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Morning Coffee: The nasty news for Deutsche bankers aside from Brexit. Worked to death at a $170k programming job

Deutsche Bank has reported its first quarter results and they're not great. The bank's traders did less well than rivals. Maybe that's because they're so constrained by risk management staff?

Sylvie Matherat, the German bank’s chief regulatory officer, said yesterday that Deutsche's front office, client facing staff are matched by its risk management staff in the approximate ratio of 1:1. This is seemingly to say nothing of Deutsche's other support staff in compliance, technology and settlements. Deutsche hired another 370 compliance staff alone last year. 

Matherat made her comments in the context of comments about Brexit. She said about half of Deutsche Bank’s bankers who are likely to be displaced by Brexit work in the front office, with the other half being all those risk management professionals who would need to move as well to keep a close eye on their revenue-generating colleagues at all times. Even if your employer does move you outside of the City, you’re unlikely to be able to escape the gaze of the risk management professional watching your every move.

Matherat said 4k jobs in total – out of the 9k currently in the UK – could be moved from London to other locations as the country prepares to leave the European Union. The bank’s Frankfurt and Berlin offices are the most likely destinations, but Deutsche Bank has yet to make a final decision. This might be just another idle threat from an investment bank over Brexit, but Frankfurt city said yesterday that at least seven banks had already taken the decision to open an office in there to relocate staff and another 20 were considering whether to move employees to the German financial centre, according to The Times.

Which banks, exactly? "A Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Swiss, Indian and a Russian bank have already opted for Frankfurt,” said Hubertus Väth, managing director of Frankfurt Main Finance.

Separately, you may want to think twice before choosing Silicon Valley over Wall Street.

Joseph Thomas – who reminded some people of Tiger Woods for both his good looks and his drive to succeed – thought he had it made, living the American dream with his wife and their two young sons in a San Francisco suburb. Thomas worked his way up the ladder at tech jobs in Atlanta, his hometown, then as a senior site reliability engineer at LinkedIn in Mountain View.

Last year, Thomas turned down an offer from Apple. Instead, he accepted a $170k job as a software engineer at Uber, because he felt he could grow more with the younger company and was excited about the chance to profit from stock options when it went public, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In retrospect, he should have stayed at LinkedIn or gone to Apple, because his time attempting to adjust to Uber’s aggressive work culture turned into a personal tragedy, as he struggled in a way he’d never experienced before.

Thomas worked long hours and felt immense pressure, anxiety and stress at work, unable to concentrate during the day or sleep at night because he was scared that he’d lose his job and even having panic attacks, the Chronicle reported.

His family urged him to see a psychiatrist and leave his job, and he agreed to the former but he refused to do the latter.

His father said that while working at Uber, “he went down the tubes. He became someone with very little confidence in himself. The guy just fell apart.”

The story does not have a happy ending. Thomas shot himself and died a week before he would have turned 34.

His father and widow are convinced that the work environment and stress at Uber triggered his suicide. His widow filed a workers’ compensation claim seeking to hold Uber accountable for her husband’s mental decline.

Uber said it took the allegations seriously and hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate its workplace for issues of sexism, diversity and inclusion. Then it denied the widow’s workers’ compensation benefits claim through its insurance carrier, per the Chronicle.


Barclays CEO Jess Staley has laid out his concerns for the City post-Brexit, warning that immigration – not passporting – should be the financial sector's biggest worry. (The Telegraph)

The Federal Reserve is revamping its supervision of the largest and most complex banks. (WSJ)

Moelis & Co. achieved record earnings for the second quarter in a row and could double headcount (Business Insider)

Trump’s proposed cut in the corporate tax rate would involve immediate pain for some big banks such as Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, but an eventual earnings boost would mean that they still come out ahead. (WSJ)

Lowering the tax rate could enhance the appeal of accounting firms and hedge funds, but it may also have other ripple effects on Wall Street. (WSJ

An interest-rate swap execution platform has hired the ex-global head of rates sales at Deutsche Bank to run sales, marketing and strategy. (Business Insider)

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan says the private sector has a “moral obligation” and a “vested interest” in contributing to the public good. (Business Insider)

Derivatives strategists at Goldman Sachs say that the low stock volatility during earnings season is an opportunity to reap huge gains. (Business Insider)

Simon Lorne, vice chairman and chief legal officer of Millennium Management, says that a few start performers at hedge funds can skew the perception of hedge fund pay and make people resentful (Reuters)

This hedge fund manager went from working in shopping malls as a teenager to now shorting their commercial mortgages. (WSJ)

Many of the most successful people in finance give credit where credit is due – good luck. (Bloomberg)

Photo credit: EmmaKStudio/GettyImages

AUTHORDan Butcher US Editor

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