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Morning Coffee: The prime age for receiving a big promotion at Goldman Sachs. Seasoned trader was doing it all wrong

You're probably too young

Goldman Sachs has rejigged a few things. In a move billed as 'the biggest change to its investment banking division' (IBD) for a decade, Goldman has promoted two new people and now has three co-heads of IBD in much the same way that it has three co-heads of its securities division.

The two new co-heads are Gregg Lemkau, a former co-head of Goldman's global M&A business, and Marc Nachmann, a little-known German banker based in the U.S. who was head of Goldman's financing group. The other co-head is John Waldron, who was promoted in 2014. 

Now, this may be mere coincidence, but we note that all these co-heads were of roughly similar age when they got the shoulder-tap. Waldrom was 45 when it happened two years ago. Nachmann was 46 when it happened yesterday. Lemkau was 47. Could it be that these are the golden years for elevation to the High Table if you work in IBD at Goldman Sachs?

Maybe, except most 46 year-old Goldman M&A bankers clearly don't get the call. If you're waiting on tenterhooks, the Wall Street Journal has spotted a leading indicator suggesting you're tipped for greatness: you'll get promoted to the management committee first of all. This is, "often a sign of bigger roles to come," pronounces the WSJ, noting that Lemkau and Nachmann were added to the management committee back in 2015.

Separately, imagine building a reputation as a brilliant but fallible active trader, only to retire and realize there's a far easier way to manage money. This is what happened to Victor Haghani, a former Salomon Brothers and Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) fixed income trader, who's finally figured out that passive investing is best. These days, 55 year-old Haghani is far more zen than his "aggressive young" self and correspondingly keen to proselytize about the benefits of index tracking. "I don’t know what is going to happen next year or the year after,” he tells the Financial Times. “But now, knowing how I want to invest over a very long horizon is actually the easier part." Traders on Twitter suggest Haghani simply decided that he was rich enough already.


Nomura just hired Fred Jallot from Citi as head of its global markets division in Europe. Jallot was head of Citi's credit trading for EMEA. (Financial News) 

Big banks are planning to move 9,000 jobs from London to continental Europe in the next two years. (Reuters) 

Had Marine Le Pen won the French election, 30 companies who are allegedly preparing to move to France after Brexit would not have done so. (Reuters) 

How I went from zero to San Francisco software engineer in 12 months. (Medium) 

You can't multi-task, you can do rapid tasks sequentially. (Guardian)

Speed-dating for economists. (NPR) 

Your boss is not more stressed than you. (Vice) 



AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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