If you're a strat who's looking for a new job in banking you could probably do worse than joining Barclays' Firmwide Resource Management (FiRM) group. Firstly, it's hiring. Secondly, it's absolutely crucial to the strategy of Barclays' CEO Jes Staley and CEO of the investment bank Tim Throsby.
Barclays didn't respond to a request to comment on FiRM. However, the group is understood to be at the heart of the bank's attempts to raise its return on equity above the 2.6% it achieved in the first half of 2018. Among other things, FiRM is tasked with reallocating capital between Barclays' businesses. In this way, the bank intends to bolster its RoE and to see off activist investor Ed Bramson's attempts to coerce it into spinning out the sales and trading business. FiRM, which is run by Throsby's lieutenant Art Mbanefo, is said to be the source of considerable interest internally as a result.
The latest FiRM recruit is Jeffrey Wasserman, the ex-head of Goldman Sachs' private wealth management strats team in EMEA, who joined Barclays earlier this month as a director-level quant strategist in FiRM. Wasserman joined Barclays from Deutsche Bank, where he spent just 15 months after leaving GS. Wasserman isn't the only ex-Goldman strat on the FiRM team: Jan Burgy also joined last year in New York, after nearly 13 years at Goldman.
Wasserman's exit represents another departure from Deutsche's strats team following the disappearance of its progenitor Sam Wisnia in March 2018, along with various other members of the team. Deutsche insiders say the bank's strats team has "stabilized", however, and that the bank's new "Kannon" risk engine is now well-established and working to plan.
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