Posts by Bess Levin
Changing jobs can be very stressful. I’m not going to get into what I did before I won the coveted Dealbreaker Chef de Cuisine post, but let’s just say my julienning skills were more than a tad underutilized.
The first week on a new job is a brutal mishmash of emotions, whether you’re a line cook, a Chef de Cuisine, or yes, even a bond fund manager. (This is especially true when most of the money from you old gig doesn’t make the trip with you to your new one.) It takes a while to learn the rhythms of the new office, figure out whether your no-eye contact policy freaks people out, or whether insulting a colleague’s French accent will drive him into the Croque Monsieur business.
In terms of making new friends and finding his way in the new space, the fact that Bill Gross is working remotely from Malibu, and not at his new employer’s headquarters in Denver, puts him at a disadvantage. But it also offers him an opportunity. While I’m contractually barred from discussing my clients, let’s just hypothetically say Bill was one, and the two of us were sitting in his office in Newport Beach, right before hopping on the short flight to Colorado to meet some of his new colleagues, or he called me after landing, pleading for advice re: how to interact with people. The setting doesn’t matter, my advice to him would be the same: Give them a taste of Denver. Let them know you appreciate their home.
As a rookie, I’m not suggesting Bill whip up a few servings of Rocky Mountain oysters, the deep-fried testicles of bull calves that Coloradoans love so dearly. No, that could make for a bit of an awkward first impression.
When I tell Bill to “give them a taste of Denver,” I mean one thing: “Get yourself an apron and a chef’s hat and set up a Denver omelette station. Set it up IMMEDIATELY.” Read more »
Naturally, the details of this event lead his latest (and inaugural at Janus) Investment Outlook. Read more »
It’s a swell time to be an investment banker at the House of Morgan. Bond traders at JP Morgan? Better luck next time. Read more »
“I expect my second life at Janus Capital to be a simpler sequel to my life at Pimco,” Gross said in a conversation today with Janus’s Chief Executive Officer Dick Weil that was broadcast on the firm’s website. “I think we’re going to make for a good team, not just you and I but a lot of people coming together.” Gross, who had a bandaid under his right eye, said “it’s been a rough few weeks” since he decided to leave his former employer. [Bloomberg]
Jailed-for-life Ponzi villain Bernie Madoff is offering to put in a good word for five former underlings before they are sentenced for aiding his epic $17 billion scheme — and amazingly one of them wants the help. A series of emails Madoff sent lawyers for the five ex-Madoff staffers convicted in March were included in new Manhattan federal court filings Wednesday. In one of them, a Sept. 29 email, addressed, “Gentlemen,” Madoff says, “I am still available to help if you desire. I assure you that my info on each of your clients is of great value and discredits the testimony provided by Frank D,” referring to his former lieutenant Frank DiPascali, the government’s star witness and a convicted fraudster.” Larry Krantz, who represents former Madoff computer programmer George Perez, was the only lawyer to take him up on the dubious offer. [NYP]
Steve Cohen Introduces Incentive Bonus For Employees Who Refrain From Insider Trading (No, Really, This Is Actually Happening)By Bess Levin
Time was, the unofficial policy at (the hedge fund formerly known as) SAC Capital was that one could earn a pretty penny come bonus season if one made the firm a ton of money, and if that money happened to be made through material non-public information well…whatyougonnado? At SAC Capital 2.0 AKA Point72 Asset Management, however, insider trading is not only frowned upon, it’s both officially and unofficially a bad idea and one that could cost you big time on payday (though one would obviously be fired before that, unless payday is the day they get caught).
But just because the company handbook has been rewritten, or Steve Cohen has held a town hall where the words “If we catch you insider trading, I’ll stick my hand down your throat and rip out your spleen” have exited his mouth, or the hedge fund’s propriety trading software has been rewired so that a cartoon Cohen pops up on the screen and says “Remember, I can make it look like an accident” before any trades are placed, doesn’t mean that people can change their ways in a day. Old habits die hard, particularly at a place where those old habits could score you 8 figures a year.
Which is presumably why* someone at Point72 came up with this: Read more »