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A Goldman analyst has been to see an oracle outside the firm.

Morning Coffee: Goldman analyst seeks advice from 29 year-old with piercings. The top traders who didn't attend top schools

Goldman Sachs is the most open-minded bank to work for. So said a recent survey by It also now allows its tech employees to wear whatever they want to work. Even so, it's unlikely there are shaven headed people with multiple piercings working for GS yet - although we could be wrong (J.P. Morgan employed a big bearded shaven headed hipster to its tech team in March, for example).

One Goldman employee has therefore had to go outside the bank to seek advice from a counter-cultural oracle. Jay Smith, a 29-year-old with tribal earrings and an intentionally bald head, dropped out of school aged 14 and became a professional video gamer. He lives in Basingstoke, a town outside London. Bloomberg reports that Smith is now a cultish figure on eToro, a trading platform that enables retail investors to trade crytpocurrencies like bitcoin, and to copy the strategies of its bitcoin trading masters. Smith is one of the latter: in the past 12 months, his bitcoin portfolio is up 295%.

Although Jamie Dimon says bitcoin is a fad,  someone at Goldman clearly takes it seriously. At a recent eToro reception, a Goldman analyst was reportedly dispatched to hear Smith hold forth on bitcoin's gyrations. Smith was only too happy to oblige. Video gaming and bitcoin trading may yet emerge as a new route into a job in banking.

Separately, if you're looking for a trading job and you didn't go to a top university and you don't want to trade bitcoin, you might want to become a trader on the buy-side. The Trade just released a list of rising star traders (mostly aged 40 and under) in asset management firms. While some studied at the likes of Cambridge or Harvard, they're the exceptions. Most went to universities not typically on banks' hiring radars. Robert Mitchelson, head of EMEA rates trading at Blackrock, for example, went to Portsmouth University, while Robert Mitchelson, a multi-product trader at Liontrust went to Southampton Solent. In buy-side trading at least, it still seems less about where you went to school, more about your P&L.


Bank of America is moving former CFO and head of capital markets, Bruce Thomson, to Dublin. There, he will lead the bank's new EU global banking and markets hub. (Financial Times) 

Cryptocurrency hedge funds are a thing. "I love crashes. That’s great for me.” (Financial Times)

James Gorman says cryptocurrencies are more than just a fad. (CNBC)

Tim Throsby said things were pretty dire at Barclays' investment bank when he arrived. (Bloomberg) 

Expats in Switzerland earn an average of $193k. (Bloomberg) 

Given their time again, most bond traders would do something completely different. (Quartz) 

Teenagers appear too cynical to benefit from mindfulness interventions. (BPS Digest) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Pr
    Preeti Srivastava
    28 September 2017

    And top schools are just brand names. You need capability in life to make your own brand name!! Isn't it??

  • Pr
    Preeti Srivastava
    28 September 2017

    Interventions are sometimes necessary to tell some what they really are!!

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