Popular culture

Morning Coffee: The $ 200 Million Aspirants of Credit Suisse. End of a retirement season for the best bankers

Earlier in the year we noticed that being a Alert launcher was one of the most lucrative career niches in investment banking and gave some tips on how to get into this hugely rich pay pool. The biggest difficulty, as far as we can tell, is that this really is a “best dressed first standing” kind of career. There is a large amount of money available for precisely one corporate mischief whistleblower. The second person to notify might get a significantly reduced payment, but the third and subsequent ones might not even be granted immunity from prosecution.

This means that a potential whistleblower should expect a rough start to their career, most of which will be spent hanging out, working for a bonus like a normal banker, plaintively hoping that someone nearby will start to. do something illegal to report. Unsurprisingly, it appears that some bankers have been frustrated by this, and a group of former Credit Suisse bankers tried to get their hands on a previous scandal that the bank had already settled.

The idea – and it was apparently rejected by a court this week – was to go back to the 2014 tax evasion scandal, claiming that CS had done a few more bad things than covered by its 2.6 settlement. billions of dollars. Specifically, they found a CS client who was convicted of tax evasion involving $ 200 million in undeclared assets, and claimed that meant the settlement should have been bigger. The US False Claims Act allows private citizens to sue companies on behalf of the US government and keep a portion of the proceeds if they win.

In this case, it appears the claim is leading nowhere – the US court ruled that there was no direct connection between the amount of wrongdoing exposed and the amount of the settlement and fine agreed. (Bankers who remember the 2010s may recall that when it came to fines imposed on foreign investment banks, there was also not much relationship between the requirements of the Department of Justice and any other element based on reality). But just because it didn’t work this time around doesn’t mean it may never work, and lawyers for former CS employees are apparently appealing.

So if you feel like you’ve missed the boat on a potentially profitable whistleblower, don’t give up hope. Keep all the incriminating evidence in your desk drawer or personal Dropbox – it could still be worth something 10 years from now. You might even consider making offers to your coworkers for any evidence they might have, of crimes in which you were not personally involved. As in all other sectors of the industry, whistleblowing is likely to evolve in cycles, and although it seems old-fashioned, one day the climate is set to change so that the skimming of a part of the criminal settlements is to again the most lucrative thing in the bank. It might sound like a slightly cynical and shady way to get rich, but hey, compared to what? It is investment banking after all.

Elsewhere, every December brings news that some of the big names of yesteryear have decided to move on, leaving the old ones to talk about the “big days” and the young bankers to say things like “I’m sorry, I don’t. really not understand what noise is ”. Abby Joseph Cohen, for example, will leave Goldman Sachs to become a professor at the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University. It’s a real “only 90s kids will remember” moment.

It’s hard to remember that in the old days, the idea that tech companies with no income could be worth anything was surprising and controversial. It’s almost as hard to remember that during the Internet boom’s first boom, bankers suddenly started appearing on TV news and magazine covers. (It’s even pretty hard to remember that TV news and magazine covers meant you were famous). During this period, Abby Cohen was one of the quintessential famous bankers; Although she has continued to be a valued member of Goldman’s highly rated strategy team over the past two decades, a banker working today is unlikely to reach her level of popular culture awareness. . His departure from the industry is more than a moment of nostalgia for bankers who remember Nirvana, Seinfeld and Beanie Babies; it’s a reminder that finance itself was cool.

during this time

As has been widely rumored, Eric Varvel has accepted his departure from Credit Suisse in the aftermath of the Greensill affair (and possibly a “style and strategy disagreement” with Antonion Horta-Osorio). Negotiations over the exit plan have apparently been quite tricky and could result in substantial clawbacks – potentially up to $ 10 million – on deferred compensation from previous years. (FT)

In addition to retirements, December is the season for big promotions. As the effects of the departure of Tom Montag and Sanaz Zaimi in his wake continue to be felt at Bank of America, Snigdha Singh and Jan Smorczewski are the new co-heads of EMEA FICC trading, Philippe Trouve adding the income securities fixed to his current role as head of equities trading in the Paris hub. (Financial news)

One of the rankings you don’t necessarily want to appear in – the Goldman Sachs 95-hour workweek presentation case has become PR Week’s top 13 corporate communications disasters in 2021. It There is also the boss of KPMG who told the staff to “stop complaining”. (Public relations week)

Rich Handler is currently self-quarantining himself for COVID – apparently he’s been ‘sick for two days’ but feels ‘100% better’ and gives credit for his double vaccination and booster shot for keeping him in. security. (Bloomberg)

First the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, and now Davos – big events are canceled due to the Omicron variant. (Politics)

Even by banking standards, it’s bad enough when people are defecating on the ground and morale is deteriorating. A detailed history of the past twelve months at the Financial Conduct Agency and its seemingly intractable problem of ever-deepening staff misery. (Financial news)