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BofA is poaching Credit Suisse's energy bankers. One of them has an interesting side-gig.

Credit Suisse MD/dystopian novelist quits for Bank of America

Credit Suisse is paying its bankers yet more retention bonuses, but as we've reported already, some of them seem to be leaving just the same. 

The latest crop of exits include Randy Bayless, the former global co-head of energy and infrastructure at Credit Suisse and Emily Rose Laochua, the former head of ESG ratings and investor advisory at the Swiss bank. Both Bayless and Laochua are joining Bank of America, with Bayless based in Houston and Laochua in New York. The two MDs had been at Credit Suisse for 23 years and 18 years respectively; Laochua spent 14 years as a bond trader. 

BofA's successful extraction of key members of Credit Suisse's energy and ESG teams comes after Credit Suisse tried and failed to poach BofA energy banker Mike Dunne in March. Dunne had been due to join Bayless's team as head of global energy and renewables, but suddenly decided to join NextEra Energy, an energy infrastructure company, instead.  

In their new roles at BofA, Bayless will be co-head of US energy investment banking and Laochua will be head of GCIB ESG Advisory Solutions in the Americas. Their decisions to leave Credit Suisse come as concerns mount about layoffs at the Swiss bank when it announces its third quarter results and its latest restructuring plan in October. Both Bayless and Laochua should have been comparatively secure, though. Both are people Credit Suisse would probably have preferred to keep.

In the event that Laochua does lose her banking job, however, she has an interesting alternative option. Alongside her job as an MD at Credit Suisse, she wrote graphic novels about a dystopian future in which humanity has been forced into a walled city where human souls are an energy source. Laochua says the books are part of her mission to increase awareness of the impact of the palm oil trade on animals and rainforests. 

Speaking during a TED Talk in 2018, Laochua said she was both a writer who lived, "in the world of imagination and creativity" and a bond trader who understood how, "social political and environmental events take on a financial expression."  The financial system is inadequate when it comes to measuring the value of intangibles like community, land, ecosystems, love and compassion, said Laochua. 

Laochua added that she spent seven years writing her graphic novels and that there were many "long nights" when she felt like quitting, but that she stuck with it because she believed in the message. She hasn't blogged, however, since 2017, suggesting her new role in ESG may be consuming more of her time than trading did.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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