Morning Coffee: When 50-year-old brokers reinvent themselves as house music stars. The Deutsche Banker who turned down $3.5m
You’re a 50-year-old former trader used to earning £1m ($1.2m) a year who suddenly finds yourself ostracised from the City over the Libor rate fixing scandal. What next? How about re-releasing a 1990s house music classic?
Danny Wilkinson, was fired from a broker at ICAP after being implicated in the global Libor rate fixing scandal. He was eventually acquitted, but has been “exiled” from the industry, according to Bloomberg.
These days he dons a lab coat and 3-D glasses and tours UK festivals playing with his house music collective, Hellsinki-V. They’re on the cusp of releasing a remix of Baby D’s 1990s classic Let Me Be Your Fantasy.
“After 25 years in the City, I suddenly found myself at home thinking ‘what do I do now. I’d DJ’d at lots of acid house parties in the 80s and I always had a love of music.”
Wilkinson is one of four profiles of former brokers and trader embroiled in Libor. Brent Davies, who also worked at ICAP, has become a film extra – and has featured as a member of the rebel alliance under Colonel Akbar in Star Wars: Episode VII-The Force Awakens.
Terry Farr says he now earns a 10th of his City salary selling plants and bulbs at a market in Essex commuter town, Brentwood. Like Wilkinson, he was acquitted but couldn’t go back: “You’re tarred with that brush,” he said.
Separately, Eric Ben-Artzi, who blew the whistle on false accounting at Deutsche Bank but turned down a $3.5m award from the SEC because of lack of action against senior executives at the bank, has given an interview to the University of Chicago Booth’s Guy Rolnik.
If you're wondering about the consequences of doing the ‘right thing’, it’s worth noting that Ben-Artzi didn’t fully realise the impact of his actions immediately.
“What happens next? When are you going to tell me why it’s proper what we’re doing with the valuation of these trades?”, he asked the head of compliance. “He pretended not to hear me and said, ‘I don’t know what this is going to do to your career.’”
Ben-Artzi feared he’d never work on Wall Street again. He now works for Israeli fintech firm BondIT.
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