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Morning Coffee: Finance’s great egotists turn mentors. Breaking down the old boys’ club

Star traders take all the heat

Hedge fund managers, desperate to impress institutional investors as they become an ever-larger part of the financial system, have started to shed their maverick image, as we’ve pointed to previously. However, at smaller firms, the founding fathers still remain the star around which mere employees can only circle. So, what happens when they go?

Firstly, despite having a net worth of billions, they’re reluctant to hand over the reins, with over a third of the industry’s assets managed by founding principals who will be 60 in the next ten years. However, as Gillian Tett in today’s FT suggests, there’s a slow shift in the sands.

Succession planning at places like Bridgewater Associates is in full flow, Glen Dubin, the co-founder of Highbridge Capital Management has handed the reins to former Goldman Sachs banker, Scott Kapnick, and as hedge funds become more mainstream, they’re keener to show that they’re not reliant on their star-name founder.

Someone should tell SAC’s Steve Cohen, who reportedly demands that all his traders give him their best ideas, something that was made implicit during the recruitment process.

Separately, The European Central Bank – which is in the midst of a hiring spree that will add over 1,000 supervisors – is keen to point out that it’s not all port, cigars and smoking jackets.  Although it has a reputation as something of an old boys’ club, it has – for the first time ever – set gender targets in an attempt to double the number of women in the senior ranks.

By 2018, it aims to increase the proportion of women in senior roles from 14% to 28%, as well as bumping up the number of female middle managers to 35%, from the current 17%.


Morgan Stanley holds of upgrading its employees Blackberrys because of long-term concerns (Bloomberg)

J.P. Morgan has assembled an internal taskforce to look at China hires (Wall Street Journal)

Assessing Antony Jenkins’ first year (Financial News)

Nasdaq blames software failure and surge in data from rival on its longest ever trading halt (Financial Times)

Kathleen Taylor will be RBC’s first ever female chairman (Bloomberg)

How to dress like a Goldmanite – wear a new pair of socks every day, spend at least $700 dollars on shoes, never turn up in pleated trousers (Business Insider)

AUTHORPaul Clarke

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