08 Apr We don’t have to follow the charismatic JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon out of London
n October of 2017, then Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein took to Twitter, as serious international financiers including Donald Trump always do, to hashtag #Brexit and talk up the merits of Frankfurt as a future centre of banking.
“I’ll be spending a lot more time there,” he said, in a clear jibe at the City of London. Banking would now be done in a town best known for having a zoo and being the home of famous basketball club the Frankfurt Skyliners.
That night I was at a City awards do which included a table from Goldman Sachs. Few of us could resist the temptation to wander past, point at our watches and ask what time the last flight to Germany left Heathrow.
They took this in the good humour for which Goldman folk are world renowned.
Blankfein has since retired into irrelevancy and has probably moved to Frankfurt, as good a place as any once you have given up on banking.
Today his pal/supposed rival JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon warned he might have to move all of the bank’s European functions out of London.
His annual letter to shareholders said: “We may reach a tipping point many years out when it may make sense to move all functions that service Europe out of the United Kingdom and into continental Europe.”
His conceit is that business would follow him. He might find, as did Lloyd Blankfein – that most business will stay in London and can happily be done by someone else if JP Morgan decides to go and watch the Skyliners battle it out against arch opponent the Baskets Bamberg.
My favourite story about Dimon is how he met his wife. At a Harvard student party, he approached the future Mrs Dimon to tell her: “I’m Jamie. You are leaving with me tonight.”
She did. He’s a charismatic guy. The rest of us may find his overtures easier to resist however.