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Morning Coffee: Will Viswas Raghavan become Citi CEO? Young male bankers fired for meme activities

An AI impression of Vis Raghavan looking wistful

Viswas Raghavan won't arrive at Citi until the summer, but the questions have already begun. Why would Raghavan, an Aston University graduate and accountant, who spent over two decades at JPMorgan but was only promoted as sole head of JPMorgan's investment bank in January, want to join Citi now? Could it be the giant pay package derived from Citi's savings on Paco Ybarra and all those Bora Bora layoffs? Could it be the challenge of increasing Citi's share of global investment banking fees from the 2023 nadir of 3.4%? Or does Raghavan, a man marked by ambition, want something more?

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The thought is that maybe he does. Maybe Raghavan, who was not in the running to replace Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan, would like to replace Jane Fraser? Maybe this is why he took a job that, while it comes with an undoubtedly substantial amount of pay, also comes with the challenge of turning around the behemoth that is Citi.

If this thought is glinting in the recesses of the Raghavan mind, it's not being articulated openly. Instead, Fraser has said she's "excited" about Raghavan and Raghavan has presumably said he's excited about Fraser and the two plan to work together to transform Citi. Raghavan has "a lot of credibility” and is “great for Jane,” one banker told the Financial Times. Raghavan is a year older than Fraser. He will report to her directly and be on her executive team.

If at any point Fraser feels fatigued, Raghavan could therefore look like her obvious replacement. This wasn't the case at JPMorgan, where Jennifer Piepszak, Marianne Lake and Troy Rohrbaugh all stood in his way. At Citi, Raghavan has a hotline to the highest level. That is what's worth joining Citi for. 

Separately, some young male bankers at Bank of Montreal have been fired for exchanging memes, at least one of which was explicit and is known as the "Wood meme." Bloomberg reports that six bankers in BMO's metals and mining group have left the firm. People familiar with the incident said the memes were not malicious but a means of communicating. 

Meanwhile...

JPMorgan's European bankers have got a new boss in the form of 49 year-old Italian Filippo Gori, who's now CEO of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Gori has been with the bank for a decade and has been running the APAC region. (Business Insider) 

Confusion at JPMorgan: “Everyone is quite shocked,” said one London-based banker. "It feels out of the blue." (Financial News) 

Citi people say there's a lack of clarity over the job cuts. “I used to work at Goldman. At least they get their lay-offs over and done with quickly. The uncertainty is making even long-serving bankers consider new job options.” (Financial News) 

Goldman Sachs promoted Meena Flynn to co-lead its One Goldman Sachs initiative. She's also global co-head of private wealth management and one of few women running a revenue generating unit at the firm. (Bloomberg) 

It's not easy being a co-head in an investment bank. "Shortly after I started as an investment banker my employer appointed a co-head of investment banking to work alongside the incumbent. Within a year both left." (Alphaville) 

Banks are fighting for market share in CLOs and Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are increasingly willing to temporarily hold onto some of the riskiest parts of new CLOs to win it. (Bloomberg) 

Hedge fund Carlson is closing its London office after its assets fell 90%. (Bloomberg

Berenberg is hiring and wants to expand in Munich Berenberg, where it plans to add around 30 employees. (Financial News) 

Staff at Credit Suisse's China joint venture will be working for Ant Group instead of Citadel Securities after Ant unexpectedly won the bid. (Bloomberg) 

Jacob Rothschild died aged 87. "A superbly accomplished financier, a champion of the arts and culture, a devoted public servant, a passionate supporter of charitable causes in Israel and Jewish culture, a keen environmentalist and much-loved friend, father and grandfather." (Reuters)  

20-somethings are going to bed at 9pm. (WSJ) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Br
    Bruce Dwayne
    27 February 2024

    I know exactly what meme they're speaking about. Free up my BMO boys

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