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Morning Coffee: Goldman Sachs' "affable" banker is leaving. Crypto traders working until 3am

Gonzalo Garcia, a friendly Chilean natural resources banker seen here chuckling about Latin American GDP, is leaving the firm. Financial News reported yesterday that Garcia, a partner since 2008, is off after 25 years. He has apparently resigned. 

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Partners at Goldman Sachs seem to resign a lot and are part of what Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon described this week as the dynamic comings and goings of the Goldman talent pool.  However, Garcia's exit looks a little less organic. 

Together with Anthony Gutman and Mark Sorrell, Garcia was at the centre of the disruption at Goldman Sachs' London office concerning promotions to the new investment banking operating committee. Gutman is on it. Sorrell and Garcia are not. Gutman and Garcia are were co-heads of the investment bank in Europe. Sorrel is co-head of M&A. Sorrell and Garcia were miffed at their exclusion, and now it seems that Garcia has done something about it. 

Goldman Sachs' London office may be a less cheerful place as a result. Not only has it lost Jim Esposito, the friendly office "glue," but it's lost Garcia whom the Financial Times recently described as "affable." On the other hand, it's keeping Gutman whom the FT described as "divisive." 

Garcia left on a cheerful note. In his parting memo to Goldman staff, seen by eFinancialCareers, he said he'd "enjoyed the ride" and had "worked with many extraordinary people in world-class organizations." Garcia thanked his wife for her "unconditional support" throughout his career and said he will indulge her urge to go on a holiday. "I am pretty sure she did not consciously sign up for this when she agreed to marry me!," he added, of his time at GS. 

Separately, with Bitcoin more than doubling since October, Bitcoin traders are back in the game. Bloomberg reports that they've been up all night and cancelling social engagements. “I had to decline an invitation from friends to go out for drinks,” reflects one Singaporean manager of Bitcoin assets. “I was awake until 3 a.m. Thursday in Sydney watching the incredible run of Bitcoin, says the co-founder of another fund. They presumably had a long rest throughout most of 2023. 

Meanwhile...

Nomura might want a few more traders in London now that its "punitive" capital requirements have been lifted. (Reuters) 

Simon Smith, global co-head of Morgan Stanley’s investment banking division says he doesn't have a personal dislike of Steve Ashley, that Ashley is a “hugely successful guy” who has "built incredible retail businesses" and deserves respect. It's just that other clients would complain. (Financial Times) 

Man Group profits fell 60% due to the poor performance of quant strategies. CEO Robyn Grew says clients accept that these strategies perform less well in markets where there's a sharp reversal. (Financial Times) 

Ken Pang, former co-head of markets at Credit Suisse, is joining Millennium Management as head of equities in Hong Kong. (Risk) 

US banks found a way of increasing their return on equity without cutting reducing capital allocated to trading operations. Under a trade called a significant risk transfer, the riskiest part of loan books is sold to investors like credit funds. (Financial Times) 

combination of continued hiring, acquisitions and past recruiting binges have more than offset the recent wave of reductions. For example, Alphabet. Google’s parent company employed 182,502 people at the end of last year, up more than 63,000 from 2019. Alphabet. Google’s parent company employed 182,502 people at the end of last year, up more than 63,000 from 2019.  (WSJ) 

JPMorgan's ex-head of trading: "I was generally the first person to arrive on the trading floor by 6:15 am. I felt being early set the tone. Up at 4:45 and at the gym/pool by 5:10 and straight to the office." (Substack) 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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