Morning Coffee: The retired Goldman Sachs bankers for whom relaxation is not possible. Competitive Pret a Manger missions
When people leave some banks of the world, they go out and do something different. Take the Ben Leonard, the former HSBC FIG banker who's founded an organic wine company and a company to help first time buyers purchase a home. This, however, is often not the case with ex-Goldman Sachs bankers. 'Retirement' from Goldman Sachs is typically just a euphemism for a year or two on the sidelines before a new opportunity to prove oneself in banking comes along.
The latest ex-GS banker to re-materialize after after the shortest retirement in the world is Peter Enns, a man who spent 21 years at Goldman Sachs, latterly as chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs in Canada, and who supposedly retired last October. Not for long. Enns is now back as global head of the financial institutions group at HSBC, a bank that has been having a few problems of late - ever since some of its anonymous senior bankers went public with a memo about the alleged incompetence of their boss.
It's not just Enns. The market is awash with ex-Goldman bankers who were supposed to be retiring but didn't. Peter Selman, the former Goldman Sachs partner who's now running Deutsche's equities business is another case in point. It's partly semantics: no one senior ever gets fired from Goldman Sachs, they only 'retire' and look for new jobs. It's also a question of opportunity: when you leave a third tier bank, only fourth and fifth tier banks will be eager to hire you. When you leave somewhere like Goldman Sachs, all sorts of places want a piece of your action and what better way to heal a bruised ego than to parachute into a bank bursting for you to solve its problems. Call it superhero syndrome.
Enns may not be the last 'retired' Goldmanite to turn up at HSBC. The British bank clearly has a thing for ex-GS people, despite getting burned by Matthew Westerman, the ex-Goldman banker it hired in January 2017, who upset everyone with his aggressive approach. So far this year, HSBC says it's hired around 24 investment bankers net - discounting all those who've left in a harrumph; six new hires were announced last week. Retired Goldman bankers who are bored with golf and looking for a new challenge know where to turn.
Separately, Financial Times journalist Laura Noonan has been trying out the jogging meeting with ex-Morgan Stanley analyst Huw van Steenis. One female banker told her such things are best avoided: "I come from a banking background where the team walk to Pret can become an exercise in who can walk the quickest, who is the alpha male.” You might be best fetching lunch on your own.
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