Morning Coffee: JPM-backed hedge fund hiring in London. Goldman Sachs chief died after client meeting

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Now that banks can’t do any proprietary trading of their own (except block trades related to IPOs), they’re funding hedge funds to do it for them instead. Yesterday we reported that Arrowgrass Capital Partners, a hedge fund backed by Deutsche Bank, had been doing some heavy hiring in London. Today, the Financial Times reports that Highbridge Capital Management, a $29bn hedge fund owned by JPMorgan is continuing to ‘rapidly expand its presence in Europe.’

Symptomatic of this rapid expansion, the FT says Highbridge has just hired Jon Ashley, a former managing director of the private equity arm at Fortress. Ashley will invest in public and private non-investment grade debt. It’s also poached Juan Lamo de Espinosa as the new head of its European equities from York Capital’s London office team, and John Aylward from Claren Road Asset Management to lead credit strategy in Europe.

Separately, following Jamie Dimon’s cancer diagnosis, Reuters looks at how banks have coped with the illness and fatality of senior staff in the past. In 1976, it points out that then-Goldman Sachs senior partner Gus Levy suffered a stroke in the middle of a client meeting and died soon after that.

38 years ago, Levy’s successors were determined by a note discovered in the top drawer of his office desk. This stipulated that, should anything happen to Levy, John Whitehead and John Weinberg must be named as co-senior partners. Whitehead and Weinberg were duly appointed. Provisions for Dimon’s succession are more systematic: a contingent of potential replacements is already emerging, chief among whom are said to be Gordon Smith, head of consumer banking, and Mary Callahan Erdoes, head of asset management.

Reuters adds that Dimon will be using his holiday leave for the treatment of his throat cancer. Dimon usually has three weeks off in August and will be spending this time engaged in grueling radiation treatment and chemotherapy. He also plans to participate in next week’s JPMorgan’s results call.  Even chief executives of U.S. banks feel the pressure to work hard.


Billionaire hedge fund trader Chris Hohn says he lives a ‘Swatch lifestyle’ and doesn’t spend much at all. (Financial Times)

Ex-hedge fund trader has five children, sets up company selling super-premium coconut water. ‘When she worked in finance, she had to rush to be in the office by 6:30 a.m. for morning meetings and came home moody when she lost money.’ (Bloomberg) 

Citigroup has been paying above market price to get in on block trades and win market share. (Bloomberg) 

This was a good trade for Citi. It was also a good trading decision: Someone at Citi looked at the facts -- a big offering, a big simultaneous buyback -- and decided to make a $773 million bet that the stock would be up. (Bloomberg) 

Top equity researcher becoming university professor. (Bloomberg)

Private equity firm Apollo Global Management will definitely be paying some of its bonuses in stock instead of cash.  Three partners have resigned. (Finalternatives) 

Partners at Freshfields earned an average of £1.5m each last year. (The Times) 

JPMorgan embroiled in scandal over alleged LGBT loyalty test. (Media Matters)  

100% of U.S. households with more than $500k in income are very happy. (Twitter) 

Study reveals that people who speak vague waffle at work are deemed more powerful. (NYMag)  

Private equity firms have become large and rich enough that they should do their own damn recruiting at colleges to hire junior personnel, rather than relying on investment banks to provide a pre-screened, pre-qualified employee pool to poach from. (EpicureanDealmaker) 

The best traders have brains that can sense bubbles. (CNBC) 

Man spotted in Goldman Sachs girls who code session. (Twitter) 

Interns at Goldman Sachs  inducted with curious arm-stretch (slide 9). (Goldman Sachs)  

Bob Diamond joins Twitter, holding fish. (WSJ)  

Related articles:

Deutsche Bank hiring 300 people in London. Unbearable stress of interviewing for private equity jobs

Barclays tries new method of behavioural modification. Deutsche Bank analysts call FICC recovery

Contractor at Goldman Sachs made disastrous mistake. Banking intern’s perceptive observations


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