How to pitch top hedge funds on the next hot alt-data set

Happy Saturday!

Hedge funds that love to use Robinhood data to hunt for winning ideas won’t be able to tap its enormous pool of trades in quite the same way anymore. As CNBC first reported, Robinhood is no longer publishing how many customers held a particular stock, and the retail-trading app is also limiting access to its API.

And as Dakin Campbell and Dan DeFrancesco learned, hedge funds were pinging other data providers within hours of hearing the Robinhood news to try to line something else up.

Read the full story here:

Steve Cohen’s Point72 and other hedge funds are sending urgent requests to find a replacement after Robinhood data on hot stock trades suddenly went dark

What does it take for vendors to win customers over on a data feed that’s not quite so high on their list of priorities? Dan teamed up with Bradley Saacks to ask gatekeepers at top alt-data consumers what they look for in a pitch. You can read all their responses here:

How to pitch Bridgewater, Balyasny, and other big names on buying new data sets, according to 7 people in charge of their strategies

Goldman Sachs is among bidders for GM’s credit-card business, the Wall Street Journal reported this week, a move that could mark another big push into consumer finance for the firm. Meanwhile, Goldman and other banks have been going all in on creating their own internal content machines in a bid to win customers – and the general public – over.

Dakin Campbell and Rebecca Ungarino took a look at who’s driving that push and how work-from-home has taken those efforts to the next level. Read the full story here:

Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs have been building out their own in-house media organisations to help control their image. Now they’re kicking production into overdrive.

More big headlines from this week below, including pay drama at PwC, how in-person client schmoozing is making a comeback, and the latest on what’s going on inside Merrill Lynch’s financial-adviser trainee program after an unusual pause on client outreach.

If you’re not yet a subscriber to our finance newsletters, you can sign up here.

Have a great weekend,


The head of Merrill Lynch’s financial adviser training program, the firm’s main talent pipeline, is leaving

Jennifer MacPhee

The head of Merrill Lynch’s financial adviser training program is leaving after a year and a half in the role, industry news website AdvisorHub first reported on Friday. Jennifer MacPhee’s successor, who the firm will name in the coming weeks, will have to contend with a shifting adviser training and recruitment landscape in an ageing industry trying to attract new blood.

Bank of America’s wealth manager recently prohibited its financial advisers in-training from reaching out to prospective new clients. And as Rebecca Ungarino reported earlier this week, the reason for Merrill Lynch’s temporary pause was “many” outreach-related violations across the organisation.

A former PwC partner just sued the firm for $US15 million in compensation, offering a rare look at pay and wrangling over clients at a Big 4 firm

PwC office employee consulting accounting

As Jack Newsham reports, a new lawsuit is packed full of details about compensation and how partners get credit for business they bring in at PwC – including a copy of a PwC offer letter that was attached to the complaint.

Wall Street is taking clients for long walks on the beach and out to dinner outdoors in the Hamptons as safe schmoozing picks up

New york footpath dining

Offices may still be largely empty, but Wall Street is upping its game when it comes to entertaining clients. Dinners in Manhattan are back on – but not everyone is thrilled about sitting on a city footpath in the summer heat. Those looking for an alternative can try golf, beach walks, or dining al fresco in the Hamptons. Bradley Saacks, Meghan Morris, and Rebecca Ungarino have all the details

Investment manager TIAA is shrinking headcount with buyouts offering up to 2 years of pay. Now 10% of its workers are cashing out.

Roger Ferguson

Investment manager TIAA’s voluntary employee buyout program was so successful that the company now says it can avoid layoffs through 2021. Meghan Morris laid out how the buyout offer played out and which areas of the firm saw the most uptake. TIAA’s asset-management arm, Nuveen, saw lower participation in the program than the overall company.

WeWork nabbed a fresh $US1.1 billion in financing from SoftBank as the coworking giant’s membership dropped

Sandeep Mathrani

WeWork saw its membership number fall in the second quarter, but the coworking giant continued to add locations and nabbed a fresh $US1.1 billion from lead investor SoftBank. Meghan Morris rounded up details on revenue and the firm’s latest take on how a multi-year turnaround plan is playing out.

Investments in risky hotel debt could get wiped out as travel gets slammed – and one group of lenders may see an outsized hit

Woman checking into hotel

South Korean lenders poured billions of dollars into US commercial real-estate acquisitions in recent years, including hotel properties that have been battered in recent months by the pandemic. Dan Geiger explains what drove the investment spree and what’s next for the firms.

Equifax’s CTO walked us through a Google Cloud migration that’s addressing security concerns, cutting $US240 million in costs, and helping speed up product launches

Bryson Koehler, equifax

Dan DeFrancesco chatted with Bryson Koehler, the chief technology officer of Equifax, who detailed the digital transformation the consumer credit-reporting giant has undergone over the past two years. Koehler shared that Equifax has put a significant amount of a $US1.25 billion investment toward full adoption of the public cloud, already decommissioned 10 data centres, and is on pace to save $US240 million.

On the move

  • $US34 billion Citadel poached a rising star from billionaire Lee Ainslie’s Maverick Capital to join its Ashler stock-picking unit.

  • Deutsche Bank has poached a senior trader from HSBC to bolster its distressed-credit business, a powerhouse group that’s been hit with defections in 2020.


Private equity

Real estate

Payments and fintech

Hedge funds

Asset management