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Ex-banker succeeds where politicians couldn't. When hedge fund managers struggle.

Morning Coffee: The most important ex-banker in the world (maybe). Hedge fund managers scrape by on $390m

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron is officially the bold new face who stopped populism succeeding in France, overcoming far right candidate Marine Le Pen to the presidency barely a year after forming his own political party En Marche!. Even more impressively, he's a former banker who managed to win over the French public.

He did, of course, join Rothschild in 2008 aged 30 having previously worked as a civil servant. If outgoing (and incredibly unpopular) president François Holland was a failed journalist, Macron was - by some accounts - a pretty decent banker. He did, of course, 'merely' work for Rothschild, and was told by friends: “You’re conscious that banking is not any kind of job? And Rothschild not any kind of bank?”. Macron, however, had a “gift for empathy” among banking clients, and was known for asking around when he didn't understand something rather than, say, looking it up.

Macron was known for getting amongst the crowds during his campaign to confront his critics head on. In banking, he gained a reputation for always saying "thank you" and relying on his intelligence to muddle through. Empathy, according to senior bankers, is the secret to getting ahead in banking - it clearly also helps if you're confronting angry punters on the campaign trail. He defeated Le Pen by 65.5% to 34.5%, according to the latest results available at the time of writing.

Traders have been working through the night at Barclays, UBS, BNP Paribas, Société Générale, HSBC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch and extra staff have been drafted in to cover the election aftermath, according to The Telegraph. Macron's election is likely to bolster markets in the short-term - more of a sign of relief than a jump for joy - but Bloomberg suggests that he faces an uphill struggle achieving genuine economic growth in the long-term.

More immediately, Paris is suddenly back on the map as a location for relocating banking jobs from London. The political instability surrounding France - and the possibility of a far right, inward looking president - has meant that Paris has been pushed the edge of the Brexit conversation. In recent months more firms have mentioned the possibility of moving to Luxembourg than Paris. Suddenly, dislocated French traders could be eyeing a move home.

There may be merely a 'handful' of hedge fund billionaires, but most in this exclusive list are getting richer. Hedge funders are the only financiers to be given their own category in the Sunday Times Rich List (private equity, anyone?). Top of the pile is Bluecrest Capital Management CEO Michael Platt, who according to the ranking brought in a cool £300m ($390m) last year. This is, of course, a phenomenal amount of money, but is around half the £600m Platt made in 2015. Still, it's around twice the earnings of his nearest rival - David Harding, CEO of quant hedge fund Winton Capital Management. Alan Howard, co-founder of Brevan Howard, lost £460m in 2015, but managed to stem the losses this year. Crispin Odey, who heads up Odey Asset Management, and his wife Nichola Pease lost £125m.

Platt's hedge fund has only been managing his own money and that of its employees since December last year. Maybe this is the way to go.


"He benefited from an amazingly perfect alignment of the stars." (Financial Times)

Brexit will see "low thousands" of jobs lost, rather than a "great move", says the City of London's new policy chief (Reuters)

The effects of Brexit will take four years, says Lloyds of London boss (The Times)

Blankfein on Brexit: "It will stall, it might backtrack a bit, it just depends on a lot of things about which we are uncertain and I know there isn't certainty at the moment." (BBC)

'50 Cent', the investor buying insurance against a financial meltdown, is actually a British fund manager (Financial Times)

£80k ($104k): The new benchmark for being rich, according to the Labour Party (Telegraph)

Jes Staley is on a final warning (The Times)

Citigroup analysts can take a year out working for a non-profit organisation for 60% of their pay (Economist)

The second quarter is slowing (Financial Times)

HSBC's Samir Assaf said the first quarter of last year was "not normal", so comparisons should not be made about the supposedly stellar Q1 this year (Financial News)

“You get these bonus cheques, but there’s no way you can use the money, only maybe when you retire. I’ve spoken to so many people over the years and all they want to do is open a pub in Cornwall. But they never do because they never have enough money." (Observer)

Never be yourself at work, because your real self could change tomorrow (BBC)


AUTHORPaul Clarke

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