As someone who follows Wall Street and especially hedge funds for a living, I’ve long suspected, nay, known, that the secret to many a money manager’s success is a daily shimmy down the trading floor. However, and I think most of you will back me up on this, I figured the first time anyone would publicly admit to it would be attached to the name of a firm whose headquarters are located in Stamford, CT and whose founder could’ve been a dancer if he hadn’t gotten into stocks. Instead, it’s PIMCO, and it’s Bill Gross’s dancing feet.
Lately, [Gross] has been trying to loosen up a bit in the office, where he prefers to focus, in silence, for hours in front of his trading screens. To break the quiet he helps impose, the morning we meet he starts a new ritual: at 8 a.m., a song that someone recommends is blasted over the sound system. Mr. Gross kicks it off with Short Skirt/Long Jacket by the alt-rock band Cake. He even helps lead a conga line past rows of stunned-looking traders.
If you think this was just for the benefit of the reporter 1) I don’t want to hear about it and 2) think again! Gross has long been the guy the industry looks to when it needs someone to be brave, whether it’s about dancing or speaking out on the evils of the automatic flush. Now that he’s gone first, everyone else should feel confident enough to do the same. Is your trading floor equipped with disco balls that descend from the ceiling when they sense a certain level of hip gyrations, while the rest of the lights dim and house music starts blasting, like bham bham bhamb and boom boom boom? Is it not unusual to see a bunch of PMs shimmying down the aisle like gay chorus line circa 3PM? Is it okay and in fact encouraged for employees to “get low”? Share it with the group.
The Obsessive Life Of Bond Guru Bill Gross [Globe And Mail]