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Morning Coffee: Bankers reminisce about bygone laid-back 9-to-5 work days. Electronic traders keep rising at DB

"Here's to being done with work and at the bar by 5 o'clock!"

The London financial services industry used to operate according to the rules of a gentleman’s code that enabled City bankers to live a much less stressful lifestyle than their Wall Street counterparts. Some look back wistfully at a time they see as a golden age of deal-making over drinks and shorter working hours.

“I used to catch the 5-to-9 tube,” Robert Leitão, who spent the ’80s at Morgan, Grenfell & Company, one of the oldest banks in the City, and who now counsels clients on mergers for Rothschild, told the New York Times.  “We were reliably in a bar by 5 o’clock.”

Alas, that was not destined to last. As hard-charging investment banks like J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley sent more manpower overseas and began poaching clients from their European competitors, Leitão said he and his fellow City bankers had to start getting up earlier and working later.

He first came into direct contact with American bankers during a telecommunications merger in the early ’90s.

“We’d go in with our little black-and-white documents and Goldman Sachs came in with what was the first landscape-color presentation we’d ever seen,” he told the Times. “I remember one of my colleagues saying to me as we came out of that meeting, ‘Oh my God, the world’s changed.’”

Even millennial investment bankers fresh out of university who never experienced those good old days in the City probably wouldn’t mind going back to that schedule: a spot of work in the afternoon sandwiched in between a long boozy lunch and happy hour at 5 o’clock sharp.

Separately, most banks want to strengthen their electronic trading footprint across asset classes, and many are hiring – and promoting from within – to achieve that objective.

The latest is Deutsche Bank, which has given various traders promotions to bring more asset classes onto electronic platforms.

David Wayne, head of the German bank's foreign exchange desk, will now lead the corporate and investment bank’s new technology and operations team with a mandate to work with the bank's fixed income and equities teams to "bring together" Deutsche's “electronic trading capabilities across all asset classes,” according to Financial News. He will also assume responsibility for Deutsche Bank's strategic analytics teams.

Deutsche also promoted Sam Wisnia – previously the head of its fixed income and currencies structuring group and later the head of its rates business in Europe and the Americas – to oversee a combined rates and FX business. Prior to that, he was a partner and the head of the global strats and structuring team at Goldman Sachs before leaving to help launch the private equity firm DMC Partners.

In addition, Deutsche promoted Kemal Askar as the head of rates and Russell Lascala and Jonathan Tinker as the co-heads of FX, who will both report to Wisnia, per FN.


Barclays reshuffled its senior global investment bank management under new interim head of the bank's markets division Tim Throsby and is seeking to hire up to 100 people to boost the division. (Reuters)

Traders of all types are waiting for the period of low market volatility to end. (Bloomberg)

Survey says: 80% of respondents predict a shrinkage of profit-making hedge fund firms. (HFMWeek)

Five operational trends reshaping hedge funds and private equity firms. (HFMWeek)

A fund manager, the founding partner at 1167 Capital, participated in an unnamed “tax avoidance scheme,” allegedly shorting the U.K. government by about ₤650k ($836k), but he may not have to pay it back because of a typo. (Bloomberg)

The investments of mutual funds, hedge funds and private equity shops – which Silicon Valley insiders refer to as “tourist investors” – helped to fuel the technology sector’s growth, but they have started to pull back their spending. (Bloomberg)

The co-founder and CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management reveals the background to the merger with Standard Life, why it went ahead and how many job cuts there will be. (Business Insider)

Global perception of Trump’s “less inclusive and less diverse” America is dissuading international students seeking MBAs from applying to U.S. business schools. (Bloomberg)

The price of an MBA isn't worth it for most entrepreneurs, as only 3% of graduates go on to start their own business soon after graduating from a U.S. program, and graduates of the more entrepreneur-oriented MBA programs are not as appealing to banks, hedge funds and PE firms. (Bloomberg)

However, business schools do help alumni over career bumps by offering coaching to former students who hit problems or want to make a change. (FT)

The students who dominated trading competitions recently aren’t Ivy Leaguers; they go to Baruch, a public college in New York. (WSJ)

The highest-paid women in America work in technology, not financial services. (Bloomberg)

Photo credit: Instants/GettyImages

AUTHORDan Butcher US Editor

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