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Morning Coffee: The 20-something bankers with the best and worst lives. Gary Cohn's principles

Life has improved for young people at Goldman Sachs. So say those young people themselves in the latest ranking of the best investment banks to work for by the Vault. 

Goldman came out top in the Vault's ranking, partly because it's still seen as "the best in breed," and colleagues there are seen as, "talented, thoughtful and respectful," but also because it's no longer seen as working people half to death after introducing new policies to give young people time off (on Saturdays).  "The firm is extremely focused on improving work/life balance," one Goldman junior told the Vault. "In the time that I’ve been here, I’ve seen a tremendous difference, not only as a result of formal policies but also in the culture and mindset of those who work here.”

If Goldman is the best place to work, the worst places in terms of long hours still seem to be the boutiques, which have long been notorious for their hard grind. Although Evercore, Centerview and Moelis all ranked highly in the Vault's list and Evercore in particular was lauded for creating a "healthy environment" for its employees, part of boutiques' appeal is the "exposure" and "deal flow" they offer their juniors. This is another way of saying that analysts work long hours: a survey by Wall Street Oasis in 2015 found that analyst and associates at Moelis worked 90 hour weeks on average. "We try to help people balance their lives as best we can, but we have so much deal flow that it can be tough,” one Evercore banker admits.

The worst lifestyles may, however, be preserved for the unfortunate junior bankers at the intersection of long hours and expensive accommodation - namely those working for demanding banks in Hong Kong. Space in the Asian city is so restricted and at such a premium that Bloomberg says young bankers have begun living in upmarket dormitory-style apartments. Working a 90 hour week and then returning to a dorm is not most people's idea of living the dream.

Separately, Gary Cohn's principles have got the better of him. The ex-Goldman COO had been expected to replace Janet Yellen as chairman of the Federal Reserve. However, President Trump has indicated that this is now unlikely after Cohn told the Financial Times he was "disgusted" by Trump's blaming of both white supremacists and counter-protestors for violence and deaths at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last month. Trump used to like Cohn, but he reportedly now "visibly bristles" when he hears his name.


Lloyd Blankfein on the prospect of Gary Cohn running the Fed: "No one’s perfect, but he’s the best I know.” (NY Post) 

Lloyd Blankfein on Goldman's poor performance: "We have always had periods of time where we haven’t done well. I’m not terribly aggrieved by it. It’s a level playing field for everyone. I think we can do well in this environment, and we can do well if they relax the rules.” (Wall Street Journal) 

Deutsche Bank's John Cryan on the location of bank jobs post-Brexit: "It’s not about a choice between Dublin, Paris or Frankfurt – it’s about a choice between New York, Singapore or Frankfurt." (Financial News)  

Citigroup hired Jason Massey from Morgan Stanley to head sales for futures, clearing and collateral in Europe, Middle East and Africa. (Business Insider) 

Barclays hired Michael Lublinsky from Brevan Howard to run its rates business. (City Am) 

Senior American bankers with children aged 18+ will not be able to bring their older children to the UK under new immigration rules. (Guardian) 

Polish college drop out claims to be earning £500k ($652k) as a life coach. (Telegraph)

All the money flowing into private equity is encouraging private equity professionals to set up their own funds. (Bloomberg)

Too many MBA students want to be tech entrepreneurs. (Financial Times)

Maybe you too should swim in cold water at 6am every day. (The Drum) 

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Photo credit: what's cooking by Jimmy Hilario s licensed under CC BY 2.0.

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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