How Wall Street can get back to the office; Private equity’s energy mess

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.

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Happy May! With remote work stretching into another month, conversations are starting to shift to when we’ll return to the office – and who might remain at home. Luke Ellis, the CEO of $US104 billion hedge-fund manager Man Group, broke down how it will operate after the pandemic, and said his firm has proven it can “not just survive but thrive and operate at close to full productivity with everyone working from home.”

CEOs from firms including Franklin Templeton, MSCI, Prudential, and Tradeweb explained how the whole experience has blurred the lines between work and home, and has them rethinking how they divide their time and energy.

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CEOs are spending more time with their families than ever before – and thinking about what work-life balance should look like post-pandemic

A return can’t come soon enough for some. As Dan DeFrancesco reports, Wall Streeters are cursing and complaining in company chats about their WFH situations, and it could be a compliance red flag that bad behaviour is around the corner. Meanwhile, Dan Geiger explained why some major New York City landlords think mandatory temperature-taking won’t be an easy solution as offices look to reopen. Here’s why they’re worried about effectiveness, privacy, and liability.

Read on for a look at PE energy bets, Goldman tech hires, and the future of retail and payments.

Have a great weekend,


Energy meltdown hits PE bets


Casey Sullivan and Benji Jones took a look at how the US shale revolution that propelled the country to energy dominance was backed in large part by private-equity firms. Now, small to midsize firms that specialise in oil and gas could have trouble raising funds in the future, while larger firms with diverse portfolios will be shielded, according to nearly a dozen experts.

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Private-equity firms fuelled the US shale revolution with $US125 billion. Now they face a reckoning of epic proportions as the oil market melts down.

Inside a Boies Schiller exodus

David boies

David Boies, the star trial lawyer and name partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, is seeing 15 partners leave from his firm en masse. Casey Sullivan spoke with more than a dozen people familiar with the exodus to provide a window into what’s going on at the elite litigation powerhouse.

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The inside story behind a 15-partner exodus at elite law firm Boies Schiller

Airbnb and RXR Realty scrap luxury apartment partnership

Brian Chesky Airbnb CEO

Dan Geiger reports that Airbnb and RXR Realty have agreed to cancel a 10-floor, 130,000-square-foot deal at Rockefeller Plaza, where the pair planned to install luxury apartments for rent on the home-sharing site’s platform.

Although Airbnb had not planned to pour any money into the deal at 75 Rockefeller Plaza up front, it had agreed to financially backstop the project, using the company’s credit to borrow the tens of millions of dollars it would have likely cost to convert the office floors.

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Airbnb and RXR Realty are scrapping a partnership at Rockefeller Centre that the home-sharing giant’s CEO touted as a ’21st-century hospitality model’

How the way we shop is transforming

Woman shopping

Online shopping has accelerated amid the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean brick-and-mortar retail will go away completely. But consumers are unlikely to rush back to crowded places like malls once stay-at-home orders start to lift.

“It’s going to become a matter of survival to reinvent why they have physical retail,” Max Levchin, a PayPal cofounder and the CEO of Affirm, told Shannen Balogh. “If customers are uncomfortable mingling by way of rubbing shoulders, what do you do about that?”

Read the full story here:

Retail will need to be reinvented after the pandemic. PayPal cofounder Max Levchin lays out the future of brick-and-mortar, and the ‘software fight’ that will go on behind the scenes

New Goldman Sachs tech MDs

Goldman sachs marco argenti

Goldman Sachs has hired three MDs and two fellows for its technology and engineering teams since the start of the year. Marco Argenti, Goldman Sachs’ co-chief information officer, spoke with Dakin Campbell and Dan DeFrancesco about what the hires mean for the current talent landscape and the bank’s future plans.

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Goldman Sachs’ top tech exec explains how a recent slew of senior hires are transforming the bank’s approach to building products and pitching them to customers

On the move

RBC Capital Markets has made two key hires in distressed-debt trading in recent weeks, adding Jim Russo from PointState Capital and Callie Simpkins from Goldman Sachs. The timing of the hires “lined up perfectly,” but they’re part of a broader effort to bolster the firm’s leveraged finance trading platform, RBC execs Adam Savarese and John Maggiacomo told Business Insider.

Real estate

Hedge funds and investing

Fintech and payments

Banking and deals