Northern Trust is exploring shutting off external email for thousands of its employees; Inside the hellacious hedge-fund money-raising environment

Howdy, readers!

It’s BI’s hedge-fund reporter Bradley Saacks here, filling in for Olivia this week.

If you’re reading this, it means Northern Trust hasn’t shut off your email yet!

This week saw big news in the cannabis world, promotions at the world’s largest bank, and more headlines from Barclays.

If you’re new to the Wall Street Insider newsletter, you can sign up here.

But one of the craziest bits of news in the finance world came from the continued fallout of the pay-for-play college-admissions scandal that has muddied the reputations of actresses, finance titans, and the sport of rowing. The underlying question for the parents accused of spending small fortunes just to get their kids into college is how much it will eventually cost.

Well, for the private-equity executive Bill McGlashan, his tab just keeps going up.

On Thursday, the news broke that McGlashan – who joined the private-equity firm TPG in 2004 and founded the TPG Growth unit – lost his stakes in four of the firm’s private-equity funds as well as his stake in the firm’s impact investing fund, which are most likely worth millions, over the scandal.

TPG, which says it fired McGlashan once the scandal broke – though McGlashan maintains he quit – will reinvest the money from McGlashan back into the business. The former executive is able to keep his unvested stake in the firm itself.

This multimillion-dollar loss would be on top of the $US50,000 he’s accused of paying a nonprofit “with the understanding” that someone would administer and then correct his son’s ACT test at a West Hollywood, California, testing center.

His son ended up withdrawing his applications.

Surely it now seems safer for parents to simply pay for a new building at their children’s school of choice instead.

Anyways, TPG decided to pull the stakes back after an internal investigation found that McGlashan introduced the scandal’s ringleader, Rick Singer, to TPG employees for a possible investment in March 2017 (the team that met with Singer decided against investing). McGlashan also had six expenses to various funds totaling $US25,000 that were either charged incorrectly or didn’t have the correct documentation, and the firm refunded the money to those funds.

All in all, a pretty steep price for an improved ACT score.

Like always, to read most of the stories below, a Prime subscription is needed (if you don’t have one yet, we don’t judge – especially if you sign up for one right now). If you’ve got feedback about this newsletter or tips about anything else – big or small! – feel free to shoot me a note at [email protected]… unless it’s about college rowing, because, well, I know nothing about it.

Thanks for reading!

America’s biggest banks are offloading parts of their home-loan businesses to machine-powered startups, as they try to fend off sagging profits

The business of buying a home has long been the dominion of banks, requiring time and human interaction. But amid mounting industry pressures, home lending is being delegated to the machines.

In recent years, banks have been handing off key components of their mortgage businesses to scrappy tech startups armed with data and algorithms, betting they will be able to trim costs or sharpen a competitive edge in an industry reckoning with heightened competition, regulatory headaches, and thinning margins.


$US10 trillion custodian Northern Trust is exploring shutting off external email for thousands of its employees as it tries to thwart cyberthreats

One of the biggest custodian banks could do away with one of the most basic modern communications tools for thousands of its employees: email.

Northern Trust, which oversees roughly $US10 trillion, is looking at restricting the ability of some employees to send email outside the company as it beefs up its cybersecurity.

The Chicago-based firm is exploring limiting external email to only employees who work with clients and other groups outside the company to avoid privacy breaches.


BNY has quietly started working with a marijuana ETF – and it’s about to be the first major bank to help the world’s largest funds invest in the booming industry

BNY Mellon is working to solve one of the biggest pain points for institutional investors that want to put money to work in the cannabis industry.

The New York-based bank is providing custodial services to a new marijuana exchange-traded fund called the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF. The actively managed fund, which was launched last week, will trade under the ticker YOLO.

Though YOLO isn’t the first marijuana ETF, it’s the first New York Stock Exchange-listed marijuana fund that’s backed by a major custodian bank.

That could pave the way for the biggest financial institutions, like the BlackRocks of the world, to invest in cannabis stocks.


Inside the hellacious hedge-fund money-raising environment, where ‘even the big funds have to get creative’

It’s never been easy to be a small hedge fund in an industry full of trend-setting giants.

But with the balance of power tipping more toward the largest investors in the industry, and poor performance and outflows plaguing everyone, smaller funds are making once wonky methods of fundraising mainstream.

Hedge funds, especially smaller ones, are growing their presence on digital platforms like SumZero and DarcMatter, while traditional in-house marketers have become less desirable at big and small funds, data shows. Since last July, 160 hedge funds have joined SumZero’s platform, including 50 this year, according to the company. The marketing recruiter Jensen Partners also found that hedge funds of all sizes hired 16% fewer marketers last year than in 2017.


The head of Credit Suisse’s blockchain efforts says culture is the biggest thing holding back Wall Street from using the tech

Distributed ledgers have been lauded as transformational technology for Wall Street, changing the way banks perform complex, cumbersome processes, such as settling trades.

However, in the five years since the technology first came to the attention of the financial world, large-scale implementations at big banks have yet to materialise.

Emmanuel Aidoo, Credit Suisse’s head of digital market assets, told Business Insider the holdup didn’t have anything to do with the technology not being ready or a lack of use-case possibilities within banks.

Aidoo, who leads the Swiss bank’s blockchain efforts, sees the reason being much less technical.


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