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Morning Coffee: Citigroup's unwanted staff are complaining about the way they were laid off. What happens when Millennium takes over your hedge fund

After cutting 7,000 people in a few months, Citi might be considered the expert in disassociating itself from its own staff. Another 10,000 cuts are due as the bank culls headcount in areas like technology and operations in the years to come, but some are suggesting that Citi might want to refine its processes and to be less harsh.   

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Employees at Citi's Irish office think layoffs were too abrasive. The Irish Business Post says they're unhappy with the "abrupt dismissal of individuals who have dedicated over two decades of service to Citi," and are urging the bank to adopt a "compassionate stance," and to engage in "meaningful discussions" over the "heartfelt issues," raised by the Irish employees who've been dumped

Citi is a US bank and its US employees, who are inured to such behaviour under America's "at will" employment, may wish their Irish colleagues fine, good luck with this approach. But Ireland is not America and it's possible Citi's Irish staff may be onto something.

The Business Post says Citi may have transgressed local labour laws when it put 168 staff at risk in Ireland. Irish employee representatives say they were supposed to receive information on the reason for the job cuts so that they could suggest alternatives. They say they didn't. They're also accusing Citi of seeming to target people who'd taken sick leave or announced recent pregnancies. 

Citi declined to comment for this article, but told the Business Post it had communicated clearly to employees and selected individuals who were cut objectively.

The gripes in Ireland extend to Citi's severance pay, which averaged around $37k each globally in the first quarter. Irish employees were offered four weeks' pay per year of service, but they want six weeks to match severance payments to local staff at Google, PayPal and KBC. The bank has not obliged.

It's not clear exactly who was laid off at Citi in Ireland. However, the Business Post reported previously that the 168 staff at risk were in the bank's services, banking and markets team, in the chief information office and in support functions. 

Only 100 of the 168 are actually going. No one seems to be focusing on that, though. Citi's Irish employment reps say the office has been stricken with "a widespread dissatisfaction that cannot be overlooked." The bank may want to cut staff elsewhere in the future.

Separately, if you work for a hedge fund acquired by Millennium, then Citi's treatment of its Irish staff may look fondly avuncular by comparison. 

Bloomberg reports that Millennium had it in mind to fire all but five portfolio managers at struggling hedge fund Weiss Multistrategy Advisors when it was considering rescuing it earlier this year. It also wanted to "wind down" the core staff.

Weiss reportedly had 119 employees and 61 investment professionals, suggesting 96% of people would have gone.

Millennium's approach came to nothing, and Weiss filed for bankruptcy proceedings in April. 100% of staff will disappear as a result.

Meanwhile...

Megan Boni, who made the viral TikTok about "looking for a man in finance," has landed a deal with Universal Music Group NV and given up her day job at an apparel company to pursue a career in content creation. (Bloomberg) 

Citi, HSBC and Barclays are asking staff back in the office five days a week. Citigroup is requiring about 600 US employees previously eligible to work remotely to commute to company offices full-time. (Fortune) 

After pulling offers to graduates with visas in the UK and accidentally sending them an inappropriate automated email, HSBC is considering offering them jobs in China and India instead. (Financial Times) 

Life as a junior at a law firm: "It must be said that the hours are long and clients expect us to be available 24/7. When I’m working on a multibillion-dollar deal, I’ll be lucky to get more than a couple of hours sleep a night for weeks on end. Some colleagues have even told me about riding the “magic roundabout”, where a company taxi drives you home and waits outside while you shower and change before heading back to the office to do it all again." (The Times)

Next year, UBS will reveal a list of three internal candidates to replace Sergio Ermotti. (Financial Times) 

Jain Global has been on a hiring push for the past few months to boost fundamental equity, commodity, credit, systematic, arbitrage, and macro teams. In APAC it will have a different, but undefined, strategy. (Financial News) 

The proportion of women in the top 1% of earners in the British finance industry has slipped to 19.4%, 0.26 percentage points lower than before the pandemic. (Bloomberg) 

JPMorgan was fined $200m for failing to capture data related to trades that its clients executed through at least 30 different trading venues. For one type of contract, JPMorgan failed to collect data on more than 99% of orders made by algorithmic trading firms. (WSJ) 

Ants that drink a caffeinated solution can locate sweet rewards faster than un-caffeinated ants, suggesting the drug boosts learning. (New Scientist) 

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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.)

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • FG
    FG62
    29 May 2024

    Coffee or not, isn’t an excuse but if it is time to work then so be it! Most of the time employees would utilize such an excuse just to kill time. No regards for the proper utilization of time management.

  • Po
    Popcorn
    29 May 2024

    Lol then go work for an Irish Bank.

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