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Humility, and selective humanity.

Morning Coffee: The 43 year-old star banker who flies economy and is loved by his team. Christian Sewing's ire

Now that Iqbal Khan has left Credit Suisse and is sitting at home twiddling his thumbs after failing to get the top job at Julius Baer, there's more time to lament his disappearance. And lament seems to be the right word - because not only was Khan very good at his job (profits increased 80% in the private banking unit at Credit Suisse during his tenure), he seems to have been a nice sort guy. 

In a long article on the young and handsome Khan, Bloomberg ennumerates the ways this niceness was expressed. There was a lack of grandiosity: Khan flew economy from Switzerland to Mexico in 2016 in order to hire a team of 12+ relationship managers from UBS. There was keen observation of other people's physical needs: Khan noted a wealthy client without a chair at an event run by a competitor and made sure he was seated. And there was solicitude for the wellbeing of others: Khan gave unsolicited career advice to the career-confused son of a Russian client and sent condolences to a rich widow when his own relationship managers neglected to.

Undoubtedly there were also flashes of naked ambition and the sort of non-pathological narcissism that leads you to a top banking job before you're even 40 and then prompts you to start rattling the cage of the chief executive when you think you should be moving even higher. - 'People who know' Khan told Bloomberg that he can also be, "confident, even overly so," and that he's capable of 'shaking up hierarchies', which might be a euphemism for being an upstart.  

Either way, Khan seems to have been the sort of hard-working (middle of the night conference calls were a thing), successful and yet selectively humane person that most banks would love to hire. And now that he's gone from Credit Suisse, he seems to be missed.  - In a move that should surely be studied by any banker looking for an encomium, Khan reportedly 'dropped in' on a townhall meeting held by his low-key successor Philipp Wehle to much applause. CEO Tidjane Thiam also praised Khan on a call with Credit Suisse's wealth management executives - a bit begrudgingly, surely.

Separately, don't mess with Christian Sewing. Following those photos of tailors leaving Deutsche Bank on Monday after measuring-up bankers for £1.5k (or was it £1.2k?) suits, Sewing told Handelsblatt that he called the two bankers whose measurements were taken to say that their actions were not in line with Deutsche's values. "The two colleagues will not forget my call," said Sewing.

In the same interview, Sewing said not all 18,000 job cuts will be in Deutsche's investment bank, and that the number includes cuts already happening at Postbank. Handelsblatt observed the Postbank cuts account for 6,000 people. 


Citigroup hired some bankers in South Africa but they have no deals to do. (Bloomberg) 

"Being out late with clients and getting limited sleep may have contributed to my poor health diagnosis...It became this perpetual cycle of not sleeping, then worrying about not hitting my targets and not getting paid or promoted . . . It was draining me. I wanted to learn and grow but I just felt like a hamster in a wheel.” (Financial Times) 

Trump says Deutsche is “now badly written about and maligned." (WSJ) 

Deutsche Bank is also implicated in Goldman Sachs' 1MDB scandal. In fact, in the most recent version of the Justice Department’s civil asset-forfeiture complaint, in which it details the 1MDB scheme at length, Deutsche Bank is mentioned 167 times. Goldman Sachs is mentioned 56 times. (WSJ)

Middle aged Chinese bankers are wearing Under Armour to seem young. (Global Capital) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Ka
    8 October 2019

    I just love the last line of the 3rd paragraph of this article, which reads:

    'People who know' Khan told Bloomberg that he can also be, "confident, even overly so," and that he's capable of 'shaking up hierarchies', which might be a euphemism for being an upstart.

    So he did last week.

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