Daily Archives: May 17, 2014

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No more Wolf of Wall Street-style swaggering, says Deutsche Bank’s co-investment head Colin Fan in a rather damning video

No more Wolf of Wall Street-style swaggering, says Deutsche Bank’s co-investment head Colin Fan in a rather damning video

Even after bank failures, bailouts, rate rigging and a ‘Great Recession’, investment bankers are still renowned for being spoilt, sexist (and any other –ist you can think of) playboys. And it would appear, if this video sent to all of Deutsche Bank’s traders and sales people is anything to go by, that popular perception might, for once, be bang on.

‘Let’s be clear: our reputation is everything. Being boastful, indiscreet and vulgar is not OK,’ warned Colin Fan, the co-head of the firm’s investment bank, in the video obtained by the FT.
 
‘It will have serious consequences for your career. And I have lost patience on this issue,’ the Canadian continued. How ominous.

……….

Here are some of the choicest examples of Deustche bankers’ past ‘indiscretions’:

1. FLASHING CASH

Bankers have lots of money, but that’s no need to rub it in others’ faces. Deutsche Bank’s top bods agreed too, suspending a staff member who was allegedly waving a £10 note out of their London office windows at doctors and nurses marching against NHS cuts below.

2. BLATANT SEXISM

‘Maybe I should get pregnant [too] so I can work from home’ – just one of the delightful remarks Heather Zhao, a vice president at the bank in New York, was subjected to after learning she was pregnant in early 2012. Zhao was then fired nine days before returning from maternity leave, according to a lawsuit she filed against her former employer last year.

3. YET MORE SEXISM

Another New York banker, Yosefa Shliselberg, was told to leave in 2011 two months after complaining to HR about sexual discrimination and harassment. The bank claimed she had neglected her work by focusing on setting up a women’s organisation, despite being told she had ‘remarkable analytic skills’ and ‘deep knowledge’ in performance reviews.

4. MARKET MANIPULATION IS SOOO FUNNY

Joking about being able to fix markets doesn’t look so hilarious when the FBI turns upon your doorstep brandishing transcripts of said joke. It looks even less funny when your employer then fires you for it, which is reportedly what happened to New York-based fx director Robert Wallden earlier this year (MT has a great guide to fx rigging if you’re serious about it btw).

5. ER, LIBOR FIXING (AND CRIMES AGAINST SPELLING)

Guillame Adolph, a yen derivatives trader, was reportedly sacked by Deutsche Bank in 2011 for his very poor chat with Tom Hayes, the UBS trader who allegedly fixed Libor. Said poor chat supposedly goes as follows, according to a US Justice Department filing:
 
Hayes: cld you do me a favour would you mind moving you 6m libor up a bit today, i have a gigantic fix
Adolph: I can do taht
 
Adolph (next day): u happy with me
Hayes: thx

6. DID WE MENTION SEXISM?

Lest we forget, the German bank’s former chief exec was also guilty of a rather poor choice of words while public speaking. The Deutsche Bank board ‘will be more colorful and prettier’ with a woman, Josef Ackerman said in a results presentation back in 2010. Oof.

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MAILBAG: Wells Fargo’s corporate decisions are a joke

MAILBAG: Wells Fargo’s corporate decisions are a joke

I got a great deal on “No Laughing Matter: A Collection of Political Jokes” at the latest Baraboo library book sale. Its authors contend that jokes can be a method of coping with an unsavory situation. Jokes, they say, show that people care and that “they entertain hope” for change.

How ironic that shortly after buying this book I began hearing not political jokes, but banker jokes. These jokes were aimed not so much at Baraboo’s branch of the Wells Fargo bank but at the Wells Fargo corporate office bankers, who are located in North Carolina.

The Carolina corporate office has arrogated, from the Baraboo branch, administration of the Chester Bible trust, which provides scholarships for Baraboo High School graduates.

Since doing so, Wells Fargo has charged unreasonable legal and accounting fees, according to the Baraboo Community Scholarship Committee. The BCSC, which intends to administer the trust for free, has gone to court to wrest control from Wells Fargo.

When the local branch administered the fund in 2010, the bank charged $8,000 in fees while distributing $36,000 in scholarships. The Wells Fargo North Carolina bankers administering the fund in 2013 charged $27,000 in fees while distributing “about $12,000.” (No, I did not transpose those numbers.)

But I digress, back to the banker jokes now making the rounds in Baraboo. A couple of them are aquatic in nature.

Joke No. 1: What’s the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe?

A tragedy is a ship full of North Carolina Wells Fargo bankers administering the Chester Bible Baraboo High School scholarship trust fund going down in a storm; a catastrophe is when they can all swim.

Joke No. 2: If O. J. Simpson and a North Carolina Wells Fargo banker administering the Chester Bible Baraboo High School scholarship trust fund were both drowning and you could save only one, would you go to lunch or read the paper?

A couple more are non-aquatic jokes although the last does involve swimming — sort of.

Joke No. 3: Three guys walk into a bakery; a North Carolina Wells Fargo banker administering the Chester Bible Baraboo High School trust fund, a government employee, and a tea partier. The lady behind the counter puts out a dozen gingersnap cookies. The North Carolina Wells Fargo banker administering the Chester Bible Baraboo High School scholarship trust fund rapaciously pockets 11 of the 12 cookies and then tells the tea partier that the greedy government worker is trying to steal his cookie.

Joke No. 4: What’s the difference between a North Carolina Wells Fargo banker administering the Chester Bible Baraboo High School trust fund and a sperm?

A sperm has a one-in-a-million chance of turning into a human being.

If it’s true that “Jokes show that people care and that ‘they entertain hope’ for change,” I hope the folks at Wells Fargo get the message and make the necessary change.

Gordon Gekko famously said in the movie “Wall Street,” that “Greed is good.” But it ain’t especially great for public relations.

Robert Reid, Wisconsin Dells

Libor rigging: ‘You’ll be looked after in Vegas. I promise you.’

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Who’s ruling the hedge world? You’ll never guess

Who’s ruling the hedge world? You’ll never guess

In the nearly $3 trillion hedge fund universe, the rich keep getting richer and the big keep getting bigger.

As it has in previous years, investor money in 2013 kept flowing to the largest names in the space, with the top 100 controlling $1.5 trillion, according to the latest numbers from Institutional Investor’s Alpha Hedge Fund 100 list.

That’s an increase of 13 percent for the year and about 25 percent over the past two years.

Ray Dalio and Bridgewater Associates continued to lead the way, with $87.1 billion, while JPMorgan Asset Management maintained its No. 2 slot with $59 billion. The biggest mover in the top 10 was value investment guru Cliff Asness and AQR Capital Management, in Greenwich, Connecticut, which surged from the 14 spot all the way up to No. 7 as its assets grew 47 percent to $29.9 billion.

The trend toward large firms is curious in that many of them have shut their doors to new clients, including Citadel, Convexity Capital Management, D.E. Shaw & Co. and Viking Global Investors. A few other large firms, such as David Tepper’s Appaloosa, returned money to investors. (In rankings released last week, Tepper led hedge fund manager pay in 2013 at $3.5 billion.)