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Morning Coffee: Lavish pleasures of the dual income financial services family. London cuts likely as brokers merge

Not the Wangs

If you live in a family with a single financial services income, you may find that your life is less lavish than you'd envisaged and that you can't afford all the things you want. If you live in a family with two, though, you can buy hundreds of pairs of shoes and a custom-made closet to accommodate them.

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This is the takeaway from the Wall Street Journal's behind the doors profile of Kelli and Fei Wang, who work for Morgan Stanley and for Merrill Lynch respectively. 

The 40-something Wangs live in Chicago. She's a director at Merrill Lynch wealth management; he's a senior vice president in family wealth management at Morgan Stanley. Together they occupy a $1.8m house that's "Ralph Lauren meets Tom Ford," combining what their designer says is "a mixture of buttoned up and timeless sophistication and sexy, modern, crisp elegance.” Both are fashionistas, and alongside the 200 pairs of shoes there are collections of designer bags, including one owned by their two and a half year old daughter, who has her own collection of Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton mini-bags. Every year, they go to Italy and France and their joint goal is 'to have the best experience possible' whether in terms of 'food, art, clothing or design.'

If all this leaves you feeling a little inadequate or inclined to encourage your own spouse into wealth management, there are other ways of doing it. Business Insider has been talking to Daniel George, a former Google developer and leader of AI projects at JPMorgan. George, who is married to an AI developer at Google, single-handedly saved $1m and retired from JPMorgan aged 29. He did not buy hundreds of pairs of shoes. "My only possessions were clothes, a mattress, a bed, and a 65-inch TV," he says of his time at JPMorgan. 

George now runs an AI company and has been travelling the world with his wife and a small backpack. "I'm confident that all our investments will earn enough passive income to meet our family expenses," he reflects. "Because I invested early, I won't have to worry later." The Wangs could always sell their bags and shoes. 

Separately, while Citi warms up to its 20,000 job cuts, a smaller scale cataclysm may be coming to London in the form of the merger between brokers Panmure Gordon and Liberum.

Financial News notes that the two firms, which employ a combined 300 employees, are talking about inevitable "cost synergies." This would seem to imply cost cuts and job cuts. 

If this is the case, Rich Ricci, the flamboyant former head of Barclays' investment bank, isn't saying so. The two businesses are "highly complementary and culturally aligned," says Ricci. However, they have also both struggled against big losses in recent years. 


Morgan Stanley got off very lightly with its $250m block trading fine, given that last year there were suggestions that the fine would be $1bn. (Financial Times) 

The new Basel Capital rules require a 70% increase in the amount of capital allocated to market risk. This could discourage banks from making markets in things like government bonds. (Financial Times) 

Goldman Sachs hired Ben Williams from JPMorgan to lead its private bank for EMEA and North Africa.  (Bloomberg) 

Santander hired Francesco Bedina from Credit Suisse to oversee European energy deals. (Bloomberg)  

Deutsche Bank won't lead consolidation in the European banking industry because of its terrible valuation. Its shares are trading at 40% tangible book value and it can't afford to buy Commerzbank or ABN AMRO. (Financial Times) 

Five Credit Suisse portfolio managers have resigned to start a macro fund at the alternatives platform run by Lombard Odier Investment Managers.  (Bloomberg) 

Rokos is raising $2bn and will seemingly need new portfolio managers as a result. (Bloomberg) 

Hong Kong hedge fund Torq Capital is closing and its CIO Avinash Abraham is moving to Citadel. (South China Morning Post) 

How to be your own therapist. Ask yourself, “How is feeling anxious keeping me from the life I want?” or “What would my life look like if I were calmer?” (NY Times) 

Remembering James Ogilivie, an aristocratic British banker who was horrified by excessive work.  (Telegraph) 

My seven-month-old son died the day I started a new job at Lloyds. "I’ll never forget the pained look on my colleague’s face as he peered through the glass to extract me from my induction session with HR." (Financial News) 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: +44 7537 182250 (SMS, Whatsapp or voicemail). Telegram: @SarahButcher. Click here to fill in our anonymous form, or email Signal also available.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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