Morning Coffee: The traders and ex-bankers who’ve made it in their 20s. What happens in banking when your sponsor leaves you alone

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If you’re in your 30s or (God forbid) your 40s and are feeling quite satisfied with your situation at the start of 2014, then you are well-advised to ignore Forbes’ new list of the top 30 people under 30 working in finance. It is a vehicle designed to generate feelings of inadequacy.

Forbes details the achievements of a select group of 20-somethings who have propelled themselves to the upper reaches of financial services careers despite being barely out of university when the last serious financial crisis happened. Mostly traders and private equity professionals, their number includes:

- 28 year old Ganesh Betanabhatla . A former JPMorgan oil & gas investment banker who is now backed with up to $500m as MD of Talara Capital, a private equity fund investing in the energy sector.

- 29 year old Rushabh Doshi. A former trader at Morgan Stanley and Brevan Howard. Now at DW Investment Management, specializing in high yield.

- 25 year old Fred Ehrsam. A former Goldman Sachs currency trader who has founded Coinbase, the ‘PayPal for Bitcoin.’ Raised $30m in funding.

- 29 year old Stephen Ensley. A former JPMorgan M&A banker who is now a principal for Hellman & Friedman, the private equity firm.

- 28 year old Eugene Gokhvat. A former Deutsche Bank proprietary trader who now manages his own large bond portfolio at the US office of BlueCrest Capital Management.

- 28 year old Eric Khrom. A college dropout who founded Khrom Capital Management, a $40m hedge fund when he was 23.

- 28 year old Chaitanya Mehra. A former Goldman Sachs trader, now an energy trader at Och-Ziff Capital Management.

- 28 year old Sam Shikiar. A VP at Goldman Sachs who runs the electronic commodities trading team.

- 28 year old Andrew Silverman. An MD at Goldman Sachs who has become a star distressed debt trader.

- 29 year old Jeffrey Sun. An oil products trader at Morgan Stanley who manages the bank’s exposure to things like jet fuel and diesel.

- 29 year old Lucy Baldwin. The only woman on the list. Director of Goldman's European research management team.

Separately, while some 20-something traders are rapidly advancing, one 40-something trader is moving in the opposite direction. Bloomberg reports that Glenn Hadden, head of rates trading at Morgan Stanley has left the bank. The Financial Times says Hadden was asked to resign.

Hadden appears defiant, stating that he has “no intention of retiring.” So what prompted his seemingly acrimonious departure? Bloomberg says Hadden had differences with his bosses over how Morgan Stanley’s rates business should be run. It doesn’t help that Hadden lost his sponsor, Ken deRegt, who hired him in 2011 and left last year to join a hedge fund. Nor, we suspect, does it help that rates trading is a shrinking area and Hadden allegedly presided over $200m of losses in the first half of 2013.  Either way, it doesn’t look too good for bonuses in Morgan Stanley’s rates business.


Deutsche Bank is building in SE Asia and has hired Goldman’s Malaysia chairman for corporate finance as its Malaysian country head. (Bloomberg)

One senior banker said recently the industry had previously been run by “revenue junkie product heads” who are struggling to adapt to a more austere and disciplined world. (Financial News) 

JP Morgan was the only one of the five largest US investment banks to reduce the compensation of its senior staff in Europe in 2012. (Financial News) 

Female economists earn less after they get married. Male economists earn more. (Inside HigherEd) 

Individual JPMorgan bankers can relax: they won’t personally have to pay fines associated with the Madoff ponzi scheme. (WSJ)

Some junior criminal barristers are earning only £8k- £12k. (Financial Times)