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Morning Coffee: 22-year-old students flock to finance course enabling $158k salaries. Barclays' banker exits merely a flesh wound

If you're searching for a cheap route to a generous finance job, it's long been the case that top schools in France are worth a look. Yesterday's Financial Times report on the top Masters in Finance courses for newly graduated bachelors students with zero experience confirmed this: four French schools (ESCP, HEC, Essec, Skema) were in the top four; Edhec came 9th.

The French schools offer value for money. While the MSc in Finance at Imperial College Business School ranks 15th, costs $54k and will earn you a salary of $129k three years after graduation according to the FT, the winning MSc at ESCP costs a mere $30k and results in a comparable salary of $158k. ESCP's MSc also has the benefit of being taught in Paris and London and offering students two potential tracks: financial markets or investment banking. Former students work everywhere from Goldman Sachs to Rothschild. 

Unfortunately for students newly alert to ESCP's appeal, none of this has gone unnoticed. The school's new Dean tells the Financial Times that applications for the course have doubled this year; he omits to say whether places on the course have done the same.

Separately, Barclays' CEO C.S. Venkatakrishnan has been talking down the impact of all the senior Barclays bankers in the US who've left for UBS and elsewhere. “We’re losing a few investment bankers, but not that much more than what is normal annual turnover,” says Venkat. "There’s a little bit of musical chairs.”  

Barclays' little bit of musical chairs has so far seen 12 exits to UBS, plus more to Jefferies and Pickering Partners in Houston. The departures have sparked concerns that Barclays' US M&A business is being drained of the talent it needs to win deals. Someone there is clearly a little worried about it because the FT says Barclays' HR people have been issuing warnings to the defectors commanding them not to try to poach their former colleagues when they leave. 

Meanwhile...

JPMorgan is paying up to $290m without admitting any liability to around 150 victims of Jeffrey Epstein. 

In early 2021, Odey Asset Management gave the FCA an internal report that concluded the financier had at times behaved inappropriately with female staff. It said that Odey had been given a formal written warning by its firm’s executive committee and told to no longer communicate with female staff about non-work matters, nor invite female staff to lunch or engage in unwanted touching. Odey subsequently fired the executive committee and the FCA still has the case open. (Financial Times) 

James Gorman at Morgan Stanley and David Solomon at Goldman Sachs feel hopeful about the future. “My gut tells me, and this is probably not a good read but it served me pretty well over time I would say, I feel like we’ve bottomed on this. I just feel the tone is a little better,” said Gorman. Solomon said there are green shoots and things should pick up in 2024. (Financial Times) 

HSBC Innovation Banking, the unit which incorporates SVB, was formally launched Monday with more than 700 staff, including 650 in the UK and Scandinavia, 40 in the US, 20 in Israel and around a dozen in Hong Kong. It might grow even bigger. (Bloomberg) 

Bank of America reshuffled the leadership of its investment bank. Alex Bettamio, is now co-head of global investment banking alongside Thomas Sheehan. Faiz Ahmad is now co-head of global capital markets with Sarang Gadkari. (Reuters) 

UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti says 10% of Credit Suisse staff already left. (Bloomberg) 

Lex Greensill and four former Credit Suisse bankers have been named as suspects in a Swiss criminal case that is due to be formally opened this month. The names of the Credit Suisse bankers are mysteriously not mentioned. (FT) 

Credit Suisse people with UBS jobs include: Joanne Hannaford, former chief technology and operations officer; David Wildermuth, who has been named chief risk officer for the Americas; and Michael Ebert who is now sole head of Credit Suisse's investment bank as well as head of the Americas for UBS’s investment bank. (FT) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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