Goldman Ex-Prop Traders Flopping on Their OwnRead the whole article here
By Yves Smith - Naked Capitalism
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The Galtian traders who carry on as if they are solely responsible for their profits are being shown to be more dependent on the franchise, in particular, the concentrated information flows from dealing with lots of customers and counterparties, than they had persuaded themselves and management. Bloomberg today tells us that the prop traders who have decamped from Goldman, convinced that they’d be able to rack up stellar returns, are floundering. It isn’t just that they aren’t racking up huge wins; they are losing money and falling short of hitting the average for their trading strategy. As the report notes:
Ex-Goldman Sachs (GS) Group Inc. traders led by Pierre-Henri Flamand and Morgan Sze raised more than $4.5 billion for their own hedge funds..
So far, none of them has made money for clients.
The two are among at least six traders who have left Goldman Sachs’s biggest proprietary-trading group in the past two years, which the New York-based bank shuttered in response to new U.S. regulations. All, including Daniele Benatoff and Ariel Roskis, trailed this year’s stock market rally after losing money in 2011, investors said…
Flamand, 41, who was the global chief of Goldman Sachs’s principal strategies group before he quit two years ago to start Edoma Capital Partners LLP in London, has lost about 2.4 percent through February since his $1.8 billion hedge fund started in November 2010, according to investors.
Edoma is an event-driven fund, which invests in companies undergoing events such as mergers, spinoffs and bankruptcies. Such funds returned an average 3.9 percent in the same 16-month period…
Sze, 46, who ran Goldman Sachs’s principal strategies team in Asia before briefly replacing Flamand as global head, left the bank in 2010 to start Azentus Capital Management Ltd. in Hong Kong, hiring 13 former Goldman Sachs traders. His event- driven fund lost about 4.8 percent through February since its April 2011 inception, said a person with knowledge of its returns.
Event-driven funds declined 2.4 percent in the same period…We’ve long been skeptical of the idea that big firm traders are worth their outsized pay packages. Of course, it nevertheless make sense for management to play along, since higher pay levels for traders justify robust pay for everyone senior to them in the hierarchy (yes, a top trader will often be paid more than the top brass, but it’s an anchoring issue. And pay in banks at the senior levels has become more hierarchical than it was in the 1980s and 1990s).
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism gives us pause to wonder about the implications of huge salaries and bonuses that Goldman Sachs gives its executives. There is more than just financial acumen at work when big profits are being made consistently over time, especially when one compares Goldman's profits with its spin-off hedge funds that have been created lately. Here's her take: