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Morning Coffee: Citigroup's "big beasts" could be awkward for their new JPMorgan boss. The horrors of gardening leave

As dust settles on last week's unexpected revelation that Viswas Raghavan is leaving JPMorgan and joining Citi this summer to run the investment bank, questions are being raised about what happens to all the Citi veterans lurking in the shadows. 

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Writing for Global Capital, David Rothnie notes that Citi still has "longstanding legends" on the payroll, some of whom were shunted aside in the recent past.

They include various managing directors and co-heads who might have been expected to be eliminated during the Bora Bora restructuring, but who were recycled as chairmen and left to graze on clients. Most notably, when Tyler Dickson was crowned as Citi's sole head of investment banking last September, his former co-head Manolo Falcó was relegated to vice chairman of client and banking. At the moment of Falcó's reallocation, Bloomberg said he'd provide Dickson with advice on handling investment banking clients. However, Rothnie observes that Falco's new remit mostly involves leading something vague called the "client" segment, "an anomalous construct containing some of Citi’s best-known senior bankers, aimed at improving client cross-sell without treading on the toes of the industry and coverage bankers in charge of the client relationships." Will Raghavan perpetuate this?

Citi's new hire has a history of treading on toes, often with good reason. As we noted last week, Raghavan wasn't always popular at JPMorgan but was credited with the bank's success in EMEA investment banking. The Financial Times suggests that Raghavan's feather ruffling at JPM might be related to his unwillingness to pay people: when JPM bankers threatened to leave for rivals, Raghavan reportedly let them go rather than make big counteroffers. At the very least, Citi's new cohort of chairmen could see their bonuses squeezed. 

Separately, while having six months (or more) off to hang about doing nothing might sound good in theory, those forced to submit to idleness say it's not that easy. “You find yourself in a limbo and you just want to get on with life. You can read, you can go to the gym, you can take holidays; but if you are locked up and unable to work they are long days to fill,” one consultant with 12 months off told the Sunday Times. “The first few months go pretty quickly, but after that it gets really hard. Another winter and I would really be struggling,” said one "City executive."

The trials of gardening leave are a distinct first world problem, but they explain why Citadel recently introduced a program of charity work for people it's hired who are sitting out of the market. Doing nothing is less easy than it seems. 


JPMorgan replaced Raghavan with Filippo Gori and Doug Petno. Petno is liked for his laidback approach, while the 49-year-old Gori is universally admired. (Global Capital) 

Christian Meissner said Raghavan was “clearly a formidable competitor, a super intense guy and that’s been true since his early days in banking”. (Financial Times)  

“Vis is a very driven person. The question is when he’s pushing it too much, can it be counterproductive?” (Financial Times) 

An inquest into the tragic death of Pinsent Masons partner Vanessa Ford found that she was in the grip of an "acute mental health crisis." Her husband said she'd been working 18 hours a day on a deal. (Law)  

SocGen's new CEO is a bit of a shock. People at the bank say that his style is not just honest but brutally honest. (Euromoney)

Blackstone's London office has doubled in size in the past three years and now employs 600 people. (Financial Times) 

The former head of Credit Suisse’s wealth management business, Francesco de Ferrari, is out. (Financial Times) 

Anthony Scaramucci is thriving. “Our coin business, which is our digital asset business, is up about 35% and so we’re having a very strong start to the year.” (Bloomberg)  

Cannabis may make work-outs more enjoyable some ways — though it also makes exercise feel more effortful. (BPS) 

At Cit, Gary Stevenson introduced a “Nando’s only” rule to brokers who kept trying to woo him with Michelin-star meals. (Financial Times) 

Graduates applying to PWC and Deloitte must confirm they haven’t used AI.  (Telegraph) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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