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Morning Coffee: Top female finance professional suffers horrific accident after work. The British bank with big problems

Sarah de Lagarde shortly before the accident

If you live in London, or any other major city with antiquated transport infrastructure, and have ever felt apprehensive about the potential dangers of the subway/metro/tube, the experience of Sarah de Lagarde, a German-Dutch board member and head of communication at Janus Henderson, will only amplify your fears. 

Last year, Sarah de Lagarde fell beneath a train on London's tube (subway) network and subsequently lost an arm and a leg. 

The Financial Times has a brilliant and disturbing account of the awful incident, which took place after de Lagarde left her Liverpool Street office late, at 9pm on Friday September 30th last year. She was tired, having had COVID the week before and just sent off a proposal for a PhD. De Lagarde fell asleep on the tube, and when she woke up she was at the end of the line in a station that was outside and exposed to the elements. She got off the train and then realized she needed to return and travel back down the line. She turned around, and stepped towards the train. In heavy rain, she slipped. 

De Lagarde fell beneath the platform. She tried to call out; tried to reach her phone. No one heard. Six minutes later, the train left the platform and almost severed her arm. Five minutes after that, another train came and crushed her leg. Two minutes following that, someone finally saw her. She was finally rescued more than an hour after the accident. She miraculously survived. 

"It is truly a miracle, doctors say I should’ve died 10x that night," says de Lagarde, writing on social media. With the help of her husband, a director at private bank SG Kleinwort Hambros, she's raised nearly £300k ($365k) for a 'badass' prosthetic arm. She returned to work part-time four months later, and despite "pain every day,", climbed a  517m hill in England's Peak District in April.

De Lagarde's husband, who climbed Kilimanjaro with her only two months before the accident, says that she kept him going during that climb: "I was cold and exhausted. But you pushed me, literally, up the mountain." Her accident has made him realize that it's ok to be vulnerable, he says: "No one is immune to the struggles in life."   

Lagarde herself says, "We don’t realise how strong we are until we have no choice. We are so much stronger than we think we are. You too." She's currently nominated for 'most inspiring returner' in the Women in Investment Awards.

Separately, in a process redolent of banking problems past, UK Challenger bank Metro Bank has suffered a 30% decline in its shares and is seeking to raise £600m (£250m in equity funding and £350m of debt). The Financial Times notes that it spent the last five years 'seeking permission from regulators to use its own models to estimate the riskiness of its mortgage book.' It does not appear to have been granted. 

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Metro Bank has £350m worth of debt will need to be refinanced in October 2025. (BBC) 

Ken Griffin on how Citadel has changed: "In our formative years, our research was largely driven by quantitative analytics that were not commonly used; today our research is largely driven by gifted market specialists who engage in deep fundamental research, often supported by the powerful analytics we have developed over the decades." (Leaders Magazine) 

Jim De Mare at Bank of America says he's committed to Europe, where the bank wants to rank in the top three in FICC. “We have identified Europe as a growth area and we have invested heavily to build a diversified business." It's also building in Dubai. (Financial News) 

Macro trader Ayan Sen is returning to Millennium Management five years after leaving to turn his own firm. (Xwitter)

Brevan Howard hired Elycia Sherman, former global head of trading for energy and commodities specialist Hartree Capital Management to lead its commodities expansion. (Bloomberg) 

JPMorgan plans to securitise and sell on a higher portion of the loans than it typically has done in order to take loans off its balance sheet so that it doesn't have to hold regulatory capital against them. (Financial Times) 

A group of macro traders led by Joeri Jacobs are spinning out of Moore Capital to start their own hedge fund, JJJ Capital Management in London. (Bloomberg) 

The liquidity has disappeared from the Hong Kong market as Western and international investors have pulled out. Total capitalization is down a third from its 2021 peak. (WSJ) 

FTX employees knew something was wrong when the office security guards left and a corporate account for a food delivery app stopped working. (Bloomberg) 

Most chief executives think five days a week in the office will return in the next three years. 83% are thinking of linking promotions to it. (Standard) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Pa
    8 October 2023

    Shame that's horrible. Have to be very careful with those public and private transport systems, especially during wet weather. I personally haven't seen too much death, there were a few suicides, then mostly internal diseases, otherwise old age health problems. Otherwise its mostly in the news. But the worst I saw was that resident evil film set lady, thats one of the worst ones, I haven't seen any airplane and or bus ones, there was brasil accident ; otherwise there's a few train and or bike or car incidents. My mothers sister died in a car accident and my mothers mother died in a separate car accident however those were before I was born. quite old though, ; there was a horrible giraffe accident - this was the worst one for me. Otherwise one of my sisters veterinary science manager bosses slipped on a puddle outside his premises and died and then left the wife and two kids but that was a few years ago. I don't have the article. Also two of my previous previous managers, one of their parents on each side of the family trees died from old age. Ex girlfriends grand father also died, old age cousins father died earlier this year Its mostly old age I'm having to deal with. ; these are scary ; Mostly old news. Those financial destination movies take the cake though ; otherwise my whole grandparent line is gone. Its mostly death avoidance insurance requirements.

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