Here's Why Goldman Sachs Fired Its Top FX Guy - Dealbreaker

Here's Why Goldman Sachs Fired Its Top FX Guy

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Yesterday, news broke that Goldman Sachs had fired one of its top foreign exchange salesmen in London. Immediately, people began wondering what had happened. Word was that Kevin Connors, who was co-head of global forex sales for G10 currencies, had abruptly departed last week. Goldman was officially declining to comment. But it was clearly the source of comments explaining that Connors had not acted illegally or harmed clients. So what happened?

The only explanation offered yesterday was that Connors, who first joined Goldman in 1990 and was elevated to partner in 2008, had violated firm rules. That was rather vague and unsatisfying.

It also gave rise to lots of false rumors and unsubstantiated speculation. Was Connors dating a subordinate at the firm? Had he gone "rogue" and exceeded his trading limits? Other questions that people were asking yesterday were even more tawdry.

A person familiar with the matter has told NetNet that Connors was let go for holding outside investments that he hadn't disclosed to the firm. Holding the investments was a violation of firm policy, the person said.

Of course, that explanation gives rise to even more questions. What were the investments? Why would someone in Connors' elevated position risk everything on outside investments?

Connors was likely one of the top earners at Goldman Sachs. It is hard to imagine what outside investment could be so valuable as to be worth the risk of losing his position.

NetNet has not been able to confirm this explanation with additional sources. Connors could not be reached for comment. Goldman Sachs was not immediately available for comment.

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Guy Who Was Fired By Goldman Sachs For Amassing "Inappropriately Large" Position Welcomed With Open Arms At Morgan Stanley

Back in December 2007, things weren't going so well for Matthew Marshall Taylor. He'd just been fired from Goldman Sachs and not only was he out of a job, but his prospects for finding a new one didn't look so hot, on account of the fact that Goldman planned to put a note in his file detailing the reason he'd been let go-- "for building an 'inappropriately large' proprietary trading position"-- and it seemed unlikely anyone at the firm would be open to serving as a reference for him moving forward.  Three months later, however, one bank told MMT that there was room for him at their inn. Morgan Stanley, apparently having decided the incident at Goldman was but an asterisk in what would be a long and fruitful career, told Taylor to come on down, employing him for over four years until he left in July of his own accord and not because of any legal issues relating to his work at Goldman Sachs. Taylor was accused yesterday by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission of concealing an $8.3 billion position in 2007 that caused Goldman Sachs to lose $118 million. Goldman Sachs fired Taylor in December 2007 and cited “alleged conduct related to inappropriately large proprietary futures positions in a firm trading account,” in a so-called U-5 form, according to a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority document. Morgan Stanley, which had employed Taylor before he joined Goldman in 2005, re-hired him in March 2008, according to the records. Taylor, who handled client-related equity derivative trading at Morgan Stanley, left the firm in July, according to Mark Lake, a company spokesman in New York. His departure wasn’t related to the CFTC complaint filed against Taylor yesterday in federal court, according to a person familiar with the situation, who requested anonymity because the information is private. Taylor concealed the position by bypassing the firm’s internal system for routing trades to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and manually entering fabricated futures trades in a different internal system, according to the complaint. Goldman Sachs, which wasn’t identified in the CFTC lawsuit, said Taylor allegedly made the trades while employed at the firm. Anyway, since MMT is a free agent at the moment, if any other banks would like to overlook the blip, please do get in touch directly. Citi, BofA? At least just think about it. He was good enough for Morgan Stanley, he should be good enough for you. Morgan Stanley Hired Goldman Trader Accused Of Hiding Position [Bloomberg] CFTC Charges Matthew Marshall Taylor with Fraud for Fabricating and Concealing Trades from His Employer and Obstructing Their Discovery [CFTC]

Why I Left Goldman Sachs, Chapter Three: "My Alleged Competition"

In the ping pong game of life, even your most trusted blade can't swat away an opponent with super-sized balls.---Unknown On Monday morning, Grand Central Publishing will release Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story, a memoir penned by former Goldman employee Greg Smith, based on his op-ed for the New York Times entitled, "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs." When Smith's piece came out last March, few if any senior executives inside the bank were pleased, in part because it came as a total shock. No one at Goldman had known Smith was planning to have his resignation letter printed in the paper. No one had known he had issues with the firm's supposedly new and singular focus on making money at all costs. No one, at least at the top, even knew who Greg was. Obviously all this left the bank at a competitive disadvantage in terms of fighting back and for the time being, Smith appeared to be handing Goldman its ass. Getting cocky, even. Perhaps thinking to himself, "When all of this is over, I could be named the new CEO of Goldman Sachs."  As anyone who has ever won a bronze medal in ping-pong at the Maccabiah Games will tell you, however, winners are determined by best of threes. And that anyone going to to the table with Goldman Sachs should be prepared for things to get ugly. Which is why it should not have come as a surprise that after getting hydrated, regrouping, and coming up with a plan of attack, Goldman kicked off round two with a delightfully bitchy, exceptionally underminery comment to the press re: Smith's tale being no more interesting than that of a disgruntled first-year analyst who thinks he's got a story to tell and then followed it up with a leak of Greg's less than flattering performance reviews to the Financial Times. What probably did come as a surprise, however, was today's breathtakingly aggressive Bloomberg piece re: Mr. Smith wherein: * He's described as a petulant child with unrealistic expectations for his career advancement * It's suggested, by saying outright, that his op-ed complaints about the firm were nothing more than him having "an axe to grind" on account of not advancing beyond vice-president, as demonstrated by the fact that as of 2010, he was happy with the firm, wanted to become a managing director and had no intention of leaving * People are left to connect the dots re: Smith and lady bosses ("Goldman Sachs put a different managing director in charge of Smith as it considered giving him a sales job. 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