Morning Coffee: 24-year-old junior bankers get to play boss. The man making billions from toxic CDOs

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Barclays young bankers

The power to open doors at Barclays

Forget a couple of hours ‘personal time’ or Friday nights off, Barclays isn’t messing around when it comes to handing its junior bankers more power.

Barclays already has a scheme in place that allows juniors to rank their interactions with senior bankers, which in turn feeds through to how those senior bankers are paid. Now, 10 ‘elite’ associates at its investment banks are being given the chance to say how the place is run.

Financial News reports that these high-performing juniors are now being offered a place on a ‘reverse mentoring’ programme. The idea is that the associates are given ‘confidential one-on-one’ meetings with senior management on what they’re doing well and what could be improved. Millennials, of course, love to be asked their opinions, after all.

"This scheme turns the traditional mentoring process on its head, by giving our junior bankers a strong and direct voice in shaping how we manage the firm, and how we ensure that Barclays provides the best working environment for them to achieve their career goals,” said Ken McGrath, Barclays’ co-head of financial sponsors in EMEA who is leading the programme.

The programme is being trialled in London. If all goes well it could be rolled out globally. Barclays also initiated free weekends for its analysts ‘as far as possible’ in October 2013, as well as attempting reducing unnecessary deadlines and tedious work for juniors. It’s also accelerating promotions for its analysts. Time for other banks to play catch-up.

Separately, meet Mark Tsesarsky – also known as T-Man – the man tasked for managing the “great opportunity” to make money out of a mountain of toxic collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) when the world was falling apart in September 2008. While all banks were trying to shift toxic mortgage instruments, Citi loaded up, reports Bloomberg. Tsesarsky and a small team of traders were asked to find a way to profit from this. Over the next eight years they racked up $2bn in revenues.


“For the past 45 years, I’ve been a lone wolf fund manager. Right now, I’m having the time of my life.” (Bloomberg)

SocGen will “immediately appeal” the decision to award Jérôme Kerviel €400k for unfair dismissal (Financial Times)

Fund manager wants to hire ‘sceptical’ journalists (Financial News)

Inspiration for a banking app: "My wife used to leave Post-It notes on the fridge, nudging me not to eat the rest of the desserts in the fridge." (Business Insider)

Berenberg has hired James Ramp as its new head of equity capital markets in the U.S. (Reuters)

How to go it alone as a fund manager (Financial News)

Why rich people need to fail for the poor to succeed (Financial Times)

Michael Hintze’s CQS is doing well again (Financial News)

You can now earn $180k in your first year working in law (New York Times)

Photo: Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock

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