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Morning Coffee: Jim Esposito's letter explaining why he left Goldman Sachs. Bank of America's new hiring plan

If you're someone like Jim Esposito, the 56-year-old former co-co-head (there were three) of Goldman's global banking and markets team, you're not supposed to get burned out and bored. But the letter Jim sent to clients explaining his decision to leave, sounds like he might have been a bit of both.

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In the letter, seen by the Financial Times, Espo says he had developed “a feeling of merely going through the motions" at Goldman Sachs and that this, "isn’t in my DNA nor what makes this place special”. Rather than hang around in a state of disengagement, he therefore decided to leave with nothing else lined up. “No formal plans for what comes next, which feels like the ultimate luxury after going full out for decades. Standing at a crossroads, sometimes you have to pause to acknowledge the chapters you’ve written,” he added.

Esposito has taken some time out to ponder and compost his career. It's the sort of thing other 56-year-old people in finance would also like to do, although not all have the luxury of three decades of success at Goldman Sachs behind them. Even outside the firm, Espo says he will "bleed Goldman Sachs forever."

Separately, Bank of America appears to be relaxing the hiring freeze that nonetheless saw it recruit 15,000 people in 2023 and is being explicit about hiring itself some more bankers in Europe.

Bloomberg reports that BofA wants to strengthen its European middle market team after naming London based Lesley White head of international middle-market strategy.  

White, who has been at BofA for 35 years, seems to tour around hotspots of the moment: he was most recently chief operating officer of the sustainable markets initiative. 

Meanwhile...

Simon McGuire, a former capital markets originator who worked at Goldman in London for ten years until 1995 says the firm hasn't increased his defined benefit pension in line with inflation. (The Times) 

It's been the busiest January ever for US corporate bond salespeople. (Bloomberg) 

Millennium hired Matthew Nguyen, a natural gas trader from JPMorgan, has head of commodities. (Bloomberg) 

Lazard wants to increase managing director headcount by 10% a year until 2030 and has hired Charles Noel-Johnson as co-head of EMEA restructuring from Moelis & Co. as a start this year. (Financial News) 

Josh Frost is the most important person in finance. After graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in math and psychology, he started in back-office operations at the New York Fed, where he spent 20 years climbing the ranks. Today, he's the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for financial markets, and sets the mix of U.S. government bonds sold to investors. (WSJ) 

EY has begun showing partners at the Big Four firm anonymised “turnstile access” data in recent weeks showing how frequently staff are attending its offices. At least 50% of some times are failing to meet the target of being in twice a week. (Financial Times) 

George Freeman a former science minister in Britain's Conservative government, says he resigned in November because his mortgage went from £800pcm to £2,000 and he couldn't afford that on his £120k ministerial salary. "We're in danger of making politics something only Hedge Fund Donors, young spin doctors and failed trade unionists can afford to do," said George. (Bloomberg) 

“Heterosexual men who play extreme metal guitar do not seem to be doing it to attract women, as has been suspected about musicians of other genres. Instead, it seems they are trying to impress and/or intimidate other heterosexual men with their skills.” (PsyPost) 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available (Telegram: @SarahButcher)

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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