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Morning Coffee: Goldman Sachs doesn't entirely trust its London bankers with expenses. When the only man is selected from the shortlist

Amidst the furor over senior bankers being fired (they say unfairly) for claiming medical expenses at Bank of Singapore, it's worth remembering that even well remunerated financial services professionals are not immune to the pleasures of getting things for free.

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This is why a senior compliance analyst at Citi was fired in November 2022 for expensing a sandwich, a coffee and a supplementary post of pasta and pesto. It's also why Goldman Sachs is suspicious that its London employees may try to elicit free trips to Paris from the firm during the Olympics.

The average person working for Goldman Sachs in London earned £404k last year, but this was before tax and living in London is expensive and there are school bills and mortgages to pay and, and.....Either way, an all expenses paid trip to Paris during a quadrennial sporting event is appealing.

Goldman Sachs, however, is onto this. Bloomberg reports that the firm suspects that senior bankers in London will try setting up client meetings in Paris between July 24 and Aug. 14 with the express intention of attending the sporting events on the side. To stymie this, Goldman is requesting that all trips to Paris between those dates must get prior approval from the finance department.

Maybe this is harsh. It's not inconceivable that clients wined and dined and taken to see feats of athleticism might feel more inclined to give business to Goldman in the future. However, even when you have £404k+ a year, it's always easiest to spend the firm's money than your own. 

Separately, having women on the shortlist for jobs has long been a necessity for recruiters in banking, but even when women predominate there's no guarantee they'll be selected.

PWC has demonstrated the art of plucking the only person with Y chromosomes from a forest of XXs. The Times reports that faced with a selection of two women and one man (plus another woman who dropped out for reasons unknown), to lead the London business, PWC's UK partners chose the man.

Their reasons for doing so may be completely valid. The new leader, 54 year-old Marco Amitrano, is not only male but is reportedly, "a geezer." He's "chatty, charismatic, bright" explained one of his PWC fans. He's "not posh." Maybe he likes football too. Either way, the partners - 74% of whom are men, lined up faithfully behind him. A woman has never run any of the Big Four accounting firms in Britain. 

Greg Carey, a managing director in sports banking and chairman of public finance at Goldman Sachs, has found that no matter a person's background or professional expertise, everyone's interested, on some level, in sports. Clients will "talk about their business, and they'll talk sports, and it's top of mind for everyone." (Business Insider) 

Millennium's lawyer says Jane Street's lawsuit is damaging to the two young traders involved. “Jane Street’s lawsuit has tarnished the reputations, and put at significant risk the livelihoods, of two traders who have not done anything wrong and who are eager to clear their names." (Bloomberg) 

 The ban on non-competes may prevent banks from being able to impose paid “gardening leave” and to withhold deferred bonuses when an employee leaves for a competitor. (Financial Times) 

Late on Friday, Deutsche Bank announced that its setting aside as much as €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) which it may be forced to pay former shareholders at PostBank. It says its strategy won't change as a result, but it may not be able to afford share buybacks now. (Bloomberg) 

Morgan Stanley is staying in Canary Wharf until 2038 because Canary Wharf Group has agreed to pay £150 million towards a major refurbishment of the office. (The Times) 

Berenberg already poached six senior brokers and it wants to hire four to six more as it aims to double its number of corporate broking mandates to 140 over the next five years. (Financial News) 

UBS hired Biliana Barboutova from Deutsche Bank as head of its EMEA financial sponsors group. (Financial News) 

Jamie Dimon's guide to what to study at university: “I do think in business you should learn the language of business which is accounting—a little basic business. I think it would help to do accounting, finance, [or] markets. Something like that.” Mostly, though, he says you just need to be ethical. (Yahoo) 

Ex-Barclays boss Bob Diamond is becoming chairman of the company that owns TikTok rival Triller. It has $36m in revenues and says it's worth $3bn. (Financial Times) 

Video interviewing software will hire you if you repeat the phrase "I love teamwork." (Financial Times) 

Extreme commutes. Google DeepMind researcher Pablo Samuel Castro wakes up at 4.30am, sometimes to -20C temperatures, and skis cross-country from Ottawa for up to 40 minutes before boarding a train to Montreal. (Financial Times) 

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.

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Br
    1 May 2024

    If the implication is that the PWC partners chose Amitrano just because most of them are male and so is he, this wouod seem far fetched.

    By criticising the appointment just because the job went to a male in order to presumably shame other firms into appointing female CEOs regardless of ability, this would seem counterproductive.

  • 98
    29 April 2024

    The level of personal criticism levelled at Marco Amitrano just because he got the job and is male would never be made of a successful female candidate in an all male field.

  • Ro
    29 April 2024

    Is there any evidence that the man wasn't the best person for the PWC role?

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