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Morning Coffee: Sorry end for ex-Goldman VP who smoked weed most weekends. Asian bankers at forefront of summer cuts

In his early 30s, Brijesh Goel had it all. After starting his career at Deutsche Bank in New York, he joined Goldman Sachs aged 26 and was already a vice president on the structured credit team. Aged 36, he achieved a position at Apollo, the buyside firm with a reputation for indecently high pay. 

Yesterday, however, Goel, sunk his head in despair. He was convicted for conspiracy, securities fraud and obstruction of justice, a sentence that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. 

The source of his demise was a friendship with a Barclays trader, Akshay Niranjan, whom he met at business school in California. Bloomberg says the two men hung out together most weekends. They smoked a lot of weed. They attended music festivals. They also played squash while drunk, and it was during a squash game that Goel imparted his first trading tip to Niranjan.

Goel gave Niranjan seven tips in total, generating a total of $292k. But the FBI was onto them and Niranjan - who left Barclays in August last year, agreed to wear a wire and to testify against his friend.  A recorded conversation in a stairwell was played in court, with Goel stating: “F—-… This we need to delete. Did we put on any trade?... It has to be deleted. I don’t even have this chat.”

Niranjan won't be prosecuted under an agreement with the US government. Goel, however, now faces not only a long prison sentence, but deportation to India. It wasn't the weed or the drunken squash that directly did it, but he will now have plenty of time to lament his hedonistic interlude after his MBA. 

Separately, it seems that Asian bankers are particularly vulnerable to losing their jobs. Reuters reports that UBS will begin removing Credit Suisse's bankers in Asia starting from July, despite initial promises that the overlap between the two banks in the region would be limited.  At the same time, Reuters reports that JPMorgan is cutting 20 jobs in Asia, with bankers covering consumers, healthcare sectors and private capital markets all affected. This follows the decision to run its Asian ECM business out of EMEA for the time being. 

Meanwhile...

Lawyers earn more than bankers now. Some high performers at top firms earn more than $15 million, and an elite few get well over $20 million. (WSJ)

SoftBank's vision fund is preparing to layoff another 13% of its 349 people. (Bloomberg) 

Goldman's quantitative investment strategies team will run the firm's Multi-Manager Alternatives Fund starting September. People in Goldman's alternative investments and manager selection group will be replaced by quants. (Bloomberg) 

JPMorgan named Teresa Heitsenrether head of a new data and analytics that will focus on AI. She ran the Securities Services unit previously. (Bloomberg) 

Stephen Smith, Barclay's former co-head of global leveraged finance syndicate, is joining credit hedge fund Sona. (Hedgeweek)

Sam Morgan, a partner who leads fixed income, currencies and commodities sales for EMEA, will be running the business globally. (Financial News) 

Naveen Choppara, co-head of emerging market rates and forex trading in CEEMEA for Goldman Sachs, is joining Millennium. (Bloomberg) 

A trader left Shell because of its pivot back to oil and gas. (Bloomberg) 

Michal Katz is head of investment and corporate banking at Mizuho Americas, says it helps to have, 'the ability to view discomfort as an opportunity for growth.' (Bloomberg) 

A group o European bondholders wf Credit Suisse's European bondholders are suing its former executives. They say that Brady Dougan, Eric Varvel, Jim Amine and Tim O'Hara were 'sharp-elbowed New York investment bankers' who 'valued short-term gain over long-term trust.' (Bloomberg) 

John McDonnell, the former Labour shadow Chancellor, is calling for a tax on the profits of British banks to help people struggling to pay their mortgages. (Guardian) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • na
    narikannan
    23 June 2023

    Funny how every few years they throw a brown guy in jail for insider trading. Gives them an appearance of doing something.

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