Morning Coffee: 26 year-old quit Goldman Sachs after bosses funded his start-up. Banker fired after 30 years

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Fund your start-up with a few years at Goldman Sachs

Working for Goldman Sachs can be gruelling. But if you’re fortunate, you might be able to work there for a few years before leaving to become an entrepreneur and getting Goldman staff to fund you.

That’s what happened to Sam Gyimah. Speaking in the Evening Standard yesterday, Oxford graduate Gyimah said there were, “no weekends [off]”, when he worked for Goldman between 1999 and 2003. There were also, “manic months and all-nighters.”

It was all worthwhile, however.  According to Gyimah’s LinkedIn profile (which obscurely refers to him in the third person), he quit the firm aged 26 after persuading, ‘certain superiors to provide backing for his first venture.” He founded a second business, ‘Workology’ in 2008, again with the backing of a, ‘number of partners from Goldman.’

Gyimah is now a Tory MP and will seemingly have less direct need of former colleagues’ largess in future. However his experience offers another reason to work for 'the firm': there are a lot of rich partners there and if you don’t want to work in banking forever they can sponsor your bid to become an entrepreneur.

Separately, the latest scandal over FX price manipulation and the associated dismissal of Martin Mallett as chief currency dealer at the Bank of England, has illustrated something remarkable about Bank of England careers: people work there for a long time. – Mallett had reportedly been at the Bank for, ‘almost 30 years.’

Despite this career longevity, Mallett didn’t bother escalating his very valid concerns about the existence of a ‘whole cartel’ of ruble traders to anyone more senior than himself.  Notably, Roger Boehler, the former global head of FX trading at UBS had also been with the same company for 19 years when he was let go last October. So, maybe experience doesn’t prevent bad behaviour after all? - [efc_twitter text="The longer you stay in one place, the more habituated you may become to any wrongdoing there."]


RBS has suspended three employees and might clawback some bonuses after it had to pay $636m in an FX settlement. Ross McEwan is VERY angry. (Bloomberg) 

Finma has capped variable compensation for UBS’s FX and precious metals employees to 200% of basic salaries for two years and UBS is being made to automate at least 95% of its FX- trading. (Bloomberg)

Other, unspecified “high earners” at UBS’s investment bank in Switzerland will have to go through an approval process if their variable pay exceeds 200% of their base salary. (WSJ)

[efc_twitter text="UBS doesn’t know the identity of the 11 employees being investigated by the Swiss regulator"]. It says less than 40 people will be affected by the bonus restrictions and that 90% of its currency trading is automated already. – Only 5% of its business needs to go through voice trades. (Bloomberg)

Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citibank have been fined $950m in for "safe and unsound" practices in Forex trading by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The three banks stand accused of colluding to trade [using chat-rooms] in ways that disadvantaged their customers. (FastFT) 

How traders talk when they think no one’s listening. (Guardian)

This isn’t Libor. Traders can’t decide they want a rate to be at a certain level and that’s that. But they can use chummy relationships to try and bend the market to their own advantage around trading at benchmarks. (WSJ)

Employees have been front-running client orders and rigging WM/Reuters rates by pushing through trades before and during the 60-second windows when the benchmarks are set. The benchmarks are based on actual trades or quotes, rather than the bank estimates used to calculate Libor. (Bloomberg) 

A move in the benchmark of 2 basis points, or 0.02 percent, would be worth 200,000 francs ($216,000). (Bloomberg) 

At least 30 traders (and one salesperson) have been suspended or fired over the last year in response to the FX rigging scandal. (WSJ) 

Barclays has not incurred a fine, but remains under investigation over allegations of currency rigging. (IBTimes)

[efc_twitter text="Turning 30 is a big milestone on Wall Street. If you haven’t sniffed some success by then, you might want to consider sniffing glue instead"]. You need to have a career by this age. (Cafe)

You are very wrong if you think taking a course in FX trading is going to make you rich. (Bloomberg)  

You can’t have bad teeth and work in banking. (AEON)



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