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Morning Coffee: Hedge fund partner rebels against Trump-supporting boss. Disabled military veterans advising on the biggest IPO of the year

David Magerman went head-to-head with his boss at Renaissance and lost, but he made his point.

If you get a call from your boss where he accuses you of calling him a white supremacist you know you need to worry. Few presidential campaigns have split America, and America's workplace than Trump's elevation to power, and political divisions can potentially impact your career.

Case in point: David Magerman, a registered Democrat and Orthodox Jew who’s a self-proclaimed centrist, got a call from his boss, hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, earlier this month. The latter accused the former of calling him a “white supremacist.”

Magerman had complained to colleagues at Renaissance Technologies, one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, about Mercer’s central role in funding Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Word of Magerman’s criticism made its way up to Mercer, co-CEO of Renaissance. Not only did Mercer provide financial help when Trump’s candidacy was struggling, he and his daughter Rebekah suggested appointing two now-notorious family friends, Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Magerman, who has worked at Renaissance for two decades designing the hedge fund’s trading systems, tried to explain his concerns about Trump’s policy positions, rhetoric and cabinet choices to Mercer, then said, “If what you’re doing is harming the country then you have to stop.”

Magerman makes millions of dollars a year and gives more than $10m to charity each year. A research scientist who ran the group that wrote the trading system that the firm still uses, he is one of 100 partners at the firm. It rankled him that every new piece of code he developed for Renaissance helped Mercer make more money, giving him greater ability to support Trump.

“His views show contempt for the social safety net that he doesn’t need, but many Americans do,” Magerman said. “Now he’s using the money I helped him make to implement his worldview” by supporting Trump and encouraging that “government be shrunk down to the size of a pinhead.”

Sure enough, not long after the viral WSJ article was published, in which Magerman said he hopes his public statements won’t cost him his job, a Renaissance representative called Magerman to inform him that he was suspended without pay and can no longer have contact with the company.

Separately, Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc. is hoping to raise about $3bn in its initial public offering, which is likely to be one of the biggest this year.

The list of underwriters includes many of the usual suspects on Wall Street, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan.

One of the lesser-known firms on the list is the Newport Beach, California-based Mischler Financial Group, a boutique investment bank that is owned and operated by disabled veterans.

Snap's chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, is a former Credit Suisse banker who worked on the IPO of Alibaba before joining the social media company. Mischler was involved as an underwriter in the Alibaba IPO in 2014. Putting two and two together, Khan must like the way that Mischler does business.


Banks are paying smaller bonuses. (Reuters)

Morgan Stanley is considering moving 300-plus workers to either Frankfurt or Dublin to create a larger EU hub post-Brexit. (Bloomberg)

FICC trading rose 9% last year – the first rise since 2012 – but a slump in equity and IBD revenue led to an overall 3% fall in banks’ revenue. (Reuters)

In 2016, women made up 26% of banking and capital markets boards and about 13% of new bank directors in 2016 were women. (New York Times)

Gary Cohn is cutting ties with Goldman Sachs (Financial Times)

Wall Street is going to war to roll back regulations, but the Dodd-Frank Act may take years to alter and changes will take even longer to actually go into effect. (Bloomberg)

Silicon Valley fintech startups have been unable to beat traditional banks, so many have decided to join them. (New York Times)

The first fintech degree is at...Wrexham Glyndwr University (Finextra)

Are you a compliance professional who’s burned out or been laid off? It might be a good time to move to Brazil. (WSJ)

Here are some tips for fighting burnout. (Bloomberg)

The classic banker’s desk lamp has been redesigned. (WSJ)

Millennials are not job-hoppers (Bloomberg)

Photo credit: JRLPhotographer/GettyImages

AUTHORDan Butcher US Editor

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