Morning Coffee: Why the smartest bankers are starting their new jobs this week. MBA humiliation at INSEAD

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Best time to start a banking job

Timing....

Summertime, and the job move news is coming in thick and fast.  Jill Schwartz to Barclays leveraged finance.  Baris Temelkuran from Goldman to BNP Paribas FX trading. Fabio Madar from Deutsche to Barclays FX.  Erika Brown to from Bloomberg Chief Diversity Officer to Goldmans.  And the list goes on.  These people, and many others, have picked what might be the smartest week of the year to start at a new employer.

Consider the realities of a job move.  You will usually be taking three months’ gardening leave (unless you were really unlucky and resigned from Deutsche) so it makes sense to be using it to get the best of the summer.  But August is the best month to be settling in and getting your feet under the table – business is quiet, people are on holiday and you can take your time fitting into the new role.  If you take an easy start over the slack period, you won’t be asking where the restrooms and vending machines are when September comes along and business comes back.  You also have four clear months to impress your new bosses before the end of the compensation year, and to make sure that clients don’t forget and vote for you under the wrong employer in the year-end industry surveys.

Timing a job move like this requires planning.  If you want the gardening leave to cover May, June and July, you clearly need to be resigning around the end of April.  That would mean having a job offer in hand at the start of April, allowing two or three weeks for salary negotiations, potential bid-backs and so on.

At the senior level, the interview process is unlikely to take less than a month from first contact to offer letter, and probably more like six weeks.  In fact, however hard you hustle and however competent the headhunter and desperate the new employer, it’s quite unusual for any search for a job move to be completed in less than three months.  All of which implies that if you want to hit the sweet spot and have the announcement of your move hitting the news a fortnight after Wimbledon, you need to start making your availability known early in January.

If you wait for the last of the Christmas tinsel to be cleared away, you’ll be either rushing the process or stretching things out into the dog days of summer.  If you wait to find out what the bonus round looks like (particularly at a European bank), then you’ll be way too late.  Do that and you run the risk of spending the summer holidays unable to relax because of interviews, then doing your gardening leave as the nights draw in and trying to start up your new franchise during the December party season.  Nobody wants to do that.  Take a tip from the smart guys.  They’re the ones showing up at the new office in the last week of July.

Back to school season at INSEAD will be a little duller this year, as the school has cancelled its “Welcome Week” tradition of playing pranks on the new MBA class.  This hasn’t gone down well with some alumni, referring to the new class as “Weicheier und Heulsusen” or “wimps (literally “soft eggs”) and crybabies”.  The feeling among alumni is that the practical jokes were innocent in nature. a necessary part of resetting the egos of some of the more self-important types coming from a corporate to an educational setting, and that “the only ones humiliated by the Welcome Week were those who were too full of themselves”.  Which might be true, but the thing about people who are full of themselves is … well, they’re full of themselves.  Two students complained to the Comité National Contre le Bizutage (the National Committee Against Hazing) and an official inquiry was launched into whether it was all as fine-spirited as everyone said.  In the meantime, INSEAD has cancelled the Welcome Week while the enquiry goes on, and for this year at least, European cadet MBAs will not know the joy of running until they vomit, in order to be considered for a non-existent sports team.

Meanwhile …

It’s best to start a new job after three months’ glorious gardening leave, but it’s a good week to be promoted internally too.  Rui Fernandes steps up as global head of equity derivatives structuring at JP Morgan.  An eleven year JPM veteran, he shows that you don’t always have to move around to get the top jobs.  (Reuters)

“Stockbroker by day, alleged Hell’s Angel enforcer by night”.  Haven’t we all known someone like that?  Paul Eischeid, who was uniquely well-regarded both at Charles Schwab wealth management, and in the Mesa, Arizona chapter of the infamous motorcycle club, is standing trial after fifteen years as a fugitive for a murder carried out in 2001.  (Washington Post)

Nomura made a Q1 loss and Christopher Thompson of Breaking Views is in a harsh mood talking about it.  “Delusions of adequacy”, “muppets of the market”, “pitiable” and “misfiring” are among the epithets being thrown around, with fixed income and equities sales & trading the “primary culprits”.  They weren’t good results, but really?  (Breaking Views)

The New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s office has had a commitment for the last 17 years to definitively identify all victims of the 2001 World Trade Center attacks with DNA evidence.  Most recently positively identified was Scott Michael Johnson, analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (UPI)

The lawsuit between one of the founders of hedge fund Snow Park Capital and a colleague who accused him of sexual assault has been settled, with no compensation paid (New York Post)

Benedicte Nolens of Goldman Sachs is joining Circle, the crypto exchange.  She is a former head of Risk & Strategy at the Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission and now takes the twin titles of “head of global regulatory affairs” and “head of compliance” for the European and Asian branches. It’s potentially a timely appointment, as the previously crypto-friendly Swiss regulator FINMA is opening up a prosecution against Envion over its ICO (Business Insider)

Victory laps for Simon Baker of SocGen and for Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research, the only two analysts in the Bloomberg coverage file to have had a sell on Facebook.  Nervous explanations from 42 other equity analysts who had it as a Buy and, presumably, shruggie emoticons from the four Hold recommendations. (Bloomberg)

KPMG is serious about wanting to keep people going over the summer – last year they gave away ice cream, but this year it’s $500 gift cards and a barbecue package of Omaha Steaks.  They will also be letting staff leave at 3pm on Fridays. (Accounting Today)

JP Morgan has one of the poorest female representations on its board among the big banks, and under Jamie Dimon’s tenure, that seems to have stalled at two directors, as other banks have improved.  According to research, more equality at board level is correlated with better stock price performance, although it’s noted that JP Morgan has actually outperformed most of its peers.  Corporate governance professionals note that the House of Morgan has a few other issues too, with elderly male directors staying on for longer than usual at board level.  (The Street)

The #MeToo story at Pimco seems to be growing.  Despite the departure of risk management head Bill DeLeon, more allegations have been coming to light including two accounts of verbal harassment of female employees at the ISDA conference in April (Financial News)

It’s not just London … The Centre For Cities thinktank has pointed out that although London has the largest financial services cluster in the UK, smaller financial centres actually have a higher proportion of their exports attributable to the industry.  As a result of this, a bad deal on Brexit passporting and regulatory equivalence would proportionately be worse for Edinburgh, Cardiff, Leeds, Northampton, York and Norwich than it would for London.  (The report is focused on cities and so does not even mention Bournemouth, but presumably the payments and processing industry cluster based there would be affected too). (Bloomberg)

Rabobank, the Dutch agro-industry financial giant, is one of those names that has blown hot and cold on the investment banking industry over the years.  Earlier in the year it was growing its investment banking franchise in London after ending a JV with Rothschild, but it is now reaching the end of its lease on its offices on Thames Court and is looking for a potential move to smaller premises. (Financial News)

And finally, cats apparently have a symbiotic relationship with a parasite carried in their faeces which tends to make animals less risk-averse due to the brain cysts it causes if they eat or drink contaminated food or water.  This has historically mostly benefited cats when the affected animals are mice, but the humans are vulnerable to the parasite too.  And when humans are affected by toxoplasmosis, one of the things that they do to express risk-seeking behaviour is to …go to business school?  And according to a research paper studying the brain cysts of students, once they get there they are more likely to take management and entrepreneurship classes than finance and accounting.  Start-up founders are particularly likely to have cat parasites in their brains.  (New Scientist)

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

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