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Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: Other People's Money 富裕家族の富の物語 by Justin Cartwright ジャスティン・カートライト

Ultra HNWI families spend a lot! UBS and Credit Suisse have moved away from investment banking and refocused on asset management. Private Banking services for the 1% are the next clear trend globally. This is about a rich family and the lifestyle that they lead. OPM is a wealth management term for "Other People's Money" and is still used today.

The plot involves a very old bank, a family office, and the people involved with running that money, not just the deals themselves. The main focus is on the many up and coming rich generations that feel entitled to wealth made by their parents or grandparents. The view seems to be "is all in the family and I deserve all of it!" This is the main story line. 

It is pleasant light reading for lazy days by the beach in the south of France, where it is partly set, or on vacation elsewhere. What kind of characters work inside a very old private bank? What are their old money customers like? Much is revealed about the attitudes of High Net Worth clients, and their typical actions around entitlement. 

The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) There is a clear detachment with multi-generational HNWI families and their wealth. It is not about any return on capital, but more a return of capital with investments!

2) The south of France does seem to have a large number of British nationals spending away the family office wealth

3) Keeping hungry economically after financial success has never been easy to families to continue past second or third generations

What world do the super rich in Europe live in? That is what this book describes. It is ultimately a description of a recent period of time post Madoff, post Lehman, and the aftershocks that may be going on now that are being felt by private banks today. It may be fair to say that this book shows what is happening to families in Europe, and many families in China or Japan should take note. Lessons could be learned.

It is worth a read if that kind of fiction is what you seek. It is not a fast-paced hard core thriller about the famous financial "City" of London, England. I say this because it touches on the financial world, but does not really live or breath it. It is more of a pleasant fictional novel about people, who happen to be wealthy. I did not mind myself, but financial markets are basically just the scenery around the story, and not intrinsic to it. Highly Recommended!


Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme.  Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Twitter, the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, over 45,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位の採用企業45,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: "How I Caused the Credit Crunch" : Tetsuya Ishikawa リーマンショックの物語: 石川哲也

It is now 8 years after Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. However, with the global bond markets at near zero rates, a new credit bubble is forming. Around 10 years ago, the world had a similar bubble with CDOs. This is a great look back at the Lehman Brothers crash and the Bear Stearns rescue by JP Morgan, now almost 8 years ago. This amusing novel gives a real insider's view on how the very frothy credit markets got there in the first place. 

For those who were just making a solid living in equities, fixed income and credit was a ticking time bomb. The author Tetsuya Ishikawa, is a Japanese British citizen, who worked at Goldman Sachs. He directly worked with collateralized debt obligations, better known as CDOs, that all blew up later on.

This is a great in-depth answer to those wondering about what a credit job in a global financial institution would have been like. This is a pleasant read if you like "The Wolf of Wall Street" style stories. It is full of slices of the excesses of money, booze, strippers, drugs and fine hotels, but not really strong in substance or market insight. 


The odd feeling you get by reading this book now though, is how few people seemed to have been aware of the clouds on the horizon. There may have been worry and concern over the amount of risk, but not enough to lose sleep over. The reality of the melt down turned out to be a much bigger event than anybody seemed to have anticipated.

The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) There seemed to be no clear understanding by traders of how badly any abuse of credit via CDOs could end.

2) The focus on making as much money as possible personally, seemed to be the only religion at the time within Finance.

3) How interconnected the global world of finance really became, was not truly understood, only suspected.

You also learn more about how to survive within investment banking office politics, a very essential and much needed skill. It is critically important to know, how to make sure you can "get recognized" enough by the Managing Directors who write the checks, in order to get paid that mythical 7 figure income, but little else. 

It gives a curious account of one man's view of his role in a huge event, but is kept at the main character's human level. This is much less about how the big picture of the global credit crisis really came together in any clear form. When you are in the center of things, you often do not realize the size of the market all around you.

For anybody who has spent a few years in any front office role, the descriptions all ring true, and the author has clearly been there. However, there was nothing really new or too insightful, just great observations of a certain point in time. I found it similar to a trash magazine snack for the mind, a sugar rush equivalent. 

It was hardly a satisfying mental meal, but that was not the point. Like a fast food burger, it still satisfied a certain need with enough written details to quench a thirst for a financial story break over the weekend. Highly Recommended!


Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme.  Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Twitter, the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, over 45,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位の採用企業45,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: Swimming with Sharks: Joris Luyendijk サメと泳ぎます: ヨリス ライエンダイク

This is an excellent overview of the World of Finance and its unique culture. The author started the project knowing nothing about anything financial. Via interviews he figures out as a true beginner how all of the parts fit together. This was a blog project started by the UK newspaper "The Guardian" and gained a lot of popularity. Many in the public started bashing bankers of all types. We learn that, "it is not the people that are bad, it's the culture". One defense was curious. Saying that all bankers are bad is like saying "all athletes are bad because a few are caught for doping". I can see the logic now with that observation.

We learn a lot about the functions of different people with a bank versus a securities company versus a regulator. We learn about how front office traders (the tigers) differ from those within middle (the type B personality chimpanzees) or back office function (the worker bees). All are considered "bankers" but only a few seem to be the ones who the media go on about, the top 5% of earners. I like the saying, " this job involves selling your soul for a good salary", that does seem correct.

