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Morning Coffee: Investment banks don’t stop hiring here. Traders doing god’s work

Goldman Sachs might be cutting heads in its New York office, but for any foreign investment bank, the U.S. remains the land of opportunity and the place where money can always be found for new hires.

Rothschild is the latest smaller bank to announce its intention to build its U.S. business. It has €20m to spend and will be hiring senior bankers over the coming months, and has just brought in Michael Speller to lead its debt advisory business.

Boutique investment bank China Renaissance plans to add 30 investment bankers in the U.S over the next two to three years. Japanese bank Mizuho is hiring, so is Nomura (again), Berenberg, UBS and Barclays might make exceptions to its hiring freeze.

This is hardly surprising. The U.S. is huge compared to other regional IBD markets and most investment banks make at least 60% of their revenues there. Building up is all very well, but the U.S. banks dominate their local market (even more than they do in Europe) and it’s been a tough nut to crack.

Olivier Pécoux, co-head of Rothschild, told the FT that the aim was to increase the share of revenues coming from the U.S. to 20%. “Clearly we are under represented in the U.S. It is a bit frustrating because it is taking a lot of time.”

Separately, the WSJ has interviewed nuns at a German convent who have had to start trading to combat the low-interest rate environment. Tiny returns on their savings had meant they couldn’t meet the costs of repairs for either the convent roof or the one car they shared between 28 nuns, so action was needed.

“People often think that the sisters don’t get much from the outside world behind the thick walls of the monastery,” said economist Carsten Klude, who visits there several times a year. “But they have actually proven themselves to be quite the savvy investors.”

Sister Lioba runs a $2.1m fund from her convent office and studies bank analyst notes for insights: “I now understand every third sentence instead every 10th when I started,” she said


Former Goldman Sachs banker turned Hollywood financier Steven Mnuchin is set to be named Trump's treasury secretary (New York Times)

Goldman's Gary Cohn for Trump's team (Bloomberg)

Jes Staley takes control at Barclays: “We had some excellent people but the top table had become almost completely dysfunctional. There was a complete lack of direction as to where the investment bank was going. The empire was in bad shape.” (Financial Times)

The 16 staff in Citi’s choir, who now have a sing a range of “jazzy a capella pieces to classical numbers” are looking to become Christmas number one (Financial News)

Macquarie is bringing together two business that encompass its execution, research, derivatives, trading, fixed-income, foreign-exchange and commodities businesses (Bloomberg)

Ex-Goldman partner Teresa Teague is hiring deal-makings for a new boutique linking Chinese investors to foreign deals (Bloomberg)

Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland could lose up to a third of their wholesale banking income if a hard Brexit hits (Financial News)

Attending Bocconi, the Italian business school which feeds analysts into investment banks in London, is a glitzy affair (Financial Times)

Citigroup financial adviser says that the bank is a “boys’ club” and that she was ostracised for blowing the whistle (Business Insider)

German bank Berlin Hyp has postponed launching in London after Brexit (Bloomberg)

Meet the man who invented Libor (Bloomberg)

The Trump effect by asset class (Twitter)

Beijing has a “personal credit information system” that ranks individuals based on things like spending habits, fare dodging and ‘academic honesty’. It feeds into a personal credit score (WSJ)

The horror of having to choose between work and school events for your children (Financial Times)


Photo: Getty Images

AUTHORPaul Clarke

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