Informational talks have long been a thing in financial services. For those who have not encountered them, these are interviews where there is no real intention to be hired or to be hired, and where one of the parties is simply trying to glean information from the other. One example is Nick Peddy, JPMorgan’s chief technology officer who says he’s going to interviews just to figure out how much he could earn elsewhere. Banks, on the other hand, can interview employees of competitors to get an idea of what they are doing.
It’s slightly different, however, if you go to an interview hoping there’s a job offer and there isn’t. That’s what seems to have happened at Wells Fargo, although the incentive to conduct non-interviews is apparently only in place for six-figure jobs.
Following complaints that black applicants were interviewed for jobs already held by other applicants (who were presumably white) to satisfy a policy requiring the bank to interview a diverse list of people for jobs paying more than 100 $000, which itself was only implemented to make amends to a remark by the CEO that there weren’t enough qualified black applicants anyway, the New York Times reported. is interviewed by Barry Somers, head of WF’s wealth management and investment business. Barry said aggrieved interviewees discovered by the NYT would not have been eligible for check-in interviews because they weren’t going for the jobs over $100,000 where the incentive to interview various candidates exist. ““There is absolutely no reason for anyone to conduct a fake interview,” he added with the kind of emphatic insistence that is supposed to silence someone.
Except there is clearly a reason. Or at least there are for jobs paying over $100,000. Only by demonstrably interviewing a wide range of candidates at Wells Fargo can you stay on the good side of the CEO. And if it’s about interviewing instead of filling positions, then why not interview all kinds of different people when the positions are already filled?
While WF insists that’s not happening, Matt Levine notes that this wouldn’t be the first time the bank’s incentives have gone wrong. A decade ago, the bank was the subject of a cross-selling scandal that is now the subject of a Harvard case study after its branch employees were discovered to be opening all kinds of accounts and imposed all kinds of products on customers in order to meet targets. Then CEO John Stumpf resigned and lost $11 million in unvested stock.
Is it that bad to interview people for jobs that don’t exist? At least they practice interviewing. But interviewees who feel they have been wronged do not see it that way and complain about false promises and ghosting. And if Wells Fargo is doing it, surely other banks are preparing something similar. Most have diversity goals. Most as a diverse shortlist. Various interviews are the obvious next step, especially for big jobs where the interviewees are predominantly pale and male.
Also, as we noted in April, JPMorgan’s bonuses are expected to decline this year. It’s not because JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank is making less money (although it is), but because JPMorgan is spending too much money on other things.
Reuters notes that JPMorgan is holding its first investor conference in two years on Monday and that the conference appears to have been called in response to concerns that JPMorgan’s costs will rise by $6 billion or 8% this year, with no indication that revenue will increase in relation to this or an explanation of how the investments will ultimately pay off.
As you might expect, a big chunk of spending involves technology. Speaking on JPMorgan’s first quarter earnings call, Jamie Dimon said the bank “wants to earn” and is spending money on everything from real-time payments and “some blockchain-like things” to cyber controls. It’s about the future, Dimon explained.
JPMorgan’s stock is down 24% year-to-date. S&P500 banking stocks are down 20%.
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon says people don’t want to work from home. “We have been flexible, but our employees want to be in the office.” (New York Post)
Todd McCormick, a derivatives trader on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, says he’ll never be able to go back to the office because he loves being home with his dog, which he regularly feeds with crackers. (New York Times)
Goldman Sachs has hired 350 new bankers for its EU operations, where it pays on average of 590 k€ per head. (Financial News)
Kevin Brunner, global head of mergers and acquisitions at Bank of America, says it’s been a good year because “current market is actually tracking very closely to the levels of 2018 and 2019 globally,” which were also good years.well-capitalized strategic acquirers pursue their strategic roadmapsmost of which have been developed over the past two years during covid to further enhance digitalization and innovation.” (Bloomberg)
Melvin Capital Management, injured in last year’s stock market rally, calls it a day. “I gave it my all, but more recently it hasn’t been enough to produce the returns you expect. I now recognize that I need to move away from managing external capital. (Financial Times)
Citi candidates in Malaga include professional swimmers, former professional soccer player a professional pianist and someone who competes in martial arts championships. (Financial News)
“In 1987, on October 19, the stock market crashed. I was 23 and had worked at Salomon as a corporate finance analyst. The job was a two-year stint where at the end you left to go to business school. It was exciting work…” (Twitter)
Facebook will not hire as much in the future. Zuckerburg says they will try not to fire people. “But what I can tell you is that from where we’re sitting today, we don’t expect that we have to. And instead, basically, what we do is we dial in growth at levels that we think are manageable over time.(The Edge)
Ken Griffin is still grumbling about crime in Chicago and threatening to leave. (Yahoo)
A British lawyer has said the grief and depression he felt after his wife’s death was a kind of handicap and he shouldn’t have been fired. A labor court judge will have to decide whether mental illness qualifies as a disability. (Bloomberg)
FTX is going to offer equity investments alongside crypto. (Bloomberg)
Philipp Rickenbacher, CEO of Julius Baer, said the crypto industry could emerge stronger from its tech-style struggles after the dot-com bubble burst. “It paved the way for the emergence of a new industry that has effectively transformed our lives; I believe that digital assets and decentralized finance have the same potential. (Bloomberg)
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