The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) There is no single person or small group who was responsible for the Great Financial Crisis of 2008.

2) A globally integrated system of finance with weak laws & guidelines was the true root cause of the crisis.

3) Nothing major has changed within this financial system, and a new trigger like an IT glitch could start a bigger crisis.

How did the financial crisis begin in 2008 anyway? Who was responsible? Why hasn't anybody gone to jail? This was a basic starting point of the blog, but many layers of the financial world are explored. It was important to understand how it worked, or didn't in many key cases. The first thing the author discovers is the "unspoken understandings" that exist within any bank. As an outsider, the author finds out what you can ask about and can't very quickly. he also finds out that no single person, or entity can really be pointed out as uniquely responsible for the crisis.

For anybody already working inside a financial institution, it all rings very true. For anybody looking to get into finance or switch careers, this can be a big eye opener. It really explains what the culture is like, who the people are, and what types seem to do well in certain kinds of roles. As far as a bigger picture on finance though, other thoughts are insightful. Are investment banks "too big to fail" or are now just "too big to save". Are they in fact "too big to manage" anymore? When too many in senior roles do not know what others in the bank are really doing, isn't this a bad sign? 

I come away with more questions on what "should be done by the end. It seems that even for an outside, the system has grown out of control by management and the regulators. How can this be fixed or improved? The amoral nature of the shareholders who now own most of these publicly listed firms, have no real interest in changing the system today. The whole worldwide financial system is interconnected and works in ways it was never intended to. A kind of global evolution gone wrong. It does not matter if Quants, Artificial Intelligence or any other FinTech innovations develop in future. 

The core foundation of global finance seems to need a big re-think. The biggest question is will the world make the changes in time, or will a meltdown in a bigger future crisis force this change only later? Investment Banks, Private Banks, Asset Management, Insurance or any other part of the financial system may need to be redone. I do not have all of the answers today, but after reading this book, I certainly feel that know what issues need to be addressed. Highly Recommended!


Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme.  Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Twitter, the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, over 45,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位の採用企業45,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: The Billionaire Who Wasn't: Conor O'Clery 無一文の億万長者: コナー・オクレリー

The American billionaire Chuck Feeney, founder of DFS, has a story that is quite amazing. Without him, Apple would not be facing any EU tax bill today. In fact Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and many others may not have European offices based in Ireland, due to its strong IT talent pool. He kept his wealth & philanthropy a secret, and always remained low key despite being a self made success. 

He was born in 1931, near New York, and grew up catholic in a blue collar working class Irish area. He always seemed a "great talker" with a great wit who liked to hustle and make a buck. Heavy snows were an opportunity to shovel snow as a child. He paired up with the biggest kid in his class "Moose" Foley and knocked on doors to get orders, Chuck got the orders and collected the money. Moose did most of the shoveling, he was only 8 at the time. 

He joined the US Air Force and was stationed in Japan for 4 years, where he worked in communications and learned Japanese. After the Korean war, he got a free college degree under the GI bill, the first ever in his family. He went on to study hotel management at Cornell University, an Ivy league school that did not often accept catholic students at the time. It was the same school where the 2 founders of Burger King went, as did the founder of Alamo rental cars. Many of the students there were entrepreneurs looking to do new businesses. 

He studied French at the Sorbonne in Europe, and ran into a British man selling duty free liquor to US navy sailors. It then became clear that all tourists would be able to benefit from the duty free goods. He visited Hawaii and discovered how the Japanese market wanted to travel more and show the world its arrival in 1964 for the Tokyo Olympics.  The opportunity to bid for the Duty Free Stores in Hawaii popped up and he won the bid. This was just before the introduction of the Boeing 747. The shop soon had a turnover of over US$1million dollars a day. 

The money piled up and more stores were added. Duty Free Stores, now known as DFS became the largest retailer in the world by 1980. They never boasted of the DFS profits and kept a low key profile. Chuck was estimated to be worth US$1.3 billion by Forbes at the time. It was in fact much more. This is just the beginning of his story. He is the first philanthropist to go public on his "giving while living". He started his foundation in 1984, and began to give away billions worldwide, but only anonymously. 

The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) There is always opportunity for anybody who likes people and tries to engage. They are all around you.

2) Only if you are working at something and in the middle of it, can you move into a new opportunity seen. 

3) You can only see great opportunities from being on the ground as a participant. Inspiration is never found in any basic plan created with no input from the client or customer.

You could say that he built the first wave of high tech Universities in Ireland starting with Limerick. He has gone on to fund hospitals in Vietnam, lodging homes, bioscience institutes and many other institutions on 7 continents. In 2012, he was given a lifetime achievement award by Forbes and it was presented by Warren Buffett himself! There is too much to explain in this review, but to say that he has left a mark with his life is a huge understatement. It was an amazing read and mind blowing in so many ways. He really was the most influential billionaire you have never heard of. Highly Recommended!


Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme.  Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Twitter, the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, over 45,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位の採用企業45,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com