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Morning Coffee: Nice person seeking 16 equity specialists for thematic fun. Why you want to work for Barclays bad bank

Behind the scenes

By now, everyone knows that Bill Gross can be a little difficult to handle. The co-founder of Pimco has become notorious for his dislike of being spoken to or looked directly in the eye in the mornings. This has not been mitigated by his tendency to refer to himself in the third person or by unexpected eulogy to his dead cat.  Virginie Maisonneuve, however, is a different creature altogether.

Maisonneuve is Pimco's new equities chief. Having only recently joined Pimco in January this year, she is not yet sleep deprived and seems passionately enthusiastic but not manically obsessive about her job. "My passion is investment," Maissonneuve told Reuters, "(but) it won't be mine, it will be mine and the team; it's always a team game." If this kind of hearty enthusiasm appeals, Maisonneuve is still hiring. She first broadcast her appetite for staff in the Financial Times back in March. Four weeks and many CVs later, she's still looking.

If Maisonneuve sounds like your type and you don't mind the shadow cast by the patriarchal despot in the background, you can apparently send your application to her directly. She's hiring in London, New York and Newport Beach California. Maisonneuve is based in the UK, and that physical proximity will reportedly give people she hires in London a special chance to invest in line with 'several of her major thematic bets' - namely, demographic change, emerging market growth and the low-carbon economy.

Separately, Barclays is finally setting up a bad bank. It will be led by Eric Bommensath, who was until yesterday the French fixed income supremo who co-led Barclays investment bank with Tom King. The naughty corner will include a 'sizeable part of Barclays’ struggling interest rates commodities and currencies units'  and be tasked with getting rid of $54bn of risk-weighted assets which the Financial Times describes as the, 'sulphurous spawn of the credit crunch.' If you work for Barclays, the bad bank may sound sort of unappealing as a career move, but that would be to judge its merits all too superficially. It has much going for it. Firstly, the case of UBS and others suggests it takes a while to wind bad banks down - making the jobs there safe for many years. Secondly, a spell in a bad bank can be great preparation for a move into a distressed debt hedge fund. And thirdly, jobs in the rest of Barclays' fixed income sale and trading business don't look too secure anyway.


Skip McGee wanted to be head of the investment bank at Barclays, but that job was given to Tom King. (Bloomberg)

“McGee was the guy behind a push for higher pay for bankers and with this move Jenkins is taking a much tougher line on compensation. It will take longer to assess the collateral damage this may do to the franchise and what it means about Barclays’s commitment to the U.S.” (Bloomberg) 

Skip McGee had the kind of career path that is only possible on Wall Street: a road marked by a series of expensive failures and egregious lapses in judgment that still, somehow, leads to million-dollar bonuses and, eventually, to the corner office. (NYMag)

Antony Jenkins is turning Barclays into something that resembles the old Lehman: A US-centred trading house with a strong foothold in bond and equities trading. (Financial Times)  

Morgan Stanley is going for it in retail banking. (Financial Times)

Goldman Sachs didn’t go into retail broking because of the danger of having a loosely controlled army of brokers interacting with the public, with the prospect of mis-selling, reputational damage and regulatory repercussions. (Financial Times) 

Yes, UBS's Phil Allison is joining KCG. He will be head of the whole European business. (Financial News) 

Very many FX traders have left the industry. (Bloomberg)

James Pearson, head of currencies trading for RBS, is taking leave for personal reasons. (Bloomberg) 

The media doesn't generally bash banks, with the exception of UBS during the crisis years. (Financial Times)

Related articles:

Where to find 100k new banking jobs in the UK. Bob Diamond speaks on Barclays’ future

Why we shouldn’t care about the 100% RBS bonus cap. Top banker weeps at work

Why Barclays’ pay excuses are a little off. Working at Facebook makes you fat






AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Sa
    Sarah Butcher
    30 April 2014

    @Interested. Ok, let me see...

  • In
    30 April 2014

    Sarah, perhaps you could write an article on how working in a bad bank could allow one to develop skills to move into distressed debt HFs? Bad banks seem hot now ;). Also, it'd be great if you could find examples of people that made the transition.

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