Reporting on big names coming and going is always a huge part of covering Wall Street. And this week, the news was mostly about exits.
Dakin Campbell was busy breaking news on fresh Goldman Sachs departures. Sumit Rajpal and Andrew Wolff, two of three coheads of a merged alternative-investing unit created by CEO David Solomon last year, are retiring. Rajpal and Wolff were slated to be lead investors for Goldman’s eighth private-equity fund, which will kick off fundraising next week. Here’s the memo Goldman’s top brass sent to staff on Friday about the exits.
Adam Korn, a chief architect of Goldman’s Marquee institutional trading platform, is retiring after nine years as a partner.You can read the full memo about his departure here. And Rana Yared, a Goldman partner overseeing more than $US2 billion in principal investments, is heading to a leading European VC firm that was an early backer of digital bank Revolut.
As Alex Morrell and Trista Kelly reported, Credit Suisse is overhauling bonuses for investment banking and capital markets. The firm on Wednesday finalised a new comp plan, including requiring the cash portion of bonuses to be paid in the form of an “upfront cash award” with stiff clawback provisions. And that was right before the bombshell announcement that CEO Tidjane Thiam is out following a spying scandal.
Charles Schwab execs gave a 4-1/2-hour business update, and Rebecca Ungarino broke out they key takeaways, including how the discount broker is prepping for its planned mega-buy of TD Ameritrade, and why it’s making “distasteful” cash offers to win clients. One slide from COO Joe Martinetto laid out where Schwab will find up to $US2 billion in savings – and flagged “geographic footprint rationalization” and “workforce overlap.” That sounds a lot like shuttering branches and cutting jobs, and we already happened to be mapping the overlap for the two firms – you can take a look at the brand-new graphic here.
We also like to hear from insiders about what it takes to be successful in the beats we cover. Alex Nicoll talked to real estate experts to compile a list of 15 podcasts they listen to for practical advice and incisive commentary on the industry.
Rebecca put together the ultimate guide to FA development programs at Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Merrill Lynch, including how their interview process works and what to expect from the intense multi-year programs once you join.
And as Bradley Saacks reported, billionaire Citadel founder Ken Griffin thinks that corporate culture is not pushing people hard enough these days. Leaders “don’t happen because you work 9-to-5 and then have a great weekend,” he said in a chat with Goldman President John Waldron at the Economic Club of New York.
Still, you don’t need to join the three-comma club to enjoy life’s finer things. Shannen Balogh rounded up 14 startups that are rethinking the buying mentality by offering rentals on everything from boats to Cartier jewellery, and the VCs betting that you’re perfectly happy renting.
Long reads to follow, as well as a roundup of other must-know headlines.
Have a great weekend!
WeWork’s board shakeup sees 3 longtime directors depart. Another is leaving in April, and the company is adding its first female board member.
WeWork’s board of directors is seeing a major shakeup that includes three departures and the appointment of the first female member.
SoftBank’s Ron Fisher, Rhône Group’s Steve Langman, and former Goldman Sachs vice chairman Mark Schwartz are all off the board, a source with knowledge of the changes said. Former Coach chairman and CEO Lew Frankfurt plans to leave when SoftBank’s tender offer is complete, which is set for the beginning of April.
The board changes come as part of a planned board director refresh stemming from SoftBank’s October deal to rescue WeWork.
Two Sigma’s private-equity arm is building out a data team run by a former Google engineer – it’s a big move that shows how PE is finally turning to data and AI to boost returns
Two Sigma’s private-equity arm has plans to hire to build out its data capabilities, recruiting engineers, and data scientists to help provide insights to investment professionals and portfolio companies, Business Insider has learned.
Private-equity executives are increasingly considering artificial intelligence and alternative data in their investment decisions, according to a recent report from Ernst & Young.
In May, Two Sigma hired Patrick Leung, a former top Google engineer, who is a leader driving the private-equity data charge.
UBS is restricting employees’ travel in China and implementing a work-from-home policy as the coronavirus has spread
UBS is restricting employees’ non-essential travel to, from, and within China amid the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, according to a person familiar with the firm’s policy.
The Swiss bank has also implemented a work-from-home policy for any staff globally who have travelled to Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located, the person said. UBS is requesting that staffers who have travelled there, or have been in contact with someone who has the virus, to work from home for two weeks from their return date.
UBS has a sizeable presence across the Asia Pacific. In its flagship wealth management business, some 1,000 of its 10,000 financial advisers are based in the wider Asia Pacific region.
