Morning Coffee: Banking intern confesses to being older than the rest. Quant dispute

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age of banking interns

There's a certain phase of life in which it makes sense to be a summer intern in an investment bank.  You're normally starting your second decade, in the second year of university, with the sort of youthful enthusiasm and stamina needed to work long hours and the sort of lack of commitments needed to spend most of your summer at a desk. 

At Jefferies, though, someone has snuck in who doesn't fit this profile. In a letter to the bank about the joys of the summer internship, one of Jefferies 2018 analyst and associate interns confesses, "There is something I have been keeping from you. I am not exactly like the rest of my intern class. I am a couple years older..." Not only that, but she says she's "different" to the rest of them: she's been living on her own and looking after her younger brother since she was sixteen. She's been, "working three jobs" and going to school at night. And in between that, she applied for "hundreds of internships."

Jefferies accepted and now April St. Pierre says her life is on the way to being transformed, "This internship isn’t just about the experience I can put on my resume, but the edge I have gained. I have found my passion and a career path that will continue to encourage massive personal growth, where I can put my hustle to good use," she says.

St. Pierre's enthusiasm and gratitude are infectious. Many interns say they love banking and the summer experience, but her delight is about as authentic as it comes. She's had to struggle even to get into work. - While interns usually live in paid accommodation near the office, or with parents close by, St. Pierre has been commuting to Jefferies' Boston office every day from Maine - a journey which takes four hours one way according to Google. "I have never loved traffic so much because that line of cars is me inching closer to the place I belong," says St. Pierre. "Thank you, Jefferies, and to the person who said, let’s take a chance on this one. That risk, that moment, that person changed the course of the rest of my life..."

For its part, Jefferies seems to appreciate St. Pierre's exuberance and struggle. The bank's CEO Richard Handler said her note was, written for the bank's intern letter competition, "was heartfelt, important, inspiring and honest," and flew her to New York for lunch.

Separately, an eccentric-looking quant has become embroiled in a dispute. Ed Borsage often likes to wear a black beret according to the Wall Street Journal. The founder of a life sciences company named after his preferred hat ('Black Beret Life Sciences), he's also a mathematician who owned Houston's most expensive mansion, has a private island resort in the Caribbean, and has been running QuantLab, a Houston high frequency trading firm. Unfortunately, beret-wearing Borsage has become involved in an argument over QuantLab's management. Rival managers say he arrived following a, "tyrannical coup", and that under Borsage's control the company, “barely broke even.” Borsage says he's being unfairly maligned and that his colleagues have resorted to, "false, misleading and defamatory statements." Harsh.

Meanwhile:

Angela Knight, ex-chief executive of the British Bankers' Association said in 2008 that LIBOR fixing was being coordinated by senior bankers, so why have only juniors been hauled up before the courts? (Private Eye) 

The UK’s biggest international banks are set to move fewer than 4,600 jobs from London in preparation for Brexit — just 6% of their total workforce in the financial centre — according to Financial Times research. (Financial Times) . 

“The story has always been three to five years out, not what does it do to the City the morning after Brexit,” said Rob Rooney, chief executive of Morgan Stanley International. (Financial Times) 

‘Only 6% of their London headcount’ doesn’t sound like much, but 6% of finance jobs in the City translates into 21,000 jobs, which is quite a lot. It's also about £2bn in lost tax receipts....This doesn’t include any jobs in support services (legal, IT, accounting etc). So the total number of jobs moving from the City will be bigger.'  (Twitter) 

“If we are to lose some of [the existing] jobs, they are going to be the jobs that probably in five-to-10 year’s time are not going to be around, or are not going to be in the same shape or form as today — because the sort of joining of technology with finance at this moment in time is creating a very different dynamic.” (Politico) 

Elly Hardwick, head of the innovation lab at Deutsche Bank London, has left. (Financial News) 

Man Group's sales staff managed to massively increase assets under management even as its traders lost money. (Bloomberg) 

Andrea Orcel after the UBS rape allegation: "I can only say that we are challenging the whole process.” (Bloomberg) 

An American friend of mine spent a few years working in London for a big Wall Street bank and reported that he did not much care for the place. “I prefer getting stabbed in the front,” he said, pointing to his chest. (Financial Times) 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

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