Morning Coffee: Goldman Sachs quietly decided to halve its layoffs. What bankers have under their shirts
Did something change? After all the agonizing over Goldman Sachs' decision to layoff "up to 30% of its investment bankers in Asia'", it seems the firm has had a change of heart. The Wall Street Journal reports that Goldman, 'had been planning to lay off up to 30% of the 300 bankers it employs in Asia excluding Japan and Australia, but the plans were revised downward to around 15%." 45 people have been spared as a result.
The source of Goldman's last minute leniency is unclear. Could it be that Goldman's Asia business experienced a dramatic revival in its fortunes during the third quarter? The first half of the year seems to have been dire for the firm in the region: pre-tax earnings at Goldman's Asia business in the six months to June were down 70% year-on-year according to Euromoney. Or, has Goldman simply had a change of heart and decided - like Bank of America - that it needs to serve its clients in all markets at all times? Things might become clearer when the firm announces its third quarter results later today.
Separately, an academic who specializes in the study of workplace tattoos has informed the Financial Times that such things are rife in banking. There is a "tidal wave" of tattoos lurking beneath the shirts of City employees, suggests Andrew Timming, a reader at the School of Management, University of St Andrews. Timming bases his prediction on evidence that tattoo-wearers are thrill-seeking risk takers, and assumes that thrill-seeking risk takers are prevalent in banking. In fact, recent research suggests today's bankers are more likely to be timid types concerned about their future financial stability. Nonetheless, there might be something in it: the FT unearths a private equity professional with the Latin words, '“Et facere et pati fortia Romanum est” ['acting and suffering bravely is the attribute of a Roman'] inscribed on his forearm, and Marty Chavez at Goldman Sachs is known for having 'tattoo sleeves' lurking beneath his cuff links.
Here's what's happening at SocGen and BNP Paribas: "We’ve put planned internal transfers to London on hold. And when we’re hiring, we opt for the non-London option whenever we can,” (SocGen). “Officially there is no change in policy — but in practice we are not adding new jobs in London for the time being.” (BNP Paribas) (Financial Times)
Rajeev Misra, ex-Deutsche Bank, ex-UBS, just resurfaced at the helm of a $100bn technology fund sponsored by Saudi Arabia. (Economic Times)
UBs is spending $1bn to standardize the IT platform in its wealth management business. (Reuters)
The German government would quite like Deutsche Bank to shrink. (Bloomberg)
Investment banking is detrimental to Deutsche's wellbeing: it generated a net return on tangible equity of -4.9% last year (including write-downs); the asset management unit generated +30.4%. (Gadfly)
J.P. Morgan is trying to tempt women who've been out of finance for over two years back again. The bank is running a UK-based 're-entry programme' for 18 weeks starting this month. "We're generally targeting a VP level candidate but we've also placed people anywhere from associate to executive director level roles." (Financial News)
Ex-J.P. Morgan banker accused of sexually assaulting woman in a City of London bar. (Telegraph)
Switzerland's compromise on the freedom of movement of people shows that the UK will struggle to negotiate a bilateral Brexit deal. (Bloomberg)
Beware the Italian banker sector. (Naked Capitalism)
Beware the British IPO market. (Gadfly)
On the joys of working with wind turbines. (Atlantic)
Forget Deloitte: this is what great childcare looks like. (Quartz)
Photo credit: hong kong by mariusz kluzniak is licensed under CC BY 2.0.