Payments giants like PayPal and Amex are helping transform how we shop with bets on startups like Klarna, Rent the Runway, and Instacart. Here’s what they’re investing in and why.
Financial services corporate venture capital (CVC) funding has been on the rise, with 2017’s total $US3 billion in funding tripling to more than $US9 billion in 2019, according to CB Insights.
And big payments companies have been busy making bets on fintech unicorns like Stripe and Plaid (which Visa now plans to buy for $US5.3 billion.)
We talked to execs at the corporate venture arms of payments companies Amex, Mastercard, PayPal, and Visa to learn more about their investing strategies.
Wall Street’s battle for data-science talent has gone next-level as Silicon Valley makes more East Coast hires and other industries get hip to data – here’s how firms are fighting back
With WeWork’s high-profile meltdown in 2019 and sagging share prices for companies like Uber and Lyft, we were curious if things had gotten any easier when it comes to the battle for recruiting and keeping tech talent.
Turns out, hedge funds are still feeling pressure from Silicon Valley darlings, which are growing their presence on the East Coast, as well as other industries who are beginning to realise the value of crunching their own data.
At some funds, like Point72, data scientists are so in-demand that some even have longer non-compete periods than the portfolio managers making the investments.
A memo from Goldman Sachs’ co-CIO laid out plans for a global financial cloud for customers that could be ‘transformational to the firm’s business for decades to come’
Marco Argenti, Goldman Sachs’ co-chief information officer, sent a memo seen by Business Insider detailing the opportunity he sees for the bank to create a financial cloud.
Argenti, who spent six years at Amazon Web Services before joining Goldman in October, believes building out a cloud specifically for financial companies could be “transformational to the firm’s business for decades to come.”
IBM announced similar intentions in November with the launch of its own public cloud focused on Wall Street.
Investors paying hefty fees are frustrated that some big-name hedge funds are just sitting on piles of cash instead of making bets
Hedge-fund investors looking for diversification and uncorrelated returns are frustrated by the large piles of cash not being put to use.
Seth Klarman said in his annual letter that, in accordance with his strict value investing ethos, he sold out of “situations where the price has come to more fully reflect underlying value,” to bring his portfolio’s cash holdings to 31% at the end of the year. And last year, Canyon Partners told investors it had shifted nearly a fifth of the portfolio into cash despite holding no cash 12 month prior.
“We have a limited tolerance for managers that don’t run sufficient risk,” said Jens Foehrenbach, CIO of Man FRM, the fund-of-funds run by Man Group.
Wealth and investing
- Billionaire Citadel founder Ken Griffin says the US has a ‘false sense of security’ about being the world’s tech powerhouse and that the ban on China’s Huawei will be a ‘real setback’
- Ally Financial is ‘looking closely’ at adding human wealth advice for its digital bank’s richer customers
- Billionaire Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square just exited its positions in Starbucks and ADP with big gains, a new investor presentation reveals
- Carlson Capital’s stock-picking fund drops more than 20% in a disastrous January
- Greg Fleming’s Rockefeller Capital is building up its Washington presence by luring junior talent and veteran advisers from the biggest wealth managers
- Billionaire Avenue Capital founder Marc Lasry says the decision to pay hundreds of millions to buy the Milwaukee Bucks 6 years ago was ‘the best investment I’ve ever made’
- Billionaire hedge-fund founder Lee Ainslie is worried his generation is going to be remembered as ‘the generation of greed’
- Up-and-coming financial advisers explain how to use your network to land clients as a newbie and stand out in a fiercely competitive field
- The CEO of one of the biggest US office-space owners answered a rapid-fire Q&A with a prediction that Bloomberg will be president
Fintech and proptech
- $US5.3 billion fintech Plaid is in the middle of a high-stakes fight over customer data. Its CEO told us why the startup wants to give users control.
- The cofounder of SoftBank-backed Kabbage explains how the small business lending startup is using payments data to get into short-term loans
- A startup aimed at disrupting payments and taking on Square and Stripe just raised a $US35 million Series B led by Sequoia Capital
- Goldman Sachs is making it easier to plug its services into other tech platforms like Amazon or Apple’s iPhone – here’s why one expert thinks that’s a ‘fundamental change’ in retail banking
- We watched 5 early-stage startups demo their next big ideas for blending tech and real estate, and it shows where the buzzy space is heading
- We talked to the execs behind Bloomberg’s new data partnership with Goldman Sachs. Here’s why they think it’s a sign of Wall Street’s future.