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Morning Coffee: The Goldman Sachs bankers flocking to Credit Suisse. Hedge fund’s (unintentionally?) hilarious job ad

The alumni of Goldman Sachs have a certain reputation on the Street for mentioning that they used to work at Goldman Sachs, with the perhaps surprising exception of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who doesn’t even mention it on his CV.  They also have a tendency to tell you how things used to be done so much better at Goldman Sachs, a habit which does not always lead to popularity on their new teams.

However, if you’re Credit Suisse, you might be in a receptive mood to hear a lot of advice and stories about how Goldman handles things, particularly on the operations and risk management side.  That was certainly the idea when they hired David Wildermuth earlier this year to be their new Chief Risk Officer and Joanne Hannaford to be the CTO.

Now, Wildermuth has decided to bring across some more Goldman people.  Nico Friedman, formerly the head of Global Markets Credit Risk for GS, will join Credit Suisse to be CRO for the markets and investment banking business units, while Craig Bricker, who “explores and explains risk with data” is coming across to set up a risk analytics group there.

So the CRO will have at least a few people around who will laugh at his Lloyd Blankfein anecdotes.  It’s often a slightly dangerous situation from a management point of view for a new senior manager to recruit too many new executives from his old firm; it’s quite easy to create the impression of a clique and to make the existing staff feel like they’re being left out.  But on this occasion it might be fine as there seem to still be plenty Credit Suisse people at high levels too.

Ben Wilkinson, the incumbent CRO of the CS investment bank, is being moved across to the same role in the Wealth Management division.  Normally this might look like a bit of a demotion, but when one considers where the problems started with Greensill and Archegos, it’s arguable that in Credit Suisse it’s at least as important a risk management job.  It’s also one which probably needs an insider in it given the unique nature of the CS franchise, something which is also true of the new “reputational risk” team, to be led by Anne-Claude Rouiller.

Building a new risk management culture for Credit Suisse is what Wildermuth was hired to do, and although it’s unlikely to be possible or desirable to simply copy the Goldman Sachs system and expect it to work in a different context, there’s one Goldman maxim that’s likely to be heard round the corridors of Paradeplatz.  That’s the phrase “long term greedy”, meant to encapsulate the principle that chasing returns too hard always ends up being counterproductive.  Since everyone on the risk management floor will have CS stock options, they’ve got a strong incentive to work together.

Elsewhere, yesterday afternoon a quite extraordinary job ad was posted on Linkedin.  Apparently, hedge fund Rokos Capital is looking for a “VIP Support Engineer” to cover “a wide estate of audio-visual services across properties worldwide, principally involving Apple devices” for “a senior member of our partnership board and their family”.  To get the job, you need a degree from a good university, commitment to travelling to “offices and home premises across the world” and a “comprehensive understanding” of iTunes, Family Sharing, HomePod and Apple TV.

Although it also mentions that Rokos needs someone to “participate in the management and support of our wider corporate infrastructure”, this ad really does sound like a multi-billion dollar hedge fund is hiring people to recover kids’ iPad passwords.  It also sounds like it might be a wind-up.  We notice that Andrew Brown, the hedge fund’s Chief Operating Officer, announced his “very amicable” departure yesterday, and it is not entirely impossible that the ad was posted as something of an in-joke.  If so, it’s commendably subtle – at the time of writing, it’s had 66 applicants.

Meanwhile …

One interesting aspect of the Credit Suisse capital raise seems to be that as the bank develops a closer relationship with long term shareholders in the Qatar Investment Authority, they’re also planning to start hiring for a “tech hub” in Doha. (FT)

Somewhat against the general trend, UBS is closing down “in person operations” for its advisory business in the Middle East.  There will still be a physical presence for wealth management and trading, but in the future, bankers from other jurisdictions will be doing deals on a fly-in-fly-out basis. (Bloomberg)

The Odyssey Partners survey records that “top tier boutiques” seem to have won the epic struggle for the Class of 2021 junior bankers – as well as recruiting staff with a higher Grade Point Average than the bulge bracket, their juniors gave them a higher score in the “experience rating”.  Shame they’ll all be off to private equity in two years, really. (Business Insider)

Henrik Renstrom has left Citi to be head of equities block trading at BNP Paribas Exane, and will be sitting in its London office to do so. (Bloomberg)

Someone spent a year pretending to be a student at Stanford University and even living in one of its dorms before getting caught. If he’d only lasted long enough, he might have got VC funding. (Stanford Daily)

It might be a case of “never quite so easy when you’re not at a big bank” or it might just be a case of “timing is everything”, but Hamza Lessouguer’s Arini Capital is down for the year so far.  The fund apparently had a good October and has recovered half the losses, but Credit Suisse might be slightly relieved that they never went through with the plan to seed an internal hedge fund for him. (Bloomberg)

On a client trip to Sydney, Jefferies President Brian Friedman gave an interview in which he mused on the last two decades since he and Rich Handler decided to go for global growth in 2001. (AFR)

No deals, a falling market, geopolitical uncertainty and not much respect – bankers at the Hong Kong Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit are feeling a bit unloved. (Bloomberg)

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AUTHORDaniel Davies Insider Comment

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