In a continuation of our previous article, we continue with the assistance of those previously acknowledged to follow this seemingly mass migration of senior financial experts globally. This now far exceeds “normal attrition”. If we are to believe Benjamin Fulford and others, this is the “taking down” of the cabal that has been responsible for the biggest theft of wealth in history. As we also said, the nature of these resignations is most telling. Fifty-one percent resigned or stepped down, 26 percent retired, and only 9 percent left to take other jobs….
I would welcome anyone in “the know” to comment. I know a lot of financial industry folks read this blog. Maybe it is time and it may be the only time to contribute positively to this discussion and the events unfolding.
Certainly, the evidence is supporting that events are unfolding as Fulford and others are contending. If that is so, then we should be seeing some sort of major media announcement within the next week. We will continue to follow this closely. It does seem important enough to pay close attention.
Also, if this is what is happening (a complete do-over of the global financial system), it is the most important event of our lifetimes. Anyone who can help us understand this correctly is welcome to join the discussion.
3/07/12 (AUSTRALIA) Customers Ltd, Tim Wildash has cashed himself out as chief executive of Australia’s largest ATM operator
3/07/12 (USA CA) CALSTRS, Pascal Villiger, senior private equity portfolio manager at the $145 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System resigns
3/07/12 (USA) Astaire quits Bank of America Merrill to dance to Barclays Capital’s tune
3/08/12 (UK) Schroders, Chairman Michael Miles depart as fees, inflows drop. UK’s biggest fund management firm.
3/08/12 (USA NY) Schroders, CIO Alan Brown is steps down
3/08/12 (USA IL) CBOE Executive Patrick Fay Put on Leave Amid SEC Probe
3/08/12 (USA NH & RI) Bristol County Savings Bank president E. Dennis Kelly retires after 35 years
3/08/12 (GERMANY) Clearstream Banking AG – Katja Rosenkranz To Leave Deutsche Börse Group [stockmarket]
3/08/12 (UK) B&CE CEO Brian Griffiths is to retire later this year
3/08/12 (UK) Invesco Trimark Ltd, portfolio manager Dana Love has resigned.
3/08/12 (ISRAEL) Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer will hand in his shock resignation in the coming days and take up a new position as head of the Bank of Zambia. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz is believed to be furious with Fischer’s decision. Treasury officials said he even canceled his participation in the office’s annual Purim party in order to convince Fischer to reverse his decision.
3/08/12 (SOUTH AFRICA) Standard Bank Group Limited (SBK), board member Sir Paul Judge retires.
3/08/12 (SOUTH AFRICA) Standard Bank Groupl Limited (SBK), board member Sir Sam Jonah retires.
3/09/12 (MONGOLIA) Mongol Bank President Alag Batsukh submitted his resignation letter to Speaker of Parliament D. Demberel at the end of last month. He described his reason for resigning as a lack of support by Parliament.
3/09/12 (MONGOLIA) Asia Pacific Securities, General Manager Narantuguldur Saijrakh recently resigned, to focus on his role as Director of Khan Investment Management, investment advisor to the Khan Mongolia Equity Fund – the first open-ended investment vehicle with monthly dealing that invests in Mongolia related equities listed both domestically and internationally.
3/09/12 (Côte d’Ivoire) Banque Central des Etats d’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO) The Ivorian governor of the multi-billion dollar West Africa Francophone bank, Philippe-Henry Dacoury-Tabley, resigned his post.
3/09/12 (UK) Lazard , co-head of investment banking Alexis de Rosnay quits. De Rosnay specialises in the healthcare sector, he has advised Teva Pharmaceutical and Novartis.
3/09/12 (UK) Deutsche Bank PWM, UK head of portfolio management Martyn Surguy resigned.
3/09/12 (UK) Deutsche Bank PWM, head of discretionary management, Kypros Charalambous, having also stepped down.
3/09/12 (HONG KONG) Bank of America Merrill Lynch, K.J. Kim, responsible for Southeast Asia, resigned
3/09/12 (HONG KONG) Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Jimmy Choi, who was in charge of high-yield debt, resigned.
3/09/12 (HONG KONG) Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Leonard Ng, a vice-president in Hong Kong resigned.
3/09/12 (AUSTRALIA) Bank of Queensland CFO Ram Kangatharan plans to leave the bank.
3/09/12 (USA) Cerberus Capital Management LP, CEO Robert Nardelli resigns.
3/10/12 (AUSTRALIA) WESTPAC, Rob Chapman opted to quit running its regional subsidiary St George Bank.
3/10/12 (TURKEY) Garanti Bank, The deputy CEO of Turkish lender Tolga Egemen, has decided to quit.
3/10/12 (CHINA) Korea Development Bank, Shanghai unit senior manager Stella Wen resigned.
3/10/12 (HONG KONG) Deutsche Bank, Johan Sudiman resigns as director.
3/12/12 (USA) John Lewis Partnership Pension Trust, head of investments Andrew Chapman, resigns
3/12/12 (USA CA) California’s Department of Financial Institutions, commissioner William Haraf resigned. The DFI did not say why he is leaving.
