Restructuring power players; Blackstone’s Las Vegas bets; fintech winners and losers

Welcome to Wall Street Insider, where we take you behind the scenes of the finance team’s biggest scoops and deep dives from the past week.

As the coronavirus shuts down industries and keeps consumers at home, companies have been scrambling for cash to cope. We took a look at the advisers and investors who are gearing up amid the chaos.

Alex Morrell listed top restructuring bankers who will help companies navigate the crisis. From Casey Sullivan and Bradley Saacks, here’s a look at 10 Wall Street power players picking through up to $US1 trillion in distressed debt to bag huge returns. And in case you missed it last week, Casey wrote about 10 lawyers who have navigated the biggest bankruptcies in history.


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I also wanted to give a warm welcome to Dan Geiger, who joined the team as real estate correspondent on Monday. He’s already broken big news about how real-estate tycoon Aby Rosen is abandoning $US600 million worth of acquisitions in New York City. And he teamed up with Meghan Morris to report that WeWork competitor Knotel has stopped paying some rent and vendors (plus, they got a look at Knotel financials showing how it’s fallen far short of sales targets.)

Have a safe and healthy weekend. As always, my line is open at [email protected].

-Meredith

Fintech winners and losers

Wealth management and tech wall street 2030 4x3

As Dan DeFrancesco reports, the coronavirus crisis is providing the first big test for many young fintechs, which enjoyed rising stock markets and ample funding for years. He spoke to investors and dealmakers about the startups best positioned to succeed – and those that will likely struggle.

Read the full story here:

Here’s which fintechs will soar and which will flop as funding dries up, according to 6 investors and dealmakers

Blackstone’s Vegas bets

Meghan Morris took a look at how Blackstone has poured billions into a 1.5-mile stretch of Las Vegas in the last five years. The private-equity giant bet on four casinos as part of a simple investing thesis that extended to strategies beyond real estate: people would pay to get out of the house for entertainment.

But with the lights shut off across Sin City due to the coronavirus, Blackstone can’t make money from its crown jewel, the Cosmopolitan, though it can still collect rent from the others, for the foreseeable future.

Read the full story here:

Blackstone bet big on 4 huge Las Vegas casinos. Then the coronavirus brought Sin City to a halt, right as the PE giant was trying to unload one of its multi-billion-dollar jewels.

Tiger Global is a fan of TikTok

Chase Coleman

As Bradley Saacks reports, Tiger Global told investors that “no one knows how long coronavirus will affect our lives or the impact it will have on the economy.” Still, it’s identifying winners and losers.

“Some businesses, particularly online retailers, digital content platforms, and online education providers, appear to be relative beneficiaries,” the firm wrote in an investor letter. It has $US1.7 billion in software-as-a-service companies, and also had high praise for TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance.

Read the full story here:

Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global reveals why it likes TikTok parent ByteDance even more during the coronavirus pandemic

Buy now, pay later

Online shopping

As Shannen Balogh reports, buy now, pay later options are seeing a surge in demand from merchants looking for new ways to get consumers to shop. The companies that offer the service charge merchants a fee for each transaction, but say that their ability to drive sales and increase shopping cart values are worth it.

For one, Affirm has seen a 92% jump in home-office sales – which includes merchants like standing-desk retailers Autonomous and Uplift Desk – and a surge in the fitness space from the likes of like Peloton and Mirror.

Read the full story here:

Buy now, pay later startups are ‘having a moment’ – here’s why retailers like Walmart and Target are betting on instalment payments to keep consumers spending

On the move

Goldman Sachs has tapped Bradley Gross, Stephanie Hui, Adrian Jones, and Scott Lebovitz to lead a newly formed decision-making body responsible for overseeing the firm’s investments in private equity.

Read the full memo Goldman Sachs sent to staff announcing the appointments.

WFH on Wall Street


Hedge funds and investing

Fintech and proptech