Morning Coffee: Sudden death for Mayfair hedge fund jobs; global head of trading opts for mere trading role

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Hedge fund jobs in Mayfair received a knock in the U.K. government's Autumn Statement yesterday. The Telegraph points out this morning that the statement included a promise to crack down on tax avoidance by partnerships, and in particular on tax avoidance by partnerships in the alternative asset management sector.

Many hedge funds are partnerships. Until now, they could legitimately minimize their tax bills by setting up a 'corporate partner' through which profits were channeled. This corporate partner pays corporation tax, which is lower than income tax. They could also classify employees as self-employed partners in order to avoid national insurance contributions. And,  says the Telegraph, they could route profits via service companies and reduce tax liabilities under 'transfer pricing' rules.

The government expects to recoup £3.27bn of avoided taxes through its partnership crackdown. Good luck. Tax advisors predict that Mayfair hedge funds will simply move to Switzerland, in the way that Brevan Howard and others have done already.

Separately, it seems that Brent Donnolly, Nomura's global head of G10 currency spot trading, has decided to accept a mere trading role at Citigroup. Bloomberg reports that Donnolly will be moving to Citi as an 'foreign-exchange and local-markets spot trader' reporting to Keizo Fujii, who in turn reports to Jeff Feig, who is the global head of G-10 foreign-exchange at Citi.

Given that Donnolly was previously himself the global head of a business, this looks like a bit of a step-down. Donnolly's Finra report suggests he's making a seamless transition from Nomura to Citi and hasn't spent any time out of the market. Earlier this week, Citi was said to be offering big pay packages in London. The U.S. bank obviously has something to recommend it.


Banks are turning to software to monitor trader chatrooms. Trigger phrases might include: "I want Chinese take-away." (Wall Street Journal)

There are now 2,290 people working in the commodities divisions of banks and their pay is likely to fall for the fourth year running. (Bloomberg) 

European banks have cut 140,000 jobs in two years. (Bloomberg)

For every pound of revenue banks' commodities divisions generate, they soak up 97p in costs, 52p of which is pay for their high-earning traders. (The Times)

IT contractor who spent 15 years working in the City is now a Falconer scaring away pigeons. “I wasn’t there for my children. I’d get to work at six and stay until six – they’d be in bed when I got up and in bed when I went home.” (Financial Times) 

Are you career-oriented, job-oriented, or calling-oriented? (QZ)

Buy your own Greek island here. (Luxuo)