Here's a note of some of the stories which hit the headlines in January and February 2007.
24-year-old Stanislav Shpigelman was regarded as one of the 'brightest of the best', the former Merrill Lynch M&A analyst had a brilliant academic record, came from a respected family, and had a great career in the financial markets ahead of him. That's all gone now, and Shpigelman was sentenced to 37 months in clink after pleading guilty to insider trading. Shpigelman said he was foolish enough to become involved with two former junior Goldman staff, and admitted to providing tips on 6 pending M&A deals. Whilst the others, who allegedly plotted a number of schemes to obtain price sensitive information (including using strippers, engaging a Croatian seamstress and planting spies in a business which printed Business Week magazine), are said to have made $6.7m from the alleged insider trading, Shpigelman received just $12,000. And 37 months in clink.
Citigroup's then CEO Chuck Prince let go Todd Thomson, the company's 45 year-old wealth management head, partly because of a spat over expenses. Prince was under the cosh over costs (Citigroup's operating expenses increased 15.2% in 2006 to $52.02bn, while revenues rose just 7.1% to $89.62bn), and is said to have blown his top when he discovered that Thomson had used over $5m from his unit's marketing budget to sponsor a new TV programme for the Sundance Channel. Prince was believed to have told his board that Thomson was guilty of a number of judgement lapses, from the 'improper use of Citigroup's corporate jet to installing a wood-burning fireplace in his office'.
Finally, Citigroup executives decided to change the name of their business. The new name of the company eventually turned out to be simply 'Citi'. The red umbrella logo also went, replaced by an upside down smile.
The Evening Standard reported that 'dozens' of traders who worked in London at Bank of America's investment banking unit were mighty miffed over what was described as 'derisory' bonuses. According to the newspaper's unnamed source, 'massive numbers of people would leave after bonuses hit bank accounts later that month. One trader who claimed to have made almost $50m for the firm last year, says he bagged a bonus of less than $2m (poor old soul). Not too many left.
In a surprise move, Credit Suisse announced that 47-year-old Brady Dougan, who headed up the group's investment banking division (previously CSFB) and an American to boot, would become Group CEO when the then-current boss Oswald Gruebel stepped down in May. No-one saw that one coming.
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