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Off the record 2016

“He’s a man with all the answers. Unfortunately he doesn’t know what the right questions are”

A top executive at a leading European bank questions the credibility of the firm’s new leadership [March]

“I told Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos that if they wanted to run a company trading at less than 10 times earnings, then be my guest!”

After a tour of the leading lights of Silicon Valley, this bank CEO wasn’t so sure tech giants like Apple and Amazon really wanted to become banks [May]

“Salespeople are expensive. Computers are cheap. I haven’t paid a bonus to a computer yet!”

This head of markets is a big believer in automation and technology [June]

“Is he the best you could get? It’s like appointing Mr Burns from The Simpsons”

A bank analyst is underwhelmed by a new choice of chief executive [October]

“Do you have any interesting compensation plans that reward sales teams on customer service rather than opening accounts?”

“Oh God, no”

One PR is honest about his bank’s ethical efforts [October]

“There’s a new phenomenon in global M&A: we call it the TRCB – the totally random Chinese buyer. You see the bid and think: where the hell did they come from?”

M&A bankers across the world can find their best-laid plans quickly scuppered from unexpected Asian sources [December]