Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

…or whatever your friends have registered for in lieu of a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer and towels. Read more »

  • 16 Sep 2014 at 11:47 AM

Layoffs Watch ’14: Bank of America

Cuts are said to have begun at the House ‘o Bri-Moy. Read more »

The world’s biggest banks are overhauling how they trade currencies to regain the trust of customers and preempt regulators’ efforts to force changes on an industry tarnished by allegations of manipulation. Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG, which together account for 43 percent of foreign-exchange trading by banks, are introducing measures to make it harder for dealers to profit from confidential customer information and take advantage of clients in the largely unregulated $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market, according to people with knowledge of the changes. Banks have capped what employees can charge for exchanging currencies, limited dealers’ access to information about customer orders, banned the use of online chat rooms and pushed trades onto electronic platforms, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss their firms’ practices. [Bloomberg]

Alibaba’s not going to say it has zero faith in the Nasdaq following its not so great handling of the Facebook IPO but it’s not not going to say it has zero faith in the Nasdaq following its not so great handling of the Facebook IPO. Read more »

  • 15 Sep 2014 at 3:13 PM

Break Yourself Off A Piece Of Bill Ackman Today

Hedge-fund manager William Ackman aims to raise $2 billion through the initial public offering of one of his funds on Euronext Amsterdam in a move that will provide it with steady capital. Pershing Square Holdings Ltd. said Monday that it plans to float on the Amsterdam stock exchange for $25 a share, giving it a market capitalization of at least $5 billion…The IPO comes as activist investors are embarking on a drive to take advantage of their increasing clout in boardrooms and above-average hedge-fund returns. Mr. Ackman hopes that the IPO will provide him with more permanent capital. [WSJ]

  • 15 Sep 2014 at 2:58 PM

Sex, Shoe Bonuses For Interns NBD At UBS (Update)

Update: A spokesperson for UBS said in a statement: “We do not comment on allegations in pending litigation other than we believe the claims against the firm to be without merit. Collins was terminated after she raised a complaint and the firm investigated the situation. We do not condone this sort of behavior.”

_____________________________________________________________

Like so many sexual harassment cases before this one starts out with:

  • Wealth manager goes to his local bar, hits on bartender, tells her she should be working in corporate sales: “[James C.] Collins first met [Samantha] Lambui in the fall of 2012 at Katie Mc’s Bar in Huntington, NY, where she worked as a bartender, according to the suit. As a frequent customer at the bar, Collins allegedly used to visit during her shifts. ‘Their conversation developed from bartender-patron to friendly but never romantic,’ the suit states. In November 2012, Collins told Lambui of his position at UBS. He persuaded her to apply for a job at the firm, arguing that ‘she could get anyone to do anything she wanted,’ and that ‘she should be doing sales for UBS,’ the suit alleges.”
  • Wealth manager claims it’s totally normal for people working in finance to receive extra bonuses in the form of shoes: “On Jan. 8, 2013, Collins described Lambui’s duties in an email. Her tasks included researching venues for client events, researching initial public offerings, emailing clients with updates on stock prices and stock research and sending newsletters regarding news in the financial markets. In the email he also stated that fashion items would be available as bonus incentives for superior work. ‘Tuesday’s [sic] and Friday’s [sic] are going to be our (and by our I mean you) [sic] day to prospect and most important days. That is the only way to get to the LB’s,’ Collins wrote in a text message to Lambui, the suit alleges. ‘LBs’ is a reference to Christian Louboutin shoes, the complaint explains.”
  • Wealth manager casually mentions that the way to earn the extra shoe bonus is by having sex with him: “In mid-March that year, he sent her to New York City to interview venues for a client event. He also allegedly asked her to purchase new clothing, sending photographs of the outfits for his approval before the purchase. That night, he told her to meet him at a hotel for sex to earn the ‘bonus Louboutins’ the next day, the suit claims. She replied ‘absolutely not’ and that ‘no bonus could be worth that,’ the lawsuit claims.”
  • Wealth manager explains that the sole purpose of hiring interns is so he can have sex with them, and you’re an intern, so…: “In response to sexual comments, Lambui would remind Collins of his wife, to which he allegedly responded: ‘I wish I never met my wife,’ and ‘I didn’t marry the love of my life,’ the suit claims. He also said ‘I sleep with my interns, that is the only reason to hire interns,’ the suit asserts…She resigned on June 22, 2013. Before that she allegedly received a text message from Collins that said: ‘Look I’m at the marina and my buddies just left so either u visit or the internship is over.’”

Except whereas typically an employer would respond to such allegations with a “no comment” or “we do not condone such behavior” or a “this employee is no longer with out firm and by the by, this is totally inappropriate and not the norm,” UBS went with this: Read more »

  • 15 Sep 2014 at 2:15 PM

Phil Falcone Is Thinking Things

Like maybe now that he’s got all this free time on his hands, he should lace up his skates and whip the New York Islanders into shape? With his afternoons unoccupied for the next four years and his old Harvard game plans already dug out of the attic, the three-time Ivy League hockey champion is ready to teach these NHL underachievers a thing or two about working a puck. As for his consigliere Wilbur, she wouldn’t be caught dead in Minneapolis, but is happy to entertain offers to tickle the ivories in Brookklyn as Barclays Center organist. See Phil for dressing room demands. Read more »

Failure to “adhere to a clear breadstick policy” is one of the many, many things Olive Garden is doing wrong, according to a new presentation by Starboard Value. Read more »