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Morning Coffee: Job cuts at Citi suggest new targets for layoffs. The ex-Morgan Stanley banker running Russian energy strategy

Citigroup is still hiring investment bankers. Last week, Financial News reported that it added Davide Russo from Amazon to its technology and communications-focused "SuperGroup". However, this hasn't precluded it from firing a few people elsewhere.

Citi cut 50 bankers in Europe before Christmas, but Bloomberg reports that Citi's latest removals include people working in operations and technology at the investment bank. "Hundreds" of people are said to have gone in total, although this amounts to less than 1% of Cit's total headcount of 240,000.

The technology cuts come despite Citi's intention to keep moving away from "manually intensive processes" and plan to invest another 5% in technology this year. Technologists were also among the victims in recent layoffs at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. 

It's a reminder that tech jobs in banks are not immune to being pruned, even as technology budgets swell. It's not clear what kinds of technologists are being let go at Citi and JPMorgan, but at Goldman they included people hired from Google and heads of engineering for entire divisions. 

Separately, it's not uncommon for people to leave banking and to start working for the state, but the state they work for is often in the West. Pavel Sorokin, a former Morgan Stanley vice president in oil and gas research, has left banking and is on a new fast track under Vladimir Putin in Russia.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sorokin, who seemingly has a Masters in Finance from the LSE, has become critical to Russia's energy policy as it seeks to compensate for the loss of trading partners. In his new manifestation, Sorokin has travelled to the Republic of Congo and met with representatives of Afghanistan and Bahrain as he seeks to drum up new clients and fashion new oil trading hubs. He's also the main price setter for Russian oil exports. In 2015, he was ranked one of the top Russian oil and gas analysts by Extel.

Meanwhile....

Andrea Orcel’s fixed salary is being increased 30% to €3.25mn. To unlock higher bonuses he simply needs to increase net profits to more than €5.5bn, from €5.2bn in 2022. (Financial Times) 

Revolut's auditors said there were significant flaws in the auditing of its accounts, including an “unacceptably high” risk of “material misstatement”. (Financial Times) 

Thomas Grosse, the head of Risk at German neo bank N26 has left as the bank rushes to improve its anti-money laundering controls. (Financial Times) 

Tennis player Venus Williams is joining private equity firm TopSpin and is a “terrific addition to the team.” (Bloomberg) 

No one will want to buy Goldman's consumer business. "The incumbent brick-and-mortar banks that everyone thought were dinosaurs actually have a unique and hard to replicate value proposition with checking accounts, cards, a branch near home and one by the office." (Reuters) 

Credit Suisse has had $4bn in litigation provisions since 2020 and another $1.2bn is on the cards. (WSJ)

Jeb Slowik, the co-head of leveraged finance origination for Credit Suisse, has gone to Mizuho. (Yahoo) 

At least a dozen private bankers at the managing director-level and above have left Credit Suisse in Singapore and Hong Kong since September, or are planning to leave. They've taken at least $1bn in client assets with them. (Bloomberg) 

Viewers of a Feb meeting were showed porn by a participant. The meeting “was the victim of a teleconferencing or Zoom hijacking.” (Bloomberg)  

Exhausted Gen X women are leaving the labourforce. “My burnout was really twofold. It was the time and energy in terms of huge hours, but it was also this disconnection from purpose that I didn’t realize I felt until we were in the middle of the pandemic.” (Bloomberg) 

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Photo by Ricardo Arce on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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