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Morning Coffee: Finance executive retires following prostitute allegations. Major fire at Barclays

This may simply be coincidence, but if so it's one of those pretty strange ones, like winning the lottery or meeting Morgan Freeman in the cleaning products aisle of a supermarket. - A man who shares a middle initial, date of birth and residence near Jupiter, Florida, with John Havens, formerly of Morgan Stanley and Citi, was arrested last week for soliciting a prostitute. And now that actual John Havens has retired. 

The Financial Times reported that Havens retired at the weekend. He was latterly chairman of hedge fund Napier Park Capital, Citi's former hedge fund, but was best known for his two decade-long career at Morgan Stanley during which he rose to become head of institutional equities, and then for three years in charge of Citi's investment banking and trading business from 2011.

Havens' finance career was about as illustrious as they come. So why would he allegedly have been hanging around a 2.5 star provincial massage parlor that stands accused of enslaving Asian women and compelling them to perform sex acts on clients?

Havens denies it. The Financial Times notes that John Havens' attorney pleaded not guilty to the charges raised on February 25th. Bloomberg called his house and the man who answered a phone number listed for Havens said, “I have no idea what you are talking about,” before hanging up and leaving additional calls unanswered.

A John Havens was not alone in seeming to frequent the Orchids of Asia Day Spa and massage parlor. New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, has also been charged with two counts of soliciting sex with a prostitute after allegedly being caught on camera at the same establishment. Kraft too categorically denies any engagement in illegal activity.

Orchids of Asia isn't just about massages with happy endings (although Business Insider found a Yelp review saying this was part of the service) - it also offers antiaging facials, waxing, acne treatment, and 11 different types of massages, including a "Tokyo Ultimate 4 Hand" massage. Given that Havens is 62, it's possible that he was simply trying to alleviate his wrinkles. Alternatively, and if the charges do stick, questions will inevitably be raised about the culture among senior finance professionals - and how it can be that a man who ran a major U.S. investment bank which is committed to improving diversity, could be found frequenting an establishment that allegedly forces trafficked-women into sex?

Separately, Barclays was on fire on Friday night/Saturday morning, and not because of the Qatar court case involving its former executives but because it was actually on fire. The fire brigade was called to a fire at the top of the 33 storey skyscraper occupied by Barclays in London's Canary Wharf at 00.39 on Saturday morning. It took 60 fire fighters over an hour to put out the fire, which was apparently caused by an air conditioning unit. Thick plumes of smoke were seen wafting across the city. 


Fewer than 20% of hedge fund professionals are women. (NYPost) 

Santander offered Andrea Orcel a position on one of its advisory boards at a, 'higher salary than was typical for an advisory board post at the group as a way of matching the salary he would have received as CEO.' (Financial News) 

Andrea Orcel told Santander he didn't want that job. (Financial News) 

Profits at Man Group fell 35% last year. “2018 was a more difficult year for the asset management industry, characterised by periods of higher volatility which impacted performance across asset classes and investment styles.” (Financial News) 

Peter O’Higgins, who joined controversial fintech Revolut as CFO in 2016 after more than a decade as an investment banker at JPMorgan, stepped down. Revolut said O'Higgins' exit had nothing to do with the company's recent compliance issues and accusations of money laundering. (Financial Times) 

London Stock Exchange is cutting 250 staff in 2019 as it tries to cut costs. (Reuters) 

How to make partner in a law firm. "You essentially have to wait for a partner to retire/die/seriously f*ck up before you get the nod." (Roll on Friday) 

How did elite American men transform themselves into the world's premier workaholics? In 1980, the highest-earning men actually worked fewer hours per week than middle-class and low-income men. (Atlantic) 

It's not easy when you only earn £200k ($265k). “Even on what looks like a very large salary, it is difficult to put three children through private school and have them board.” (Financial Times) 

A VP at Goldman Sachs is a volunteer for the London ambulance service. "We primarily attend to patients who have serious or life-threatening injuries or illnesses." (Instagram) 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available. Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • An
    4 March 2019

    From reading the NY Post article, it seems that discrimination is only a small part of the reason for less than 50% of hedge fund professionals being women, and there are other, more significant, reasons.

  • Ro
    Rob Carver
    4 March 2019

    Barclays building is 32 floors, not 133. 133 floors would make it the second tallest building in the world.

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