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Morning Coffee: Turn two years in IBD into a brilliant career outside banking. Credit Suisse bonus doom

Leave banking and become a beautiful butterfly

When senior banking HR professionals are speaking honestly, they'll admit that the current generation of young banking professionals is a bit of a headache. They'll say the modern banking youth is only in the industry for CV points; that after embellishing his/her resume with a couple of years at a top bank, he'll move on, leaving the bank bereft of the talent it spent so long hiring and training-up. At first glance, ex-UBS analyst Clara Sieg looks a lot like this sort of ague, however she also amply demonstrates the benefits of quitting banking while you're ahead.

Sieg features on Forbes' new list of the top 30 people under 30 in the Venture Capital Industry.  Aged 29, she's a partner at Revolution LLC, the Washington DC-based venture capital firm founded by Steve Case of AOL. Once upon a time though, Sieg was a mere analyst at UBS, working in the Swiss bank's leveraged finance and restructuring group.

Forbes says Sieg met Case while UBS was helping him set up his first fund. Case inspired her to work on the buy-side and she quit UBS after just 19 months for Probitas Partners, an investment bank focused on the private equity industry. She stayed at Probitas for three years before joining Case at Revolution. Now she's a world-renowned VC partner working for Revolution in Silicon Valley. Had she stayed at UBS, Case would probably now be one of many in the senior associate pool.

Separately, Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam has been saying some things which suggest that earlier reports of a 60% reduction in the Credit Suisse bonus pool might not be so far-fetched as they seemed. "The business is structurally quite profitable provided the pay can go up and down," said Thiam at a conference in Paris yesterday, referring to Credit Suisse's investment bank. "It’s the ‘and down’ that they don’t accept,” he added, referring to Credit Suisse's investment bankers.

While the diagnosis may be correct, the problem -as Thiam went on to admit - is that even if bankers were prepared to accept lower pay, banks can't do much to reduce compensation now that salaries in Europe are mandated high by regulators. If banks want to cut compensation now, they therefore need to cut heads or cut bonuses to the bone. Either way, it doesn't bode well for investment banking staff at Credit Suisse.


Like Sergio Ermotti, Tidjane Thiam loves China. " Anybody who’s been to China in 1984 can only be a China bull.” (Bloomberg)

Deutsche Bank says it plans to be a top five wealth manager, but hasn't said how. (Reuters)

The City of London will be fine outside the EU, say Brexit campaigners: "Outside of the EU, we would be better placed to compete with the challenge coming from cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore."  (Bloomberg) 

HSBC's HQ will stay in London: it's too much hassle to move. (Bloomberg)

Recruitment slowed in the fourth quarter as hirers proved reluctant to make up their minds on who to hire. (WSJ) 

It's not all over for M&A, says Goldman Sachs.  (Bloomberg) 

Morgan Stanley juniors can now stay in Airbnb rooms for business. (Business Insider) 

In financial markets, being brilliant isn’t enough. The best traders have to not only understand the fundamentals of the asset they are trading, but also have almost a sixth sense for how the timing and momentum within markets will evolve. You can lose a lot of money having the right idea at the wrong time. (NY Times) 

How to cold-email intimidatingly powerful people. (HBR) 

Photo credit: Metamorphosis: Free as a Butterfly and Ready to Fly by chekabuje is licensed under  CC BY 2.0.

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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