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Morning Coffee: Lazard MD fired for inappropriate activities at a private party. Citi is taking out senior people

An AI impression of a poorly behaved MD at a party

What, exactly, did a senior Lazard M&A banker do last weekend to get himself fired? The bank isn't saying, but it acted very fast. Bloomberg reports that incoming CEO Peter Orszag sent a memo on Sunday informing people at the bank that a senior dealmaker had been let go in light of his behaviour at a party in the previous days.

That party wasn't organised by Lazard, but other employees of the firm were present at it. Orszag's memo reportedly stated that the bank had swiftly investigated some allegations and terminated the MD for engaging in activities that were incompatible with the firm's values. 

Lazard is already cutting costs and cutting bankers, so the threshold for cutting another expensive MD might be lower than it once was. However, Orszag's swift retribution is also a reminder that senior financial services professionals can't get away with behaving poorly, even outside the office. In the UK, top bankers are governed by the FCA's 'fitness and propriety' rules, which apply to senior people, and Crispin Odey's fall from grace has focused British minds on the speed with which a career can unravel. In the US, bankers now have the anonymous Lazard MD to remind them: bad behaviour is a risk, wherever you are.

Separately, having spent the past few years adding managing directors, Citi is now busy cutting them too. Bloomberg reported yesterday that the US bank has cut David Jiang, its co-head of Asian industrial deals as part of its elimination of up to 20 Asian banking jobs this month.

Jiang joined the bank from UBS in 2018 and was promoted to co-head of industrials with Lei Li during better times in 2021.  Lei, who is one of Citi's most senior female bankers in Asia, and who joined from Jefferies in 2013, is presumably staying on.

Citi hired around 70 managing directors in 2021 and has continued hiring selectively this year, with additions including Maarten Swart and Sophie van Kleef for its consumer banking team in Europe, as well as Greg Dalle, also from Credit Suisse, who has just joined as co-head of EMEA industrials.  

Meanwhile...

Morgan Stanley's board will contemplate James Gorman's successor at ameeting in London in July and later gatherings in New York in September and October. Right now, Ted Pick is possibly in the lead. (Reuters) 

Aladdin Hangari and five members of his wealth management team are thinking of moving from Credit Suisse to HSBC in the Middle East. (Financial Times) 

Hedge fund manager Chris Rokos tried to invest £100mn in an enterprise zone in Britain's Tyneside for a tax break. It didn't work and he ended up with a large tax bill. He subsequently sued Deloitte for poor tax advice, and settled the dispute yesterday. (Financial Times) 

Interns don't like working from home. One recalls her experiences Most of the team lived outside of London and commuted in one or two days a week . . . I was living in a tiny flat that was baking hot, so it was sometimes unbearable to work from home...there were some days when I was the only member of my team in the office . . . It made the office a lonelier place to be.” (Financial Times) 

In Japan, it's possible to employ a consultant who will help you leave your job. “Switching jobs is a major challenge in Japan that requires tremendous courage." (The Times) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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