Morning Coffee: Top Goldman banker in London was an accountant. BAML accused of simplistic risk management

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If you want to work in M&A and don't have an MBA but do have an accounting qualification, then Simon Holden should be your role model.

The global head of telecoms M&A at Goldman Sachs, Holden is thought to be at the centre of this week's preliminary discussions between BT Group and Telefónica SA over the purchase of O2. O2 is worth  $14bn, which suggests Goldman could be in line for fees worth over $500m. Before he joined Goldman in 2000, Holden reportedly spent eight years as an accountant at the firm then known as Coopers & Lybrand. He became an MD at Goldman in 2000 and a partner in 2006. So, don't let anyone tell you that accounting can't be a route into banking.

Separately, someone will have been reprimanded at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) in London. That person is likely to be the bank's head of counterparty risk at King Edward Street. The Wall Street Journal reports that the London office of the U.S. bank stands accused of over-simplifying the way it measures potential risks from exposure to its top five counterparties. The Prudential Regulation Authority has reportedly BAML a letter (in April) demanding that it up its game. If you're a counterparty risk professional, now may still be a good time to tender your services.


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