Morning Coffee: Ex-Goldman, BlueCrest trader is louche philosophical rapper. Ex-Lehman M&A bankers come good

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As we pointed out a few weeks ago, Goldman Sachs doesn't like to hire privileged entitled people.  It prefers to hire fighters - people who've pulled their way up from inauspicious beginnings. Jihan Bowes-Little seems to fit this mould.

Profiled in the Financial Times, Bowes-Little was the first in his working class family to attend university. After gaining a scholarship to study Economics and Philosophy at Brown in the U.S. and taking a postgraduate qualification at the LSE, he joined Goldman's prop trading division in London in 2002. Bowes-Little left Goldman in 2009 and is now a portfolio manager at BlueCrest, the hedge fund which has been doing some heavy hiring of traders from investment banks.   

There's more to the man than trading, however. Alongside his day job,  Bowes-Little is also what the Guardian has described as a 'louche rapper,' a 'Nuyorican-style poet-cum-hip-hop-artist, and an 'Ivy League Snoop.' After work, he changes out of his Armani suit in the back of cabs and performs at hip hop venues across London under the name of Metis. Bowes-Little maintains that musicians are no more creative than bankers, that mortgage bankers were no more nuts than people who bought houses for 10 times their income, and that proprietary traders are special people with a "centredness." Christian Siva-Jothy, the ex-head of European prop trading who attracted Bowes-Little to Goldman in the first place, had a Buddha-like calm, Bowes-Little said.

Despite the mellowness, Bowes-Little felt trapped at Goldman and left in 2009 to pursue his music career in the U.S. When things didn't go as planned, he returned to London and joined BlueCrest in January 2012. “I was really trapped before. I don’t feel trapped any more,” he told the FT.

Separately, Financial News reports that ex-Lehman bankers Michael Tory and Benoit D'Angelin have done very well for themselves. Ondra Partners, the boutique they set up five years ago with ex-HSBC banker Michael Baldock turned over $5m per partner in the year to March 31st.


Commodities revenues at top European banks have fallen 20%. (Bloomberg) 

Senior private bankers in Asia, many of whom are ex-bankers, are setting out on their own. (Bloomberg) 

“JPMorgan is getting beaten down and Citi and Bank of America are getting stronger.” (Bloomberg) 

Swiss private bankers now scared to leave the country. (Reuters) 

Ex-hedge fund wife accused of channeling Marie Antoinette while living in a $16,500-per-month apartment at Paris' Palais Royal and asking for more. (FinAlternatives) 

A recruitment agent’s fee is comprised of two separate charges; a charge for the time, expertise and effort put into the role, and a charge for the risk the agent assumes under a contingency model. (The Undercover Recruiter)

It’s cheaper to live in Barcelona and commute to Liverpool Street. (Bestburgerinnorthwest)




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