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Morning Coffee: The most frightening job in finance. Morgan Stanley's weird new hiring needs

Want an adrenaline squirt from your job in banking? You could work as a high yield trader focused on the oil and gas market. Or, you could work in compliance.

The Wall Street Journal says compliance professionals at US investment banks are living in a state of fear.  They are “shaking in their boots,” according to one senior compliance recruiter. Another recruiter declares that at least 36 compliance professionals left their jobs (and, we assume the industry in general) in 2015 as paranoia got the best of them.

Anti-money laundering and financial crime compliance professionals are reportedly the most unnerved, although anxiety is pervading the entire function. Regulators’ increasing tendency to hold compliance professionals personally liable for wrongdoing is behind the panic, which is only likely to get worse. – New York’s Department of Financial Services is proposing rules which will require compliance professionals to certify that banks’ monitoring systems are working properly, and which will hold them criminally liable if they’re not.

The good news is the danger money. With fewer people wanting exposure to the perils of a compliance career and with banks wanting to do a lot of compliance hiring, compliance pay is rising.  Anti-money laundering executives can now earn $600k a year and ‘senior compliance professionals’ in other areas can earn $2m. However, the roles may come with associated costs – the WSJ says compliance professionals are increasingly taking out liability insurance and engaging their own legal counsels.

Separately, Pete Eggleston, head of Morgan Stanley’s ‘fixed income trading’s quantitative solutions and innovations group in London,’ has been talking to a journalist engaged by Morgan Stanley itself about the strange sorts of people he wants to hire.

Eggleston’s desired recruits include fluid dynamics theorists who are ‘experts on the ebb and flow of rivers,’ biologists and neuroscientists. Academics in these fields are accustomed to using mathematical models which can be more complex than those currently used in finance, and which can help explain the behaviour of markets.


It’s ok: Wells Fargo is not buying Credit Suisse’s investment bank. (Bloomberg) 

Twenty Four Asset Management is hiring in London. (FiNews)

Hedge fund Winton Capital is hiring all sorts of support staff for its office in Tokyo. (Financial News)

Goldman Sachs appointed Jim Esposito, head of its London financing group, as strategy chief in its securities division. (Does this mean its trading business will have a new strategy soon?) (Financial News)

New reasons not to work in equity research (No one wants to spend money on it). (ImageStore)

New reasons not to work in European ECM (It hit a seven year low in January). (Financial News) 

M&A bankers may have to work harder for their money in 2016: J.P. Morgan says M&A deals will become both smaller and more plentiful. (Bloomberg) 

Barclays just cut its head of US investment grade trading and its head of US distressed debt trading. (Bloomberg)

Barclays is cutting 150 corporate bankers in the Middle East. (Reuters)

600 hours of chemo later, Lloyd Blankfein has lost his hair and eyebrows, but he feels fine. (CNBC)

Syrian banker starts afresh in Germany. (Handelsblatt)

The average full time employee in the UK works 37.4 hours a week. (Financial Times) 

Don’t ‘lean in’, it just makes you fat and unhappy. (Financial Times) 

Conspicuous consumption is out. Bohemian virtue-signalling is in. (Adam Smith Institute) 

When you work for AirBnB you get a $2k holiday allowance. (Bloomberg)

Photo credit: death allegories by sanna.tugend is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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