3/12/12 (KUWAIT) Gulf Bank, Chairman Ali Rashaid Al Bader quits
3/12/12 (UK and IRELAND) Allfunds Bank, head of UK and Ireland Alan Gadd is stepping down from his role at the end of April.
3/12/12 (USA) ICAP, CEO of the electronic broking business David Rutter step down following a restructuring of the business.
3/12/12 (UK) SVG Capital, chairman Nicholas Ferguson resigns. His departure left him well placed to succeed James Murdoch as chairman of BSkyB should the latter bow to investor pressure and step down. Other investors in the satellite broadcaster suggested Ferguson might be seen as too close to Murdoch to win the support of institutional shareholders.
3/12/12 (UK) Park Hill Group – Blackstone Group’s fundraising advisory arm, Managing Partner of private equity and hedge fund distribution Chris Leach resigns
3/12/12 (UK) Park Hill Group – Blackstone Group’s fundraising advisory arm, Managing Partner Justin Bower resigns
3/12/12 (UK) The chief executive David Rutter of the electronic broking business at interdealer broker Icap stepping down.
3/12/12 (SOUTH AFRICA) The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), CEO Paul Baloyi resigns.
3/12/12 (USA) Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, CEO Bryan Marsal Resigns Title, Remains on as Adviser
3/12/12 (USA IL) CME Group Inc, CEO Craig Donohues will step down at year end.
3/13/12 (USA) Eaton Vance Corp, Treasurer and CFO Robert J. Whelan has stepped down.
3/12/12 (USA IL) CBOE Holdings Inc. (CBOE), senior compliance executive Patrick Fay has resigned. The options exchange being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Fay had been placed on leave after the SEC began investigating the options-market operator’s oversight of traders.
3/13/12 (USA) Mithras Investment Trust, chairman Mike Wooderson will step down
3/13/12 (USA) PHH Mortgage, President Luke Hayden resigned from to pursue what the company calls “other interests.” http://goo.gl/iaqQf
3/13/12 (USA) PHH Mortgage, Treasurer Mark Johnson.resigned
3/13/12 (AUSTRALIA) WESTPAC, head of corporate affairs after David Bell decided to step down from the role. Bell is the latest top executive to leave the bank.
3/13/12 (UK) Capula’s Systemic Trading Head Qiang Dai to Leave Fund
3/13/12 (UAE) National Bank of Abu Dhabi, CEO Michael Tomalin, will retire from the post in a few months.
3/13/12 (ISRAEL) Osem Investments Ltd, CEO Gazi Kaplan has tendered his resignation, effective April 2, citing heath reasons. Nestlé SA owns 58.8% of Osem.
3/13/12 (USA) Paulson & Co.’s, partner and head of the global bank team Robert Lacoursiere has quit to form his own hedge fund
3/13/12 (AUSTRALIA) ASX Ltd, Chairman David Gonski will step down from his role at Australia’s main stock market operator after being appointed to oversee almost A$90 billion ($95 billion) in the nation’s sovereign-wealth funds.
3/13/12 (UK) JP Morgan, Asset Management European chief Jamie Broderick is to step down more than 20 years at the firm.
3/13/12 (UK) SVG Chairman Nicholas Ferguson retires.
3/13/12 (UK) SVG Director Edgar Koning retires.
3/13/12 (UK) SVG Director Denis Raeburn retires.
3/13/12 (UK) SVG Director Francis Finlay retires.
3/14/12 (UK) Goldman Sachs, executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Greg Smith, is resigning today.
3/14/12 (SOUTH AFRICA) ABSA chairman Garth Griffin to retire
3/14/12 (UK) WorldSpreads, CEO Conor Foley resigns
3/15/12 (US WA) HomeStreet Bank, EVP and CFO David Hooston resigns
3/15/12 (DENMARK) Sparekassen Faaborg board member Steen Grønved Nielsen resigns
3/15/12 (UK) RBC Capital Markets head of SSA syndicate desk Noel Williams resigns
3/15/12 (UK) Novia London sales manager Dave Chassell quits
3/15/12 (US CA) Prosper Finance (online venture captial services) CEO Chris Larsen steps down
3/15/12 (UK) The Royal British Legion’s (fund) director of corp. communications Stuart Gendall resigns
3/15/12 (IRELAND) President of Sinn Fein USA (fund) Larry Downes steps down
3/16/12 (AUSTRALIA) Investorfirst CFO and company secretary Ariel Sivikofsky resigns
3/16/12 (MALAYSIA) Amanah Raya Bhd (trust) managing director Datuk Ahmad Rodzi Pawanteh steps down
3/16/12 (UK) Towry (investment & fin. advice) Non-exec chairman Glyn Jones steps down
3/16/12 (GERMANY) Deutsche Bank Chief risk officer (CRO)of Hugo Bänziger steps down
3/16/12 (US IL) Henderson Global Investors Inc. head of the International Opportunities Fund Iain Clark steps down
3/16/12 (US CA) Executive VP and Chief Compliance Officer of Heritage Bank of Commerce Margaret Incandela resigns
3/16/12 (US VA) Genworth Financial board member J. Robert Kerrey resigns to campaign for senate seat
3/16/12 (UK) CEO of the FSA (Financial Services Authority) Hector Sants to leave
3/19/12 (US IA) ISU Foundation (fund), President and CEO of the Dan Saftig to step down
3/19/12 (BRAZIL) HSBC Brazil CEO Conrado Engel steps down
3/19/12 (UAE) Finance head at SNR Denton Islamic Sheikh Muddassir Siddiqui resignsto pursue advisory role
3/19/12 (SWITZERLAND) Julius Baer bank’s chairman Raymond Baer steps down in a “surprise departure”
3/19/12 (GERMANY) Deutsche Bank, asset management chief Kevin Parker to leave executive committee
3/19/12 (GERMANY) Deutsche Bank, head of private wealth management Pierre de Weck resigns from executive committee
3/19/12 (HONG KONG) China Development Bank HK branch CEO Di Weiping retires
3/19/12 (US ID) SunTrust Bank president and CEO Thomas Rueger to retire
3/19/12 (SWEDEN) AP6 (private equity) CEO Marianne Dicander Alexandersson steps down
3/19/12 (SWITZERLAND) FINMA (Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority) Vice-chair Monica Mächler to step down
