to emerge (Financial News)
Marshall Wace is the top performing European hedge fund. Brevan Howard is still near the top despite losing money last year. (Financial News)
Former head of Ziff Brothers Investments is launching his own hedge fund, Kontiki Capital Management (Bloomberg)
SAC’s chief compliance officer is quitting to spend time with his family (Dealbook)