This week, Goldman Sachs told employees that its management team is embracing an open floorplan. Goldman CEO David Solomon explained in a memo how, by moving out of 41st floor offices to a mezzanine above the New York headquarters’ open-air Sky Lobby, the bank’s leaders will be able to soak up a natural “buzz.” That means the rank-and-file will be able to watch top brass as they work, and see and be seen by big clients as they come and go for meetings.
WeWork, of course, has long been a huge proponent of the open workplace. Just weeks after WeWork unveiled the paperwork for its now-imploded IPO, it bought up Spacious, a startup that converts restaurants into coworking spaces. But that play would turn out to be short-lived – we reported that WeWork is shutting Spacious down and laying off its 50 workers. That’s all part of the coworking company’s scramble to shed businesses and slash jobs to stem its massive losses.
But even with all those cutbacks, WeWork is still inking some eye-popping deals. We found out this week that WeWork is currently paying ad holding company Publicis around $US500,000 per month in retainer fees. It’s worth noting that WeWork’s chief marketing officer, Maurice Levy, was formerly CEO of Publicis and still serves as its chairman.
We also got our hands on a memo that WeWork’s head of people, Matt Jahansouz, sent to staff this week laying out pay changes for the workers that managed to keep their jobs. Jahansouz, who joined WeWork in February after nearly nine years in HR at Goldman, outlined “positive steps” on comp that included a new structure for base salary, annual cash bonuses, and equity grants.
We’ve written a lot about the chilling effect the WeWork IPO implosion might have on others. For one, we reported in November that SoftBank-backed insurance company Lemonade had pushed back IPO plans because of concerns about how fast-growing tech firms were being viewed.
This week, though, Bill.com surged 60% in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. We talked to the cloud billing software and payment company’s CEO and an early investor to learn what they were thinking ahead of the debut. They highlighted why they believe Bill.com is low drama, and said that helped dispel any concerns about timing.
With 2020 quickly approaching, we’re already looking ahead to what the next decade has in store. This week, we collected expert predictions about what residential real estate, wealth management, and the public markets will look like in 2030. Stay tuned for more as we wrap up the year.
Finally, a fresh report from the broker wars front. We did a deep dive looking at Charles Schwab’s operating chief, Joe Martinetto, and how he could tackle an integration of once-rival TD Ameritrade after the $US26 billion acquisition. The TD Ameritrade buy has been pitched as an aggressive play for sheer size, and execs have already said they expect to cut staff and branches in search of ever-important synergies.
Have a great weekend,
This week in finance headlines
- Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat sent out an internal memo congratulating the bank’s new class of managing directors – we got the entire list of 220 names
- Wells Fargo is sweetening incentives for its community banking advisers to find clients on their own and not just rely on internal referrals
- Robinhood is rolling out a way to buy $US1 slices of stocks in a bid to lure first-time users. The launch comes after bigger rivals matched it on zero commissions.
- UBS is bringing back a junior analyst role in its wealth management arm as the industry grapples with recruiting fresh talent
- GitLab is eyeing a direct listing in November 2020, but its CEO explains why the $US2.75 billion company could still go the traditional IPO route
- Payoneer just bought a cloud-based payments platform, and its CEO says more strategic acquisitions are on his to-do list
- The CEO of WhyHotel explains how he came up with the idea of pop-up hospitality. His startup partners with landlords to fill new apartment buildings fast and just raised $US20 million.
Private equity firms like Warburg, Blackstone and Ares are embracing something they once shunned: the selling of their own investors’ stakes. Here’s what 5 insiders say is driving the explosive growth of this nearly $US100 billion market.
It seems as though there is no end in sight for the explosive wave of Wall Street trading that is buying and selling stakes of private equity funds.
By year’s end, the deal volume in the so-called secondaries market will have reached close to $US100 billion, a 35 per cent increase from last year and almost quadruple the size of the market just seven years ago, according to data from investment banking firm Greenhill & Co.
Some mainstream asset managers such as Blackstone and The Carlyle Group, have even gotten in on the action themselves, launching or taking over such businesses and then expanding them with new hires and raising billions to fuel their investments.
Frat bros, sketchy accounting, and a regional auditor: The short-seller who predicted $US1 billion Celadon’s bankruptcy two years ago reveals what went wrong at the trucking giant
The biggest bankruptcy in truckload history was unsurprising to a small Louisiana-based hedge fund.
Celadon Group filed for Chapter 11 protection on Monday and plans to shutter the company entirely, the firm’s CEO said in a statement. That comes about 2 1/2 years after Eiad Asbahi’s Prescience Point Capital Management predicted the firm’s stock price would fall to zero.
Last week, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged two former Celadon executives with accounting fraud: former President and Chief Operating Officer William Eric Meek, and former Chief Financial Officer Bobby Peavler.
One of tech and media’s most influential investment bankers said 2020 may see a shakeout in the streaming wars – here’s the full memo he sent to staff
A top tech banker used a Futurist sculpture that sold last month for a record price – $US16.2 million – as a metaphor for how he’s thinking about market tensions right now.
Aryeh B. Bourkoff, the LionTree founder and renowned tech, media, and telecom banker, said in a letter to staff on Wednesday that Umberto Boccioni’s “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space” sculpture “serves as a metaphor for the tension and synthesis between scale and motion that we are seeing right now.”
Bourkoff wrote that “profitable, scaled businesses” that have survived many new challengers should last for at least the next five to 10 years. In the last few years, fighting startups made these businesses “stronger and more creative.”