Singer-songwriter Galia Arad is certainly not your typical hedge fund employee.Firstly, she didn’t come to it via business school, or even majoring in economics as an undergrad.
She’s never had a job at a bank.
Actually, she came to it via dogwalking.
Asked by The Villager how she landed a gig at a money manager, she explained:
Well… I climbed the ladder. I started as a dog walker in the city, and one of the families that I walked dogs for was starting up a hedge fund, and one thing led to another, and before you know it, I am a key player in the finance world, marching around in my hot business suit. “Sell that! Buy that! This market is so bullish today!”
She jokes. Arad admits she spends most of her day making “car reservations and do[ing] expense reports.”
I don’t know how, where or why I got here — I would have never guessed it five years ago. But oddly enough, I am so thankful for it. And for a day job, it pretty much rocks. I have health insurance!
While music is obviously Arad’s foremost passion, her friends and work in the hedge fund world, is a big part of who she is. One audience member blogged about how, in addition to her beautiful voice, the best part of Arad’s show “is what comes out of her mouth before and after she plays.”
One example she gave is that before one of her songs, Arad said: “I still work at a hedge fund. I still don’t know what that is, and I still don’t know what we do.”
She admits, however, that precisely because she’s a musician, her hedge fund co-workers probably dismiss mistakes with the — well, she’s “an artist, and [they] think on the other side of [their] brain” — line of reasoning.
In an interview with her alum, she said: “No one knows how I got, kept, and continue to keep working there. I always have to Wikipedia finance terms (like “hedge fund”). But my hedge fund peeps sometimes come to gigs. I am like a little exotic animal to them — an exotic animal that’s never dressed appropriately for work. I have gotten better. For the first few months I always showed up looking like a retired dance instructor.”
The singer originally hails from Bloomington in Indiana, which is where she went to college at the Indiana University School of Music.
Talking about her college days, she told The Villager:
I.U. School of Music taught me invaluable lessons: how to practice, what it meant to be a musician… If that meant eating from a can for eight semesters and never having a boyfriend, so be it. And what prepares you better for being a singer/songwriter in New York City than eating from a can and having no boyfriend?
If you want to see Arad play, head to the Living Room in lower Manhattan on July 20, where she’ll be playing with her hedge-fund heavy band, The Assets.
As for whether there will be bonuses based on performance at the gig? “All bonuses will be based on their performance. And bonuses will be paid in pats on the back — which is a 100-to-1 ratio to the U.S. dollar. Thank you, Bloomberg calculator, which I wouldn’t have known existed if it weren’t for working at a hedge fund.”
Check out her version of “Toxic” below: