Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

Morning Coffee: Stephanie Cohen and the art of leaving Goldman Sachs. Rates traders' losses in late 2023

If you've got your bonus and you want to leave Goldman Sachs, but you're held back by a sense of trepidation tinged with loyalty, then let Stephanie Cohen be your guide. Cohen has quit. In doing so, she's managed to disavow the problems with the division she worked in while she was there, to communicate that they really did want to keep her, to say how wonderful Goldman Sachs is, and to express that she'll have a much bigger sense of purpose somewhere else. 

Get Morning Coffee  in your inbox. Sign up here.

Much of this was achieved through a Business Insider interview to mark Cohen's exit. There, she said that the consumer banking car crash at Goldman Sachs was something that she stepped into when the wheels were already turning. "We entered that business when I was in the investment bank, and a lot had already been done by the time I became involved," Cohen told Business Insider. "I certainly wasn't perfect, but it's always difficult when you show up where lots of decisions have been made and lots of things have been done, and then figuring out what are you going to undo, focusing on the undoing and the fixing, plus focusing on growing and the people and everything else." 

Cohen also informed Business Insider that John Waldron, David Solomon and others at Goldman Sachs tried to persuade her to stay while she was on what Business Insider describes as "leave to focus on her family," which began last June. It was during this leave and period of "significant contemplation" that Cohen had the revelation that she didn't actually want to go back to Goldman Sachs and would rather work for Cloudfare, a cloud cybersecurity network. At Cloudfare, she says she will be able to fully immerse herself in technology instead of toying with it on the side, and to simultaneously assist her young children because,"the world that they're going to live in will be massively impacted by how companies like Cloudflare evolve."

While this presumably means that Goldman Sachs won't have such a big impact upon her children's future in Cohen's eyes, she doesn't dwell upon that in her valedictory LinkedIn post. There, she declares that Goldman Sachs is an "astonishing institution made up of incredible individuals," including specifically all the senior people who tried and failed to make her stay. Goldman has "world-class people," says Cohen. "Time flies when you're having fun!," she adds. But now she's flying off somewhere else where the people are equally fine, and she'll get to "build a better internet. WOW." 

Goldman Sachs probably can't compete with that. It's not Goldman, it's Stephanie. That makes Goldman's loss of yet another senior woman a bit easier to bear. 

Separately, IFR reports that rates traders at some banks had a difficult final quarter of 2023, marked by heavy loses in European government bond trading. The losses afflicted both BNP Paribas and Citigroup, which lost $80m and $50m respectively as positions in Irish and Greek bonds and their related derivatives went badly. Bonuses likely suffered as a result.

Meanwhile...

An ex-Cloudfare employee recently went viral for filming her filing and said she’d received no indication that she wasn’t measuring up. "To be let go for no reason is just like a huge slap in the face." (WSJ) 

Claudia Buch, who became chair of the European Central Bank’s supervisory arm, says banks "aren't out of the woods" and are adjusting to the higher interest rate. "It's just extremely unlikely that we would have a period of structural change where there’s no increase in defaults.”  (Financial Times) 

Dealmaking fees will rise 21% year-on-year in the first quarter, but that's mostly down to DCM. M&A is flat. (Financial News) 

Barclays wants to work more with sovereign wealth funds and private equity funds. (Bloomberg) 

Nailesh Teraiya, who owned and ran a small London-based brokerage called Indigo Global Partners Ltd has been fined £6 million for his alleged role in a Cum-Ex trading scheme. (Bloomberg) 

The SEC is coming for investment firms making exaggerated claims about their use of AI. (Bloomberg) 

But is "irregardless" a word? (WSJ) 

Elon Musk says his use of ketamine to treat the "chemical tides" of depression is in investors' interest. (Bloomberg) 

Extinction Rebellion, which is funded by hedge fund manager Chris Hohn, has been besieging the offices of GB News, which is funded by hedge fund manager Paul Marshall. (Extinction Rebellion) 

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)

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

author-card-avatar
AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Recommended Articles
Recommended Jobs
Paritas Recruitment - Data & Tech
Quantitative Researcher (Systematic Fund)
Paritas Recruitment - Data & Tech
London, United Kingdom
DTG Capital Markets
Proprietary Trader (US, remote)
DTG Capital Markets
New York, United States
Bruin
Senior Business Analyst - Private Assets
Bruin
London, United Kingdom
Deutsche Bank
Trader - Vice President
Deutsche Bank
New York, United States

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.