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Morning Coffee: Big Four manager with lifestyle aspirations unhappy with firing, 24-year-old trader's incriminating search history

While the focus for the moment is - rightly, on the long working hours of juniors investment banking divisions after the death of Leo Lukenas (whom Bank of America says didn't work long hours, but whom a headhunter now says was seeking to find a new job for that very reason), there were reminders yesterday that young bankers aren't alone in being expected to grind. 

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Firstly, Financial News reported that buyside traders are suffering. 20% of them say they're having a "tough time now" and over half said they knew of traders who'd left their jobs for mental health reasons and burned out.

Secondly, the issue of overwork in the Big Four has appeared again. Konrad Jeczewski, a former EY business consulting manager in Australia whom we estimate to be around 35, says he was unfairly fired after returning from a one-month-long holiday for his wedding and honeymoon.

Like various other Big Four employees before him, Jeczewski says his working hours before his holiday had been intolerable: he claims he'd been working 80-hour weeks and was asked to cancel all personal commitments for a new project. He also claims that he was told it was "not acceptable" when he took a full week off for the flu. 

Jeczewski complained about his 80-hour week, whereupon he says EY cut his workload (surely a good thing), cut his communications with senior managers (probably a bad) and fired him (not the intended consequence). He's now filed a court case against EY saying that his firing was not fair.

EY, in turn, says it was fair and that it came upon the decision to fire Jeczewski - who appears to have aspired to a lifestyle involving personal time, long holidays to mark major life events and protracted periods of lying down while sick - after "a structured, comprehensive process that ensured fair, equitable and procedurally correct outcomes.”

Separately, if you are a brilliant young mathematician at MIT with a brilliant but nefarious plan for making money, it is probably inadvisable to do some Googling around that. 

It was this that undid Fei Yan, an MIT postdoctoral researcher who Googled such things as "how sec detect unusual trade" and "insider trading with international account," before being imprisoned for that activity a few years ago. And it is Googling that has contributed to the accusations levelled at MIT students Anton Peraire-Bueno, 24, and James Peraire-Bueno, 28, who made $25m in 12 seconds after some complicated gyrations involving the Ethereum blockchain. 

The full details of the brother's method are given in the SEC's indictment and involve such things as creating "bait transactions" for "Victim traders" and then swapping them with "tampered transactions" involving far less liquid crypto products.  Before engaging in this, the SEC says 24-year-old Anton had a little look at Google, where he searched for things like "top crypto lawyers," "wire fraud statute" and "fraudulent Ethereum addresses database." 

Even MIT mathematics and computer science graduates with 'meticulous planning' skills need search engines to supplement their performance.


Morgan Stanley now has 910 employees across its offices in France, Germany, Italy and other countries through its Morgan Stanley Europe Holding Group, up from 805 a year earlier. (Financial News)

Citadel Securities generated $2.3 billion of net trading revenue and is on track for a record year. (Bloomberg) 

Jane Street has now been ordered to detail it secret Indian options trading strategy. (Bloomberg) 

Deutsche Bank rehired Justin Smolkin from Jefferies to lead technology, media and telecommunications equity capital markets. (Bloomberg) 

UBS thinks it might make investment bank chief Rob Karofsky head of its entire US business. (Bloomberg) 

Marex's revenues rose 75% last year. This was partly from acquisitions but was helped by 'tailwinds in energy markets.' (Financial News) 

Renaissance Technologies bought 1 millions shares in Gamestop before its price rose. (Yahoo) 

Qube Research and Technologies now employs 1,100 people and manages $20bn in assets. (Business Insider) 

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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