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Morning Coffee: The investment bank hiring in spite of everything. Why your voice is stunting your career

Brexit has frozen the City of London’s recruitment market in most big banks and the upcoming U.S. election is another reason why Wall Street banks aren't any more willing to hire, even after two upbeat quarters in a row.

So, the fact that a relatively small German bank is continuing its build-out in London and New York in spite of everything, is significant. Berenberg, which has been expanding aggressively for the past two years, says it has no plans to stop and will be looking to break on to Wall Street.

Berenberg is primarily interested in hiring research analysts – although it has also been recruiting sales and trading staff – and plans to increase its current 100-strong team of analysts covering 650 European stocks to 150 people in both the UK and the U.S.

The bank hopes to have a New York licence by the first quarter of next year, and will then start recruiting. “It will take three to four years, because you have to get the talent. You can’t just go out and hire 40 analysts,” Hendrik Riehmer, one of its general partners told the Financial Times.

Berenberg’s investment bank is small. It employs around 270 people in the City of London, and 330 globally. It helps, though, that the bank is extremely profitable and made a return on equity of 67.3% last year and Riehmer says it’s “over capitalised” and can always cuts bonuses it need be. It also helps that its UK CEO doesn’t view Brexit as a reason to step back from London.

“We want to be a top 10 global research firm, and you can only do that with a global product,” said Riehmer.

Separately, accents aren’t ‘cute’, the have the potential to derail your career. Voice coaches are the new thing to help soften your accent and come across as both legible and credible. In London investment banking this means being posh or adapting a transatlantic drawl. On Wall Street, anything ‘American’ is good.

“I have met people in law, accountancy and investment banking who are advised to listen to Radio 4 to sound professional.” Louise Ashley, a lecturer in human resource management and organisational behaviour at Royal Holloway, University of London told the FT.


Hedge funds’ reputation not only turns off millennials, but they can earn more in tech now anyway (Financial Times)

Entry-level engineers can easily earn $120k. Tech companies in America put aside $40bn on stock-based compensation last year – 60% more than Wall Street banks’ bonus pool (Economist)

Andrew Caspersen, the Wall Street exec who used “made-up private equity ventures, fake mail addresses and fictional financiers” to defraud friends, family members and hedge funds out of $38.5m has been sentenced to four years (New York Times)

Deutsche Bank has moved at least half of its back office staff out of its London City office to Canary Wharf and will sub-lease the extra space (Bloomberg)

Lisa Lee, a former CVC Capital Partners MD who was suing the firm for gender discrimination, has settled the case (WSJ)

"I'm one of the most senior women on Wall Street because I am simply still standing. In my world, as a woman, you can get tired.” (Business Insider)

Andy Bell, the former head of European and Asian M&A at Jefferies has just joined a boutique focused on China (Financial News)

Wall Street banks have been trying to get into China, without a local partner, for over 20 years. They may finally be able to (WSJ)

Clearing jobs threat is not scaremongering: “The fact that clearing was raised immediately by some as an area that they saw as vital to repatriate or migrate out of the U.K. shows the importance of that business.” (Bloomberg)

The increase in trading revenues is genuine, but is it just nudging up from rock bottom? (WSJ)

Brexit is worse than Trump getting in (Bloomberg)

But Trump could bring back Europe’s banking crisis (Handelsblatt)

Trump could mean U.S. investment banks gain more market share and New York gains more ground on London (Gadfly)

One senior banker is anticipating up to 80,000 jobs disappearing from London. Banks are preparing to sub-lease their UK offices (Financial Times)

Equivalence, the supposed alternative to the UK’s current passporting rights to the European Union, is being tightened up (Financial Times)

How to overcome your fear of public speaking (Financial Times)


Photo: Getty Images

AUTHORPaul Clarke

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