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Morning Coffee: How to earn £300k a year in trading. Senior banker warns: ‘Don’t sleep because you will die soon.’

What one senior banker does with his extra waking hours

In the annals of big trader pay, earning £284k a year is fairly inconsequential. After all, Kareem Serageldin - the former global head of structured credit trading at Credit Suisse, famously earned £4m in 2007 and Deutsche Bank paid its junior Frankfurt-based rates traders £280k and its senior traders £3m in 2011. In this context, who would earn a 'mere' £284k after more than a decade in the City? 38 year-old Daniel Plunkett, that's who.

Plunkett, needless to say, was the Barclays' trader at the centre of last week's storm over gold price manipulation We won't go into detail about Plunkett's 'mini-puke', which has been heavily detailed just about everywhere. Suffice to say, that for 38 year-old Plunkett earning close to £300k clearly wasn't enough. His trading book reportedly benefited to the tune of around £1m from his gold price fiddle, of which he might have received £50k on his Barclays bonus, had he not been found out and made to pay a £96k fine by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Plunkett has now been banned from the City of London and won't be working again, but if you think £300k is a fine amount of money for a 38 year-old, this is what Plunkett's CV suggests you need to do. 1) Get yourself a job at a second tier German bank and learn the ropes there (Plunkett started out at Dresdner). 2) Swap to a marginally more prestigious house after just 10 months (Plunkett moved to RBC Capital Markets) less than a year after starting at Dresdner. 3) Spend the next 22 months in your new role before making a move to a bank with tier one pretensions (Plunkett moved to Barclays). 4) Hang on there until you're made a director in precious metals trading. Simple, as long as you're content to earn a 'low' six figure sum.

Separately, the Financial Times spoke to Matthieu Pigasse, the'anti-materialist punk rock aficionado' who is chief executive of the French branch of Lazard. Pigasse extolled the virtues of staying up late. "Don’t sleep because you will die soon," Pigasse pronounced, revealing that he himself only sleeps between three and four hours a night. "I work until 1am, and then I do something different,” he said. What is that different thing? He listens to music, he watches TV, he writes books. He also plays a lot of computer games. - Pigasse claims to have played every single Assassin's Creed game, of which there are at least seven taking at least 30 hours each to complete. He says he's filled with 'La rage:' "The day you are not angry any more, you are getting old and you will die. I mean it."


Stephens, a U.S. financial services firm with wealth management and investment banking arms, is opening in London. (Financial News) 

It’s been a terrible start to the year for hedge funds like Odey, Lansdowne Partners and Brevan Howard. (Telegraph) 

Mike Pringle, the global head of equities trading at Citi, is going to Moore Capital, which was a client and employs former colleague Matthew Carpenter.  (Bloomberg) 

Deutsche Bank has hired a rates sales head from Morgan Stanley. (Bloomberg)

Citigroup hired an ex-Goldman banker in Australia. And now it’s doing quite well. (The Australian) 

Credit Suisse is going to stick with its commodities trading business. (Reuters)

19 CFA exam horror stories. (Business Insider) 

How to pull an all-nighter. (WSJ)  

City headhunter claims to have 750,000 names in her contacts book. (Sunday Times) 

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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