Blackstone’s real-estate dealmakers; the investment banker of the future

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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For certain corners of Wall Street, dealmaking is happening faster than ever. While M&A activity has plunged, bankers primed to help companies navigate the financial fallout, especially restructuring and debt-raising specialists, have been crushed with demand.

Alex Morrell took a look at how top bankers – known for putting in long hours curating a white-glove experience for clients – are finding they can still provide service from afar. It turns out, when you take away the time spent at airports and restaurants, and when Zoom calls can be arranged in minutes, things can move at lightning speed.

Read the full story here:

‘Stunning efficiency’: How remote dealmaking could mean a permanent lifestyle change for some bankers

Meanwhile, it’s been a tale of two approaches to job cuts in recent days. On Tuesday, Airbnb CEO and cofounder Brian Chesky emailed staff about sweeping layoffs that were impacting 1,900 people, highlighting where the company will focus in the future and what exit packages employees should expect. You can read the full email here.

Over at WeWork, things have been rolling out gradually. Meghan Morris and Dakin Campbell wrote about a leaked WeWork document that revealed a huge reorg under way for people who manage its buildings. Here’s how the new structure works – and the complex process for staff to save their jobs. Alex Nicoll and Meghan also reported that Flatiron School has slashed at least 100 jobs, building on their scoop last week that WeWork started making cuts in several key departments, with IT alone losing some 200 jobs.

Keep reading for a preview of changes in store for Bloomberg terminals, a rundown of Blackstone’s giant commercial real estate business, and a look at how PIMCO stocked up with $US5.5 billion for private-credit strategies since the beginning of the year.

Have a safe and healthy weekend,

Meredith

Inside Blackstone’s massive CRE business

Blackstone cre hed shots

Blackstone is the largest commercial real-estate investor in the world, with $US160 billion in investor capital. Alex Nicoll chatted with Blackstone real estate’s three heads of acquisition, and its head of debt origination, to learn more about their business.

They spoke about some of their most interesting deals, and why Blackstone’s global scale and thematic investing style is a huge advantage.

Read the full story here:

Meet the 4 dealmakers driving Blackstone’s $US325 billion commercial real estate portfolio. They walked us through how they’re thinking about opportunities in the downturn.

A Facebook office deal is a key test

Facebook office

The coronavirus crisis has thrown into question whether tenants will ever occupy office space the same way again as companies and workforces around the world grow accustomed to remote work.

Facebook has been in negotiations for months to lease over 700,000 square feet at the Farley Building on Manhattan’s West Side. The rapid expansion of tech in recent years has propelled the city’s office market, and Dan Geiger spoke with real-estate execs who laid out why Facebook’s deal is a key barometer.

Read the full story here:

A blockbuster Facebook office deal is a make-or-break moment for the future of commercial real estate. 3 leasing experts lay out the stakes.

Coming soon to a terminal near you

Bloomberg terminal

As remote work becomes a long-term reality, a technology staple of Wall Street is in store for a makeover. Mark Flatman, global head of core terminal at Bloomberg, told Dan DeFrancesco that the financial technology giant is considering ways to revamp its ubiquitous terminal.

One particular area of focus for Flatman and his team has been screen space, as many customers aren’t working with the typical four-screen display. Another area that has gotten increased attention is mobile, where usage has jumped.

Read the full story here:

Bloomberg is eyeing big changes to its iconic terminals to make work-from-home easier. The exec leading its strategy laid out how he’s rethinking screen space and mobile features.

A new pile of cash for private credit

Finance money bank banking banking credit score investment payment cash

Industry observers expect a surge in interest in specialised credit shops that have proven to be winners in distressed situations. And Bradley Saacks revealed how PIMCO has tapped into that demand, with sources saying that the fixed-income giant has raised $US5.5 billion in private-credit strategies since the beginning of the year.

PIMCO’s nearly $US4 billion Tactical Opportunities fund lost roughly 15% in March, but was able to avoid forced selling, sources tell Business Insider, and even added to positions in the month. That fund alone has raised $US250 million – and is just one of several private-credit funds that PIMCO has raised money for.

Read the full story here:

PIMCO has raised $US5.5 billion for private-credit funds despite a hellacious March – and is telling investors it’s the best opportunity in a decade

A tax break for big companies with heavy debt

Capitol hill
The U.S. Capitol is seen from the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

As Michael Rapoport writes, a tax break for debt-ladened companies, part of the CARES Act enacted in March, cuts their tax bills by allowing them to deduct more of the interest they pay on their debt.But some tax experts are concerned that the tax break is too indiscriminate: In addition to helping troubled companies, they say, boosting tax deductions on interest payments is going to give a lift to companies that aren’t being hurt by the pandemic, or whose problems have nothing to do with the coronavirus.

Read the full story here:

A $US13 billion tax break tucked into the coronavirus stimulus plan will save some big companies tens of millions – even if they aren’t ailing. Here’s how it works and who could benefit.

On the move

Dakin Campbell reported that Goldman Sachs has hired the distressed-situations and bankruptcy expert Kurt Hoffman as a managing director in a business that handles one-off loans for clients. The move comes just as industries battered by the economic shutdown are in need of emergency financing.

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