3/20/12 (KUWAIT) National Investments Co. chairman Yousef Al Majid resigns
3/20/12 (UK) Bank of America, Co-head of distressed debt at Michael Guy resigns
3/20/12 (US PA) Penseco Financial Services Corp, Former state senator Robert J. Mellow resigns from board
3/20/12 (US TX) Acquisition chief Dan Magder quits Lone Star Investments
3/20/12 (NIGERIA) Chairman of House Committee on Capital Markets Hon. Herman Hembe resigns due to allegations of bribery
3/20/12 (Hong Kong) Head of Deutsche Bank Asia-Pac Loh Boon Chye quits
3/20/12 (US NY) Deutsche Bank, head of asset management Kevin Parker steps down from executive committee
3/20/12 (GERMANY) Deutsche Bank, Chairman and CEO Josef Ackermann exits with pension of €18.7 million
3/20/12 (UK) Coller Capital, CEO Charles Hippsley has left to help lead a Christian organisation in London.
3/21/12 (GERMANY) Deutsche Bank AG, Co-head Wolfgang Hammes leaves
3/21/12 (UK) Aviva Investor’s European equity head John Botham exits
3/21/12 (CANADA) National Bank’s Ontaria, Atlantic region manager Mike Miller leaves
3/21/12 (UK) Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s global head of equity prime services Gregory Wagner resigns
3/21/12 (US DC) Liquidity Services Inc, Chief information officer Eric Dean resigns
3/22/12 (UK) Global equity head Neil Rogan resigns from Henderson Global Investors
3/22/12 (NETHERLANDS) CIO at Nedlloyd Pension Fund Bert Tibben step down
3/22/12 (UK) Bank of America Corp, chairman of global banking and markets, Andrea Orcel steps down, goes to UBS
3/22/12 (UK) Bank of America Corp, Jonathan Moulds steps down, helped build the bank’s over-the-counter derivatives trading business and held positions including global head of rate derivatives trading, head of global derivatives and head of global rates and commodities.
3/25/12 (EGYPT) National Bank of Egypt, CEO Tarek Amer said that he will step down from his position at the end of 2012.
It is not however just the number of resignations, but more interesting is the nature of how a lot of these players are exiting. Consider this very revealing OP-ED piece from the New Times Opinion Page, which appeared on 14 March. It is like the saying, when it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and now THE DUCK himself says it’s a duck. Well, you be the judge.
Op-Ed Contributor – New York Times Opinion Section
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs By GREG SMITH, Published: March 14, 2012
TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.
It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.
But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process. I was selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on our recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in sales and trading in New York for the 80 college students who made the cut, out of the thousands who applied.
I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.
When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs, they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.
Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of advising two of the largest hedge funds on the planet, five of the largest asset managers in the United States, and three of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia. My clients have a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars. I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if it means less money for the firm. This view is becoming increasingly unpopular at Goldman Sachs. Another sign that it was time to leave.
How did we get here? The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.
What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.
Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.
It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail. Even after the S.E.C., Fabulous Fab, Abacus, God’s work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids? No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding. I don’t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.
It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.
These days, the most common question I get from junior analysts about derivatives is, “How much money did we make off the client?” It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their leaders about the way they should behave. Now project 10 years into the future: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the junior analyst sitting quietly in the corner of the room hearing about “muppets,” “ripping eyeballs out” and “getting paid” doesn’t exactly turn into a model citizen.
When I was a first-year analyst I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out what a derivative was, understanding finance, getting to know our clients and what motivated them, learning how they defined success and what we could do to help them get there.
My proudest moments in life — getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics — have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts. Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.
I hope this can be a wake-up call to the board of directors. Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. And get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons. People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm — or the trust of its clients — for very much longer.
Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
All I can say is I expect an exciting next few months. I also think it needs to be said here that it also appears that there is a major effort by some very courageous people (like Greg Smith), who are taking great personal risk, to assist in this “cleansing”. We owe them a large debt of gratitude.