Morning Coffee: Secret to making it in finance before you're 30; new banking-slang word reported

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How to make it young

When Randall Dillard, chief investment officer and co-founder of hedge fund Liongate, stood up at the London School of Economics earlier this week, he said finance is a long term game in which it takes eight to twelve years just to train-up. If you die young, an early career in banking is a bad option, said Dillard. Try telling that to 29 year old Tracy Britt Cool.

Bloomberg reports that Britt Cool is one of three trusted advisors to Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway. The other two are Todd Combs, 42, and Ted Weschler, 52: Cool is by far the youngest. Buffett hired her when she was 25 and her role involves travelling the U.S. and keeping an eye on Buffett's investments. In the past two years alone, she's dismissed three executives at firms Buffett owns, along with numerous non-performing managers.

So, how do you get to a top financial services job before you're 30? Attending a top university (Cool went to Harvard) is helpful, as is avoiding large, hierarchical banks. Flattery and having a powerful mentor are also helpful. "She thinks like I would," says Buffett, with whom she's said to be "amazingly close." Professionalism and a genuine interest in finance are also a boon. - Even as a student, Cool was said to be scarily professional and to have a passion for company accounts.  Pro-activity as a student can also be a good thing - Cool met Buffet through a woman's group she organized. She wrote to Buffett and asked if group members could visit Berkshire Hathaway. He agreed and hired her.

Separately, the Guardian reports that City employers have adopted a new sexist term to refer to attractive women they want to hire on the grounds of appearance. "She's a rocket" is City-vernacular for being very attractive, says the paper. The phrase is reportedly appended to the CVs of some women applying for administrative positions in banks.


55 year old Mohamed El-Erian is suddenly stepping down at Pimco. 59 year old Bill Goss, who Arian was supposed to succeed, says he’ll work another 40 years. (The Guardian) 

40 year old Andrew Balls, brother of Ed Balls and an ex-FT journalist, will now become deputy CIO at Pimco. (The Times) 

Brian Moynihan says traders at BAML made money on all but two or three days last quarter. (Bloomberg)  

Bob Diamond is at Davos. (Financial Times) 

Citigroup is hiring dealmakers in Mexico. (Bloomberg) 

Hedge fund manager says Deutsche Bank should cut leverage and cut pay. (Bloomberg) 

Applicants for all sciences subjects, mathematics, engineering and medicine will need to achieve grades of A*, A*, A to get into Cambridge next year. (The Times)

13,000 jobs are coming at Subway. (Guardian)