Beware the danger of working in finance without any heed of what you really want to do with your life. This is the warning from Phil Page, a man who retired from the City of London aged just 40 after formulating a life plan aged approximately 28.
“A lot of people don’t have a clear idea of their objectives in life,” Page, who retired in January 2016, told Financial News. "People just get on the treadmill of working lives and the City treadmill is particularly insular. You see other people working and dressing and eating well, and you assume that’s the default. ”
Page wasn't the default. As a young finance professional (he was an actuary rather than an IBD banker or markets professional), he asked himself what he wanted to do with his life and discovered that he didn't really want to spend his time working long hours for prestige and pay: he wanted to work four days weeks, to do good deeds on the other day and to save enough to retire young.
Plenty of people reading this might want to do the same. But be warned: if you aspire to be Page, you'll need to practice thriftiness. “I put most of my salary into my pension and my wife put most of her earnings in hers, too,” Page told FN. "We realised we didn’t need a lot of money to live, so I had saved up for my pension by 32...Then we had to set aside enough money to live until I could get at my pension, as you can’t touch it until you’re 57.” Page's thrift was ramped up a level by a concomitant pledge to place he and his wife's bonuses in a charitable fund which will make disbursements to good causes throughout the rest of their lives.
It helps that Page had a purpose beyond simple retirement aged 40. “In my late 20s, I made a commitment that if I had enough money to live at a basic level, I would retire and give my time to God,” he said. Nowadays, he lives modestly with his wife (also retired) and daughter in St. Albans, a UK commuter town, and spends his time dispensing advice. "This can be on marriage problems, legal, pension issues…” He comes into the City rarely, and when he does it seems like a different world: "“I hear people on the train and realise how all-consuming these jobs can be. They affect people’s stress levels and lives. I must have been like that too.”
Separately, Deutsche Bankers are staying home. The Wall Street Journal reports that the German bank has cut some employees' travel budgets by 30%. Welcome to the new world of Webex.
Deutsche Bank is going to stop sponsoring coal-related construction projects. (Guardian)
Deutsche Bank shares are expected to fall by 22% by next year. (Bloomberg)
The European Parliament's leaked Brexit report suggests an appreciation of the importance of the City of London and willingness to make concessions. (Guardian)
RBS only plans to move "tens" of jobs out of the UK after Brexit. (Bloomberg)
The ECB is killing European high yield revenues (and jobs). (Gadfly)
Credit Suisse just hired a U.S. leveraged finance MD from Goldman. (Reuters)
LIBOR trader Tom Hayes is still arguing that he had an unfair trial. (Business Insider)
George Soros hired Dawn Fitzpatrick from UBS to manage his family office. She's his seventh CIO in 16 years. (Business Insider)
Citi's guide to ranking in M&A: "“You need to de-risk your M&A business by having smaller deals in higher quantities that occur independently of market conditions. But the core to growing the M&A franchise is participating in transformational M&A, which comes with a fee pool that isn’t just higher per deal but also with associated revenue that can really lift the franchise.” (Financial News)
Ex-Morgan Stanley banker made Tiffany Trump's shoes for the inauguration ceremony: "I’ve never seen anyone in the City wearing flats. Would they rather? Oh yeah, that’s why everyone has them under their desk. Look under every woman’s desk in the City and there’s ten pairs of shoes." (The Times)
Jamie Dimon and Donald are meeting Friday. (WSJ)
People who look toward the right are perceived as more powerful and agentic than those who point to the left .... (Business Insider)
Tech hubs in Portugal. (Bloomberg)
Indian Institutes of Technology for unicorns. (Quartz)
Wearable boast detector. (TheVerge)
Photo credit: Long Shadows on Puddock Road by Andrew Bartram is licensed under CC BY 2.0.