Morning Coffee: Fare-dodging fund manager unlikely to work in finance again, Goldman’s new challenge to Bloomberg IM

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The ‘City highflier’ who was cheap, or foolish, enough to deliberately avoid paying over £43,000 in train fares when commuting into London from a country railway station has now been unmasked as 44-year-old (former) BlackRock managing director, Jonathan Burrows.

Burrows has a lot of things worth a lot of money including two large houses worth over £4m and, according to the Daily Mail journalists following him around, two Range Rovers and a Porche. He was also reportedly earning around £1m a year. It seems cheap in the extreme, therefore, to avoid the £21.50 daily train fare from Stonegate in Kent to London Cannon Street. Burrows antics were revealed in April, but he has only just been unmasked.

Burrows has reportedly been trying to brush it under the carpet and keep his name out of the headlines before his employer found out, offering to pay the outstanding fares to make recompense. It’s understandable why – having found out in passing that Burrows was the biggest fare dodger in UK history, BlackRock suspended him immediately and has leaned on him to resign.

More disturbingly for Burrows, many are suggesting that an FCA investigation that was creeping up on him immediately before his resignation means that he’s unlikely to get a job in finance again.

Separately, Goldman Sachs is leading the charge to buy a stake in instant messaging and chat provider Perzo as a way of escaping the Bloomberg product that has been banned by many investment banks after so many traders got in trouble over privacy concerns last year.

Goldman has reportedly already stepped up efforts to launch its own instant messaging programme ‘Babel’ , but Perzo seems like a cheaper alternative than developing a product in-house. It's also open-source – allowing customers to download, tailor and improve the product after paying $20k for an annual subscription – in another example of banks moving away from expensive technology projects.

Other banks are also interested in investing in Perzo including Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and HSBC as well as asset managers Blackrock and Maverick Capital.


Barclays, which has lost many senior bankers in the U.S. this year, has now moved up the M&A league tables. “Almost everyone we have hired this year has had M&A credentials – it’s not a business you can afford not to be good at. It’s the sharp end of the stick,” said Tom King, chief executive of Barclays’ investment bank. (Financial Times)

Paul Parker, the former head of M&A at Barclays, has been hired by Goldman Sachs as co-chair of mergers (Financial Times)

“That’s the problem with Goldman Sachs. You say: ‘Have you played table tennis before?’ And they say: ‘Yes, a little bit, I used to play for my country.’ There’s no concept of letting the boss win at Goldman Sachs.” (Financial News)

City jobs have dropped by 8% in July on the previous month, accordingly to recruiters Astbury Marsden. While large investment banks have pulled back from hiring. High frequency trading firms and boutiques are continuing to recruit, though. (Bloomberg)

Investment banks take note: Employees need to feel safe in order to perform effectively at work (Dealbook)

What the City is reading this summer (Financial News)

Goldman Sachs has the U.S.’s largest thermal storage system. Enough ice to make 3.4m margaritas and that saves it $50k a month during the summer. (Bloomberg)

Supporting the Yes vote for independence is akin to “treason” among Scottish fund managers. Those who do are insulted and threatened (Financial Times)

Evercore has bought International Strategy and Investment Group in a bid to expand its trading and research business. (Bloomberg)

Evercore banker sentenced to 4 and three quarter years in prison for insider trading was only doing it to support his love child (New York Post)

Super-yacht sales are up. No mention of hedge fund managers. (Financial Times)

Related articles:

Goldman, Barclays, UBS bankers deemed most attractive. Ex-JPMorgan banker sues own lawyer

What the new banking bonus bashing means really. JPMorgan’s faux-promotions

Is JPMorgan letting go of the wrong people? How Goldman Sachs’ head of recruitment keeps his ‘edge’

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