When the ‘worst candidate’ a bank ever interviewed got a job offer
The ongoing scandal involving J.P. Morgan’s hiring practices took a colorful turn on Friday with an explosive report from the Wall Street Journal.
The saga involves the alleged hiring of family members of high-powered foreign officials with the hope of gaining their business. It appears the practice is, or at least was, somewhat common throughout the industry, with J.P. Morgan gaining the most scrutiny. Some in banking have argued that you can’t penalize a firm for hiring children of people that they know, as long as they’re qualified. After all, that happens in any industry. It’s a piece of networking, one could argue.
Well, this one is different. Quite different. Gao Jue, who goes by Joe Gao, is the son of China’s current commerce minister. He was described by some managing directors at J.P. Morgan who interviewed him as “the worst BA candidate they had ever seen,” according to one J.P. Morgan recruiter. But the bank hired him anyway, and even spared laying him off after his father told a bank official that he would “go extra miles” for the firm if it kept him on, according to the Journal.
The story is long and complicated, and most certainly worth a read, but here are a few quick hits. There was a general consensus among senior people within his first group that Gao was “immature, irresponsible and unreliable.” Perhaps some of that could have been due to the fact that he inadvertently copied a human resources employee on an email that included inappropriate sexual comments. That’s a double whammy.
Another example could be that Gao allowed his work visa to expire soon after starting, forcing the bank to help him apply for an H-3 visa, which is meant for training purposes, not actual work, according to the report.
Still, when his position was eliminated due to the economic downturn, J.P. Morgan found Gao a six-month contract role with a new group under a manager whose own son had been laid off during the downsizing.
Eventually, Gao was let go when his contract expired. But a year later, J.P. Morgan appeared ready to make him another offer in Hong Kong, though he never responded to requests for an interview. He has made several stops since, including at BNP and Credit Suisse. He currently works at Goldman Sachs.
Click here to read the full piece.
Cover letters need to do three things: prove you can do the job, differentiate you from other candidates and not attach a red flag to your application. Sadly, the third component is just as critical as the first two.
As a junior banker, you could be earning $150,000 just a few years after leaving school. Don't let that go to your head.
The jobs report for January was fantastic, which doesn’t do much for Wall Street as there is little correlation with overall job growth and headcount in banking. However, the report sent bank stocks surging, with some shares up nearly 5% as of midday Friday. That’s great news for bankers whose deferred shares are about to vest.
Pimco seems to be picking up the pieces fairly well following the departure of founder Bill Gross, though redemption requests are still coming in at a brisk pace. And so are the people moves. While Pimco has hired back several executives who quit due to Gross’s management style, three managing directors are retiring and another top exec is leaving for a different firm.
Wall Street headhunting firm CTPartners has been on a tough run. It was accused of sexual harassment, investors asked the SEC to investigate the firm for securities fraud and its stock price has plummeted. Now, a takeover bid. DHR International has made a $7-a-share, or $61 million, cash offer.
Audio recordings have surfaced of a former UBS manager appearing to berate brokers over not selling products that they deemed too risky. They either had to start selling the products or leave, he threatened.
Here are 10 things that suck about being rich. It will likely make you angry, but you may nod along one time or two.
Buzz Around the Office
Last week, a Comcast customer named Lisa Brown who complained about her service received a bill addressed to “A**hole Brown.” This week, Comcast customer Mary Bauer found "Super B---- Bauer” at the top of her bill. Comcast needs to get more creative with these nicknames. That or stop cursing out their customers regularly.
Quote of the Day: “The father indicated to me repeatedly that he is willing to go extra miles to help JPM in whatever way we think he can. And I do have a few cases where I think we can leverage the father’s connection.” –Fang Fang, then chief executive of China investment banking for J.P. Morgan, in an email to his boss about keeping on the son of China’s commerce minister