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Morning Coffee: How Credit Suisse upset some friendly bankers having happy fun. The most stressed people at Blackstone

Do you remember DLJ? It seems that you do if you were there. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette was the archetype of a happy friendly investment bank where everyone liked each other and the fun flowed like tidal silt. So say those who experienced it.

"We had a culture. We liked each other,” said DLJ's former co-head of M&A at a reunion party that Bloomberg happened to attend. DLJ had an edict to have fun written into its values, said the ex-head of merchant banking then. "We took it seriously," he recalled. 

Unfortunately for everyone having a great time at DLJ, it was consumed in 2002 by Credit Suisse, which didn't have the same approach. . “People were not friendly,” recalled an ex-DLJ employee of the Credit Suisse brethren. “It wasn’t the font of all happiness,” said the ex-co-head of M&A. “It wasn’t fun,” agreed a senior banker who tried to hang on for a few years at Credit Suisse and then gave up.

Seeing the recollections, UBS bankers might decide that they're absolved of the need to try and make their more aggressive new Credit Suisse colleagues feel at home. However, this could create its own cycle of karmic comeuppance should grief ever come to UBS. Watching the fate of Credit Suisse from afar, many ex-DLJ bankers described a gratifying sense of schadenfreude. The only thing I felt when I read about Credit Suisse was jubilation,” declared one ex-DLJ M&A banker. Credit Suisse gobbled up the best firm on Wall Street and destroyed it,” said her former colleague.

Separately, while Credit Suisse people have probably been feeling stressed, they should at least have surrendered to their unalterable fate. This doesn't apply to people in Blackstone's European private credit fund, who were hired to do a job that's turning out to be a lot harder than foreseen.

Bloomberg reports that Blackstone hired a selection of people in places like Paris, Frankfurt and Zurich to push investments of between €25k and €250k in the European fund 'ECRED' to the likes of wealthy doctors and engineers. But the wealthy Europeans aren't keen. So far, the fund has raised only $261m versus the $12bn amassed by a comparable fund in the US. Blackstone isn't giving up: “We always expected Europe to take time,” the head of credit told Bloomberg. That patience, however, is unlikely to be infinite.


Women with MBAs still earn less than men and are more likely to work in HR or marketing. (Bloomberg)

Unicredit hired 20 advisory in the first quarter of 2023 and wants to be seen as a leading European investment bank. (Financial News) 

Ken Jacobs is preparing to step down at Lazard. Peter Orszag may replace him as CEO; if he does, management of the advisory unit could be spread between multiple bankers. (WSJ) 

Carl Icahn lost $9bn after placing a long term bet that markets would crash. “Maybe I made the mistake of not adhering to my own advice in recent years.” (FT) 

Deutsche Bank is paying up to $75m to settle a lawsuit brought by an unnamed woman who alleged it had benefited from human trafficking by retaining Jeffrey Epstein as a client. (FT) 

UBS tried quantum computing and then rejected it after deciding it didn't bring any perceivable benefits. (Risk) 

Qube Research & Technologies hired Bobby Oriordan from Barclays as COO. (Trade) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Ai
    20 May 2023

    Lot of will be written and lot of is being written now. Emerging questions will be how a financial giant collapse while regulators, govt personnel find themselves cross figured. Whether the Regulatory system is not cope with the complexity of financial industry or something else? Lot of lot of will be written but bitter reality is that CS is now more, that is pathetic.

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