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Morning Coffee: Credit Suisse researchers erased from history. Former Centerview associate now wants help to escape from Burning Man

They’re trying to put a brave face on it – telling Credit Suisse wealth management customers that they will have access to twice as much stock research, but it seems that the equivalent of the Burning of the Library of Alexandria is on its way.  Clients have been told that they will have access to “historic” CS research until “early October”, but after that … it looks like the archive will be shut down.

Credit Suisse research is being merged with UBS on both the wealth management and investment banking sides, and the “terminations of coverage” will begin on September 18th.  And in the ruthless world of equity research, “termination” means what it says.  A bank can’t take on the compliance and business risks of having any confusion about its recommendation on any given stock or bond, so typically when a merger goes through, one side’s entire archive gets deleted.

All those past ideas, all those gems of analysis, gone forever; all those gruesome puns and pop culture references, lost like tears in the rain.  It’s enough to make you feel a bit sentimental.

But only a bit.  For the most part, anyone who’s familiar with sell side research will know that the vast majority of the “historic” research consists of dispiriting earnings updates, half-hearted valuation ideas and endless news summaries.  Many of them will literally not have been read by anyone except the analyst whose name appears on the front page; some not even that.  Given that clients didn’t read most of this stuff when it was sent to them first time and then followed up with a couple of voicemails, they’re unlikely to be too distraught at losing access to the historical archive.

The only people who might be truly sad to see Credit Suisse research disappear are the analysts themselves.  Research can be a soul-destroying job – there are few roles in banking which will humiliate you as thoroughly or as regularly than trying to predict the market – and lots of analysts like to build their morale back up by reading through their past highlights, to remind themselves that they’re not entirely useless.

This won’t be available to CS analysts any more – even the ones who are carrying on at UBS.  So it’s a reminder to everyone in that industry that it’s best to keep your own archive of greatest hits.  Or alternatively, you can always ask a favoured client if they remember that great note you wrote a couple of years ago and ask them to email a copy.  The only problem with doing that, though, is that you’re quite likely to get an honest answer.

Elsewhere, it’s not completely unknown for people to join the associate program at Centerview and end up a few years later at BlackRock.  Mark Moran, however (the former banker, former reality star, former Litquidity partner and current … we think influencer?) has taken a slightly different path – he’s gone from Centerview to Black Rock City, the location of the Burning Man festival.  Earlier in the week, it seemed like he was enjoying it more than many, saying that he was planning to go “networking in an orgy tent” before catching the last plane out.

But according to his Instagram story, the fun ran out over the next 24 hours.  It seems that “everyone left without me”, leaving Moran apparently alone with a lot of grooming products, and eight hours later he still hadn’t got a flight and was asking “anyone” to help.  Maybe the networking didn’t go as well as expected.  The last video so far shows him in a car with one companion, apparently in hour three of a massive traffic jam, with limited signal.  Hope your luck turns better, Mark!

Meanwhile …

He’s been convicted of fraud for the 1MDB scandal and banned from the industry, but former Goldman MD can’t stop paying his lawyers yet – he’s got a whole further set of hearings over extradition to Malaysia. (Reuters)

A slightly more unusual second act for Jonathan Pruzan, passed over for the top job at Morgan Stanley – rather than showing up at a lower tier bank, he’s going to be one of America’s biggests landlords, taking the CEO job at single-family real estate investment firm Pretium.  It’s not a complete change of industry though – his intention is to help them grow by doing deals. (WSJ)

If you’ve ever worked with a graduate of the Indian Institutes of Technology, and if you’ve ever wondered how it was that they got that way, this is an interesting long-read on the incredibly intense culture and punishing workload of these elite institutions.  As well as huge pressure, there are serious allegations of harassment and caste discrimination. (WIRED)

If you’ve got a track record of 51 years of good performance, but you recently wrote then deleted a 13,000 word blog post about how great you thought Sam Bankman-Fried was, then you might prefer people not to say things like “you’re only as good as your last deal”.  Sequoia Capital has apparently been on an apology tour of its investors. (FT)

It’s more dangerous than golf, but seemingly more social than DJing – an increasing number of fiftysomethings, including former Merrill Lynch bankers, are still skateboarding.  Apparently the tricks “look dangerous to non-skaters”, but it’s just a matter of “muscle memory” that keeps members of groups called things like “Deathracer413” from breaking their bones. (WSJ)

Hannah Lee, JP Morgan’s head of APAC ESG equity research, must be one of the most tactful people in the industry; she’s managing to write about the portfolio effects of US and Chinese foreign policy, while based in Hong Kong. (Bloomberg)

For every year after the age of thirty, a woman apparently has to earn $7,000 more per year in order to remain as attractive in the dating market, according to business school professors who enjoy calculating slightly meaningless averages. (Wharton Magazine)

Deutsche Bank’s big cloud venture with Google is growing into a big project on generative AI. (Diginomica)

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AUTHORDaniel Davies Insider Comment

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