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Morning Coffee: Crisis as neither Barclays’ nor UBS’s M&A bankers perform. Curse of the 'ladettes' at Deutsche?

M&A bankers at Barclays and UBS need to shape up

If you wanted to single out two banks which have really ‘gone for it’ in M&A this year whilst simultaneously cudgelling (or continuing to cudgel) their fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) businesses, you’d probably settle on a) Barclays and b) UBS.

Barclays, for any who’ve forgotten, promoted Tom King, a seasoned M&A banker, to run its investment bank in April 2014. King, true to form, promptly unveiled a new strategy in which Barclays would prioritize its investment banking division (IBD – capital markets and M&A) and deprioritize fixed income trading. 7,000 Barclays people were to lose their jobs before the end of 2016, most of them (theoretically) on the fixed income trading floor, or at least nearby.

UBS has followed a similar trajectory. It declared its intention of dumping thousands of fixed income bankers back in October 2012 and simultaneously promoted Andrea Orcel, an M&A banker, to run its investment bank. Orcel also prioritized success in M&A. At the end of 2013, UBS announced plans to hire senior M&A 24 bankers before 2015. So far this year, it's hired at least ten. 

In the circumstances, if any two houses were going to do well in M&A on their home turf, you might think Barclays and UBS would be the ones. But no. The Wall Street Journal reports that both Barclays and UBS been ‘losing out’ this year. Barclays now ranks 11th for European  M&A deals by volume, down from 4th in 2013. UBS ranks 12th, down from 6th last year.  So who have the winners been in European M&A? Try the usual suspects. - Goldman Sachs was first for deal volume; JPMorgan was first for fees earned.

Separately, Konrad Joy, the former chief operating officer in the global risk department at Deutsche Bank, earned around £1m a year until he was fired in 2013 for allegedly sexually harassing female colleagues. One year later, and Joy is fighting back. He says the accusations against him were false and exaggerated and that he himself was discriminated against. - Joy says a female MD would not have been treated in the same way and that he was merely navigating a Deutsche Bank culture of ladette-ism and lewd conversations. He wants his old job back. He also wants £20m in compensation. Deutsche Bank says 11 of Joy's junior colleagues complained about him.


Who said finance is incompatible with families? Karen Cook, a senior M&A partner at Goldman Sachs, has six children. (Financial News)

M&A bankers are prone to emitting bullish clichés at inappropriate moments. (Financial Times) 

KPMG plans to hire 100 lawyers over the next two years. (Financial Times) 

KKR wants to raise money from European family offices. It’s just hired Blake Shorthouse, former head of ultra-high net wealth individuals for western Europe at Credit Suisse.(Financial News)

Barclays just handed out some hefty 'role-based pay' awards to its senior staff. (LSE) 

BNY Mellon has decided that it can't afford its 50 expensive derivatives professionals. It's therefore letting them all go and pulling out of derivatives altogether. (Valuewalk) 

Commerzbank is making 60 people in its fixed income arm redundant. This is just one of the ‘regular adjustments’ to its business model.  (Financial Times) 

Citi's Michael Corbat tells students they can't all work for hedge funds and PE and points out that banking is quite exciting anyway. (Dealbreaker) 

Was 70 year-old Bill Gross out of touch? Every morning, his admin staff at Pimco would provide him with ‘several binders of information’. His 45-year-old replacement prefers to look at that stuff electronically. (WSJ)  

Konrad Joy, the former chief operating officer in the global risk department at Deutsche Bank, earned around £1m a year until he was fired in 2013 for sexually harassing female colleagues. Now he’s claiming that he was the victim of harassment by Deutsche Bank ‘ladettes.’ (Bloomberg) 

Jefferies' CEO Richard Handler has followed up on his previous staff memo extolling Jefferies' juniors as 'special' and commanding senior bankers 'not to be jerks,' with a new message encouraging all Jefferies staff to do better and to take good care of themselves. “Each of us is precious to others and should be handled with care,” he says, specifically. (DealBook) 

If you want to hang out with senior bankers at Goldman Sachs or Bank of America, you should get yourself to Coco di Mama, a pasta place run by ex-BAML bankers. (The Tally)

Where in the world to live if you want to get up late. (CityAm)  

Want a new job? Hit up your university alumni like this. (Brazen Careerist) 

Related articles:

Bad news for traders at RBS. How Goldman Sachs is better than Deutsche

JPMorgan’s quiet layoffs. Goldman Sachs’ Q3 results will look better than they are

Do you want to work in Hong Kong now? Bill Gross’s last straw


AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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