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Morning Coffee: The ideal investment banking job for the summer months. Angst of Kweku Adoboli

As investment banks like Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan consolidate M&A sector teams into something larger and more generic (eg. Deutsche in Europe) or something smaller and more tech-focused (eg. J.P. Morgan in China), it's easy to forget that some banks still have the sorts of sector teams that come with added benefits, particularly at this time of year. Struan Robertson, a new hire at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has appeared as a reminder.

Robertson has joined BAML as chairman of its real estate, gaming and lodging investment banking business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As a dyed-in-the-wool real estate banker, Robertson seems to have spent part of his career specializing in the consolidation of the holiday resort market - so much so that after a twenty year stint in Morgan Stanley's real estate advisory business, he left to work for a client - Host Hotels and Resorts, a real estate investment trust which owns, "luxury and upper-upscale hotels," including brands like Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Sheraton.

Like any area of the economy, luxury resorts are prone to consolidation, and real estate bankers like Robertson can make a living from their M&A activities. Earlier this year, for example, Marriott Vacations purchased timeshare company ILG in a cash and stock acquisition worth $4.7bn, in a deal that involved bankers at J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Moelis & Co.

While holiday resort mergers clearly sadly involve working on financial models by the poolside, real estate bankers specializing in the high end lodging sector can still expect some exposure to their clients' product. - All the more so if, like  Robertson, they move on to work for the client, or leave for private equity funds with upper-upscale hotel portfolios that need to be managed. Beats working on industrials.

Even so, not every real estate deal involves a hotel in the Caribbean. Robertson's own career is a reminder of this too: after leaving Host Hotels and Resorts, he spent three years working for the Global Student Accommodation Group.

Separately, the sorry story of Kweku Adoboli drags on. Having once earned £360k in a year as a trader at UBS before losing $2.3bn in dodgy trades and spending over three years in prison, Adoboli now faces deportation from the UK to Ghana. Yesterday, his appeal against his removal failed. Adoboli had argued that he's a reformed character who does voluntary work and talks to young traders about the danger of risk and the wisdom of making the right choices. Now, his only hope is a judicial review in the high court, where he's arguing that the British government has acted unfairly against him.


Ray Dalio is turning Bridgewater into a partnership comprised of a handful of 'proper' seed partners with an as yet undisclosed financial stake in the business and 50 or so provisional partners who own phantom stock. It's all a bit of a change as Ray Dalio's and his co-chief investment officers Bob Prince and Greg Jensen, traditionally made all the final decisions. (New York Times) 

Ex-Credit Suisse trader Nas Al-Khudairi is becoming the man to know at Barclays. He's just been made head of all electronic trading. Barclays also hired Mauricio Sada-Paz from BAML as global head of electronic product and distribution across fixed income, currencies and commondites (FICC). (Financial News)

Four of the five candidates who were interviewed for the Bank of England's monetary policy committee were women. The bank says it chose the man on merit. (Bloomberg). 

Female CEO at Deloitte inexplicably fails to receive a nomination for a second four year term. (Wall Street Journal) 

UBS added nine MDs to its investment banking team in London this year. The latest arrival is Julie Sonies, a former MD in Deutsche's consumer and retail industry focused investment banking business. (Financial News) 

J.P. Morgan hired Tobias Heilmaier, Goldman Sachs’ former head of chemicals for EMEA, as co-head of corporate finance coverage in Germany, a newly created role. (Global Capital) 

Sally Dewar, chief Brexit advisor at J.P. Morgan is off to a law firm instead. (Financial News)

Goldman bankers' fateful lunch of abalone and suckling pig at the Taste Paradise restaurant. (Bloomberg) 

Citi seems to have made its head of global securities finance equities trading redundant. (SecuritiesLendingTimes)

Beware the hedge fund manager renting out a fancy townhouse with rats in the ceiling panels. (Bloomberg) 

How it is that trains on London's Central Line reach temperatures at which it's illegal to transport cows, sheep and pigs. (New Scientist) 

The median price for a single-family home in the Bay Area is now $935k. A family earning $117k now qualifies as "low income" in the region. (CBS)


Someone mixed a David Solomon (DJ D-Sol) beat with Ray Dalio's "Principles for Success" cartoon video and, well, now we have this:

— Tracy Alloway (@tracyalloway) June 28, 2018

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • An
    29 June 2018

    Re the WSJ article, I don't think there is a suggestion that the Deloitte CEO isn't being nominated for a second term because she is female (as the article says, 3 out of 4 or 75% of the heads of the big 4 are female, or will be come 1st July). The article actually says that although the departure of the CEO is unexpected, one term CEOs have been the norm in recent years.
    The article does actually provide a possible explanation for the lack of nomination, namely that Deloitte may be moving towards a consulting focus rather than an audit one (the latter being where the current CEO's background is). It also says that the current CEO may yet be nominated for a second term.

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