Morning Coffee: Morgan Stanley's new method of cutting staff. Career advice from top Goldman banker in brown shoes

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After long years of cutting headcount with varying degrees of success, banks are becoming more inventive. Jes Staley's Barclays has got a rule that it rarely hires anyone externally (senior J.P. Morgan people excepted), choosing to shuffle existing staff between vacant roles instead. Something similar is going on at Deutsche Bank. Morgan Stanley, however, has got a different tack: whenever anyone quits the bank's infrastructure business, it simply shifts their role to Mumbai.

So said Morgan Stanley CFO Jonathan Pruzan during a presentation at the Barclays Global Financial Services conference yesterday. In this way, Pruzan said Morgan Stanley has been able to shift around 450 jobs to its low cost centres in Mumbai and elsewhere since January. The bank needs its infrastructure people to leave a little more vigorously though: Pruzan noted that Morgan Stanley plans to shift 1,250 jobs in total, and at the current rate, it will be practically 2018 before this comes to pass.

Separately, Marty Chavez, CIO at Goldman Sachs, has joined Michael Sherwood and Lloyd Blankfein in offering careers advice to the firm's summer interns. In a video posted to Goldman's website, Chavez (who is, incidentally wearing brown and shoes is and being interviewed by fellow Goldman partner Russel Horwitz, also in brown shoes) suggests there are two main things to bear in mind: 'optionality' and resisting 'spot volatility'.

On optionality, Chavez says young people need to, "do the work, pay the premium, own a whole bunch of these options on a load of different outcomes." One of those options might come off, he says: "If you're diversified enough, something will probably work out."

On "spot volatility," Chavez says it's easy for young people to worry about what's happening in the moment. Instead, he advocates keeping an eye to the distant future: "That forward point hardly moves... Nothing is ever as good as it seems and nothing is ever as bad as it seems. If you chill out you will be much happier and more effective in your career."


Jes Staley sounded a warning about the US election result. (Bloomberg)

Christian Meissner said BofA's IBD revenues improved in the third quarter. (Reuters)

It's going a bit wrong for Bob Diamond's plan to buy Barclays' African business. (Financial Times)

The German state of Hesse (which includes Frankfurt) wants to relax Germany's prohibitive labour laws and make it easier to sack people earning over €300k. (Bloomberg) 

If banking revenues keep falling: "If nothing is done on the cost side, average cost/income ratio in the industry globally would reach 80% before fines – its highest level ever. This is not sustainable.” (Financial News)

Now that EY has started ignoring academic achievement as a primary recruitment criteria, 18% of its hires are people it wouldn't have considered previously. (Financial News)

Spencer Lake, veteran of HSBC's capital markets business, is leaving. (Euromoney)

Credit Agricole spent years building up its US treasury bond business so that it could become a primary dealer. Then it changed its mind. (Bloomberg) 

60% of people working in banks in London now have an option of working remotely. (Financial News) 

Predict life success using a genetic test at birth. (British Psychological Society)

Photo credit: The Unexpected Calm bGiulia Mulè is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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