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Morning Coffee: 22 year-old banker takes holiday, questions meaning of life. Best MBA for big compensation in finance

Beware New Zealand

As we emerge, blinking, from spring into summer holiday season with the chirrupy call of working in private equity in the background, young bankers are at increasing risk of having their heads turned. It's not PE funds that are the danger. When you work in banking, the summer break is a double-edged sword. - After a taste of sun, sleep, and the sorts of people who don't bat an eyelid when you inform them that you have an exceptional academic record and work for a major U.S. financial institution, your enthusiasm for job may wane, perhaps irrevocably.

Business Insider has one such sorry tale from London and Germany (but with a tang of universality which means it could also be played out in New York or Hong Kong). It concerns Anne-Kathrin Oelmann, a former top student at Germany's elite WHU business university, who achieved a position in Bank of America's London analyst class paying $120k a year only to leave again six months later. Anne-Kathrin's holiday seems to have been partly to blame.

She went to New Zealand. There, Anne-Kathrin encountered people with the sort of 'relaxed way of life' that makes 100 hour weeks in banking seem like a particularly pernicious form of masochism. "The experienced changed me," she says. Inspired, she began wearing red spotty dresses to work and living with a group of hard-partying non-bankers who went to concerts in the evening. It was the beginning of the end of Anne's existence as a fresh-faced young analyst in a beige jacket and black turtle-neck.

Today, Oelmann is a considerably more impoverished DJ with permed hair and a taste for wearing blue jumpsuits and black masking tape instead of a bra.  She's worked at Burning Man, gay fetish parties, and corporate events in museums. "Ask yourself whether the job to which you devote your life really fulfills your true needs, or whether you're just following an ideal that has nothing to do with your "real you," she advises.

Will David Solomon, the next CEO at Goldman Sachs (who also likes DJ-ing) go the same way? What  about all the other junior bankers who take holidays in the next few months? If you want to remain steadfast, the answer is probably to holiday where all the other young bankers go: think Lake Como, Lugano, Ibiza and the Amalfi Coast.  - You'll find plenty of party animals from Goldman Sachs there.

Separately, if you still want to do an MBA in the age of STEM, you should probably choose the course at Stanford Graduate School of Business. The Financial Times' new ranking of the best MBAs for finance puts Stanford in first place. 38% of Stamford MBA graduates go into finance and they achieve an average starting salary of $252k - 124% higher than before they took the course.


It was a conversation with a friend in a pub that changed Andy Carr’s life. Having worked in marketing and communications for an infrastructure fund in the City of London for five years, he felt that there must be more to life. Today he builds bespoke bikes in France. (Financial Times) 

How to earn $625k at Barclays (maximize P&L, minimize risk, out-perform peers and hope for a good year). (Bloomberg) 

Fidelity's brokerage employees have been scamming a company program which reimbursed them for 20% of the purchase of computer equipment up to $10k. They were returning the equipment, and keeping the reimbursement.  (Bloomberg)

Credit Suisse wants the British government to repay the £239m it paid in the 2010 bonus tax, which it say was "illegal state aid." (Daily Express) 

Deutsche Bank is relocating from 60 Wall St to new space at 1 Columbus Circle, on the south-west corner of Central Park. This coincides with a partial retreat from the U.S. for the German bank. (Financial Times) 

Headhunters say U.S. banks in Frankfurt want to poach Deutsche Bank's compliance staff. (Financial News)  

Macquarie made some big hires for European equity research (Royal Bank of Canada’s Peter Lenardos as its head of financials research, as well as KBW’s Hari Sivakumaran, who will cover European banks), but it's firing people too. (Financial Times)

Age discrimination is a big problem at Chinese technology companies. (Bloomberg 

Facebook is sucking up all the academics working in artificial intelligence for its new AI labs. (New York Times)

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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