Although the Salomon name no longer adorns any financial giant, its legacy is common knowledge even for the financial neophyte.
Its status in financial lore is thanks to its numerous innovations in the bond market, Michael Lewis’ semi-memoir Liar’s Poker (a mandatory read for anyone considering a foray into finance) and the firm’s very public Treasury bond scandal in 1991.
But the investment bank and trading house was also chock full of employees — some reckless, some arrogant and some talented. Those former bankers have gone to both success stories or disastrous downfalls. (There are two MF Global executives in there too!)
So from Mayor Bloomberg to John Gutfreund, we rounded them up.
THEN: Michael Lewis worked as a bond salesman in London for Salomon Brothers in the late 1980s.
NOW: Writing best-sellers year-by-year. In the financial sphere, he's received praise for The Big Short and Boomerang about the aftereffects of the financial crisis. In the cinematic world, two of his books -- The Blind Side and Moneyball -- have been made into critically acclaimed films.
HOW HE GOT HERE: Lewis quit his job at Salomon to write Liar's Poker. From there, the rest is history.
THEN: Got his career start as a mortgage trader at Salomon.
NOW:Serving as Chief Risk Officer at MF Global, which filed for bankruptcy Oct. 31 and is now embroiled in legal troubles.
HOW HE GOT HERE: Trade mortgages at Morgan Stanley and Goldman after Salomon, then went on to a long career in risk management -- most recently as UBS America's chief risk officer. Also did a stint as a visiting scholar at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business.
THEN: John Meriwether was the head of fixed-income trading at Salomon and rose to vice-chairman in 1988. He resigned from the firm when it became embroiled in a scandal involving false bids for treasury bonds.
NOW: His most recent hedge fund business, JM Advisors, only raised $28.85 million.Ouch.
HOW HE GOT HERE: Meriwether seems prone to bad luck when it comes to investments. He started his own hedge fund Long Term Capital Management, which had a spectacular fall in 1998 after a bad bet on the Russian ruble and losing 90% of their assets. After that, Meriwether started JWM Partners, which also closed following the 2008 financial crisis.
THEN: Michael Bloomberg was head of equity trading and systems development at Salomon in the 1970s. He was fired in the early 1980s and left with a $10 million dollar severance package.
NOW: In case you've been living under a rock -- Bloomberg is now the mayor of New York City. He's been the target of some negative sentiment for his handling of the Occupy Wall Street protests in the city, but has also remained affable with fake Twitter handles like @ElBloombito, that makes fun of his Spanish.
HOW HE GOT HERE: He used his severance pay from Salomon to start Innovative Market Systems -- which later became Bloomberg LP. Bloomberg terminals are now a ubiquitous sight at every financial firm, and the company's news service is now the largest media outlet in the world. Bloomberg himself left the company in 2001 to become mayor of New York, but he's still a majority owner of firm.
THEN: Spent 14 years as a managing director overseeing fixed-income sales at Salomon, and later Citigroup when it was acquired.
NOW: Global head of institutional sales at MF Global, the brokerage that recently filed for bankruptcy and now facing legal troubles.
HOW HE GOT HERE: Held leadership positions in sales at UBS and BTIG.
Source: MF Global
THEN: Director of Salomon's European Economic and Market Analysis Group until 1992.
NOW:Serving as special advisor to the managing director of the IMF, at one point was in line to possibly become the next managing director.
HOW HE GOT HERE: Lipsky worked at Chase Manhattan Bank, and then was chief economist at JP Morgan after leaving Salomon and before joining the IMF. After the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sex scandal, he served as acting managing director of the IMF DSK's place.
THEN: Got his start as a mortgage trader at Salomon, and was featured in Liar's Poker for his cunning ability to negotiate a higher salary as a starting analyst with Salomon.
NOW: Last October, the real estate trust fund he was in charge of filed for bankruptcy.
HOW HE GOT HERE: After Salomon, he went to Prudential, then Daiwa Securities where he built up the mortgage and asset-backed securities department. Following that, he was at First Boston Credit Suisse. When he was 35 (and at Daiwa), Stone was named to Crain's 40 Under 40 List.
THEN: Ranieri headed the mortgage bonds desk at Salomon, and was considered by many to be the father of mortgage securitization. Left Salomon in 1987.
NOW: Recently partnered with Shellpoint Partners to offer subprime mortgage lending, saying it is an untapped market. Also, still coming under criticisms for being the brains behind the mortgage bonds that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis.
HOW HE GOT HERE: He bought BankUnited after leaving Salomon, then gained a bit of fame through Michael Lewis' book Liar's Poker. Ranieri launched his own PE fund, Ranieri Partners in 2007.
THEN: Chairman of Salomon Brothers, once nicknamed the 'King of Wall Street.' Resigned in 1991 amid the treasury bond scandal.
NOW: He owns his own financial consulting firm, Gutfreund & Company.
HOW HE GOT HERE: He lost most of his influence and his high-powered network after resigning from Salomon, but seems like Gutfreund has made do. He also has positions at two healthcare companies, serving as chairman for Nutrition 21 and an independent director for LCA-Vision.
THEN: Joined Salomon in 1990 as a special consultant, then rose to managing director of fixed-income derivatives.
NOW: Chairman of Platinum Grove Asset Management, and sits on the board of several companies.
HOW HE GOT HERE: Scholes partnered with Meriwether to start Long Term Capital Management. Before the fund collapsed, Scholes won a Nobel prize in economics with Robert Merton for his pioneering work in derivatives valuation, the Black-Scholes model. He's also seen his share of troubles in the LTCM fallout and when his fund suffered following the financial crisis.
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