Morning Coffee: A £500k job that will 'destroy' you. BofA cutting fixed income traders

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How much would you tolerate in return for half a million pounds ($810k) a year? If you work for BGC Partners, the inter-dealer broking firm, you might have to put up with a bit.

Bloomberg reports that Robert Bou-Simon, the ex-head of BGC's swaps desk who was hired on a £500k salary, has failed in his attempt to bring a lawsuit against the firm, where he said he was subjected to bullying and unfair dismissal.

Bou-Simon had argued that he was treated horribly at BCG after he refused to take place in 'the run', an initiation ritual where new hires sprint across the trading floor whilst having water thrown at them. Because of this, he said he was taunted for a lack of manliness and was ultimately dismissed.

The judge was having none of it, however. He acknowledged that Bou-Simon had been the subject of 'ridicule, ''insult,' and 'abuse,' by his BGC colleagues. Most notably, Anthony Herbert,  the man who replaced Bou-Simon as head of the swaps desk, was found to have sent an email to Mark Webster, BGC's UK general manager, declaring that he planned to 'destroy' Bou-Simon because revenues on his desk had dropped. However, the judge deemed that this kind of talk was just part of the 'banter' that goes with the territory.  Rather than being annihilated, Bou-Simon had his BGC salary cut from £500k to £250k a year and was then let go. Things aren't that bad for him: he's been head of interest rate derivatives at GFI since 2005.

Separately, Bank of America has given up waiting for fixed income trading revenues to recover. Bloomberg reports that the bank has started cutting jobs in equities and fixed income sales and trading, but in fixed income sales and trading in particular.  David Moore, head of North America rates trading, and David Hartney, global head of futures execution, have both gone already. More cuts are coming next week. Weirdly, BofA has also been hiring in rates - it just brought on Sidney Lebental, a top Treasury trader from Deutsche.


Lord Hill, an ex-financial lobbyist (for HSBC) who has no actual experience of working in the financial sector, has been appointed to the European Commission and tasked with overseeing the financial sector in Europe. This is seen as a good thing: he may not have worked in banking, but could repel further attempts to constrain pay. (Financial Times) 

If Scotland votes for independence. Standard Life says it might move some of its business to England - surely bringing plenty of jobs with it. [RBS says it would base itself in London too.] (Telegraph) 

No bank is actually in charge of the Alibaba IPO and this means that the banks involved are having to spend a lot of time on collaboration. (Reuters) 

Fortress, a 'diversified global investment firm' which started out as a hedge fund, has just hired a senior industry banker from Goldman Sachs. (Finextra) 

How to recruit a purple squirrel, and why you want to. (HR Magazine) 

Where not to live: the most expensive cities in the world. (The Economist) 

These are the trains upon which you don't want to commute into London. (BBC) 

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