Here's Everything You Need To Know About Kappa Beta Phi -- Wall Street's Super Exclusive Frat

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It appears the glory days of frat row don’t have to end with graduation if you’re a Wall Streeter.If you become a big wig in your finance career, you might be able to receive an invitation to join the brotherhood Kappa Beta Phi — Wall Street’s exclusive fraternity.

Of course, what’s a fraternity without a big party and a bit of hazing?

The New York Times’ Kevin Roose had an exclusive look into this finance frat and despite the ire being directed at Wall Street and current state of the economy, the group still parties on.

The finance fraternity dates back before the Great Depression.

Kappa Beta Phi, a secretive and exclusive Wall Street fraternity, was founded in 1929 prior to the stock market crash.

Source: WSJ

However, the market crash didn't stop the party.

While the rest of the country was struggling, the group continued to hold its annual dinners throughout the depression.

The annual dinner was suspended during World War II.

Source: WSJ

The name comes from an academic honour society.

The name Kappa Beta Phi is derived from the academic honour society Phi Beta Kappa.

Source: WSJ

It's not so much an academic society though.

The frat's Latin motto is 'Dum vivamus edimus et biberimus' which translates as 'While we live, we eat and drink.'

Source: WSJ

The frat has its own set of traditions.

The insignia consists of a beer stein, a champagne glass, a pointing hand and five stars.

The stars stand for Hennessy cognac and the hand is to hold the glass, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Some members wear the insignia tied around their neck with a red ribbon.

Source: NYTimes DealBook

Here's how you get in...

It's invitation only!

Source: NYTimes DealBook

Just like in college, frat members still have to pay their dues.

Those who are in the frat have to pay $475 a year, according to DealBook.

Bloomberg points out that in 1954 members paid $30 in fees for membership in the group.

The group meets just once a year at the St. Regis hotel in New York.

Members of Kappa Beta Phi meet just once year for the annual back-tie induction dinner at the St. Regis. (It used to be held at the Downtown Athletic Club.)

The banking fraternity just celebrated its 80th induction ceremony.

Source: NYTimes DealBook

Here's what they ate this year...

The revelers dined on lobster salad, shrimp, pigs-in-a-blanket, lamb chops and pistachio ice cream. Compare that spread to the 1930 menu of beefsteak.

Source: Bloomberg

Big wigs who were present include...

  • Alan Greenberg, the former chairman of Bear Stearns.
  • Robert Benmosche, chairman of AIG
  • Meredith Whitney, Whitney Advisory Group
  • Martin Lipton, founding partner of the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Source: NYTimes DealBook

Those who were absent include...

  • Dick Fuld, the former CEO of Lehman Brothers
  • James Cayne, former chief of Bear Stearns
  • Jon Corzine, ex-CEO of bankrupt broker dealer firm MF Global.

Source: NYTimes DealBook

Other big name members include...

  • Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City
  • Larry Fink, CEO of Black Rock
  • Richard Grasso, former head of the NYSE
  • David Komansky, former CEO of Merrill Lynch
  • Sallie Krawcheck, former head of BofA Merrill Lynch's global wealth management.
  • Kenneth Langone, former chair of NYSE compensation committee
  • Sandy Weill, former CEO of Citigroup
  • John Whitehead, former chair of Goldman Sachs

Source: Wikipedia

The group has interesting names for its leadership.

The fraternity's leadership consists of a 'Grand Swipe', 'Grand Smudge', 'Grand Loaf' and a 'Master at Arms.'

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross served as this year's Grand Swipe.

Source: NYTimes DealBook

During the dinner, new officers are installed and new members are inducted.

New inductees included billionaire hedge fund manager Marc Lasry, who runs Avenue Capital, Warren Stephens, the chief of Stephens Inc. and Ted Virtue, the chief executive of MidOcean Partners.

Source: NYTimes DealBook

What's a frat without hazing new members?

New members had to wear wigs, gold-sequined skirts and skin-tight tops and perform after-dinner skits in front of the fraternity's members.

Source: NYTimes DealBook

During the skits, they made fun of outsiders.

The Occupy Wall Street movement was a target of this year's skits.

For example, the members played a video of bond specialist James Lebenthal telling a protester whose face was reportedly tattooed to go home, wash of his face and get back to work, according to the New York Times' Kevin Roose.

Source: NYTimes DealBook

They talk politics.

Once again, Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank (D.) was also a target of the roasting. Frank is a huge advocate for more financial regulation and reform.

In 2009, the group reportedly took a jibe at Frank's sexual orientation. He's the first openly gay member of Congress.

Source: NYTimes DealBook

They crack jokes about fellow financiers.

And they sing songs.

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