• 20 Jun 2007 at 12:07 PM
  • Banks

See Banker Run

jpmorgan06startline.jpg The JPMorgan Corporate Challenge kicks off tonight in Central Park at 7:00pm with the first of two 3.5 mile races. The event, which started in New York in 1977, is now held in 12 cities on five continents with over 200,000 participants from 7,000 organizations.
The banks make up a large portion of the 15,000 race registrants. Here are the registration numbers for the top five:
Morgan Stanley – 1,605
JPMorgan – 1,450
Lehman – 800
Goldman – 550
Citi – its own version of the 1980 Olympics, boycotts on principle
Goldman limited its roster to 550 after almost 800 employees tried to register, according to the bank’s fitness center manager. Does anyone know why Goldman had to limit its registrants (and please tell me they had tryouts or cuts to determine who made the final 550)?
Last year, of the major banks, CSFB has the most outstanding individual performer – ’03 Harvard alum and track captain, John Traugott, who is an associate in the equity capital markets group. Traugott had the 2nd fastest time overall in the men’s division over the two races with a 17:48.
Karl Dusen of AIG posted the fastest overall time in the second race with 17:05 and Joseph Mcveigh of Morgan Stanley posted the 3rd best time with 18:18.
If anyone has any fun corporate challenge stories, or is planning to pull a Jeff Gillooly on John Traugott, please comment or drop a line to ‘tips at dealbreaker dot com.’
Wall Street Rivals Run for Charity, Bragging Rights and Beer [Bloomberg]

  • 04 May 2007 at 8:34 AM
  • Banks

Credit Suisse Now Brady’s Bunch

brady dougan.jpg Brady Dougan takes over Credit Suisse today, becoming the Swiss bank’s fourth CEO in the last 10 years, and the first one to succeed peacefully and not from someone getting ousted. Dougan, former head of the investment banking division, is the first American to hold the position. When former CEO Oswald Gruebel handed Dougan the keys today, his instructions were simple – “Don’t touch anything!” It will be Dougan’s mission to maintain the current status quo at Credit Suisse, which is to kick UBS’s arse and continue to grow earnings, which have doubled in the last three years.
Dougan’s (much publicised) propensity to work 16 hour days (in other words he’s still an I-banking analyst at heart), run marathons and save kittens has translated into a rapid career ascent marked by displacing those who leave the company (Mack) or come under intense regulatory scrutiny (Wheat/Quattrone).
Despite the changing of the guard love-fest, all is not necessarily rosy with Credit Suisse. The bank has an underperforming asset management division that may be subject to a creit lowering (in the London unit) due to the departure of several key executives. There is also insider-trading trouble, as NY banker Hafiz Naseem was arrested yesterday on the charge of tipping off investors.
American Dougan Emulates Gruebel at Credit Suisse – [Bloomberg]

  • 09 Mar 2007 at 11:44 AM
  • CSFB

Bostonian Bloodletting?

As previously mentioned, newly appointed NYSE president and co-COO Duncan Niederauer “don’t want no Vinnys handling my money.” But the guy never said anything about having a problem with “five guys named Seamus” executing his trades (which, we have to say, doesn’t happen enough). In fact, we’ve heard he thinks the luck o’ the Irish is just what his portfolio needs. So he can’t be happy with this bit of news that dropped in our box this morning:

“I was on the NYSE floor yesterday and there was news spreading that Credit Suisse (still often referred to as First Boston on the floor) has laid off floor employees and has whittled its floor presence down to three brokers and three clerks. A firm like CS would have maybe four times that much floor presence two years ago.”

Also, unsubstantiated, barely tangentially related, mean spirited, but salacious enough to pass on: the $H’s new kept boy may come from within CSFB.

bradydougantakesovercreditsuisse.jpgIt’s now been a full day since Credit Suisse announced it had tapped American Brady Dougan to be its next chief executive. Everyone’s been scrambling to figure out just who this Dougan fellow is and what it means. Fortunately, DealBreaker spent our morning scouring the business media for news, insights and colorful stories so you don’t have to. Bloomberg, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal‘s “Heard on the Street” seem to have all the best stuff. And since it’s Friday, and we love to do Media Roundups on Fridays, we bring you the Brady Dougan Media Roundup.
Beverage Preference: Diet Dr. Pepper, according to the New York Times. This clashes with a 2005 Business Week story claiming Dougan was a Diet Pepsi enthusiast.
To add to the confusion, the NYT notes “When the executive board of Credit Suisse went to dinner at the Savoy in Zurich Wednesday night to celebrate his appointment, Mr. Dougan dined on agnoletti and Diet Coke.”
The unanswered questions: Has Dougan always preferred Diet Dr. Pepper? Has he switched? Or did someone get this detail wrong? Is Diet Dr. Pepper unavailable at the Savoy in Zurich?
DealBreaker was too ashamed to contact Credit Suisse with these pressing questions.
Nationality: American. First American ever to run Credit Suisse.
Exercise Preference: Marathons, according to the NYT, the Wall Street Journal and just about everyone else. The NYT has the killer detail—”his best time was 2 hours and 21 minutes (a pace of about 5 minutes and 40 seconds a mile).” Sometimes works out twice a day (NYT).
Personality type: He’s a “shy workaholic” (Times) who sometimes works “18 hour days” (WSJ).
Work ethic: “Legendary” (NYT). Known to arrive at work at 5 am.
Age: Forty-seven, which as almost everyone notes, makes him the youngest head ever of “a global banking giant” (NYT).
Fashion statement: It seems that everyone notes he doesn’t wear cuff-links. But this is old news. Business Week noted it in 2005. Who wears cuff-links in 2007 anyway? The NYT goes further, describing Dougan as ” disheveled.”
Marital status: Divorced. Two kids. (NYT)
Social life: “Intensely private” the NYT notes, adding that Dougan “does not appear in the social pages nor does he seem to revel in the fine wine and bright lights of Manhattan’s financial elite.” Indeed, a search of NYSocialDiary.com found not one entry for Dougan.

Financial background:
He started out as a derivatives guy, and his elevation makes him the first derivatives guy to run a global banking institution. (Bloomberg)
Managerial Reputation: He’s a famous cost-cutter. He cut back on town cars (NYT), color copying and staff parties (Bloomberg)

“A question mark is Mr. Dougan’s ability to lead Credit Suisse’s other core business, wealth management,” the WSJ says.
Hidden Talent: From the Times of London: “he has twice dressed up at corporate functions as the blonde one in Abba. The female one, that is. Agnetha. Apparently the Swiss contingent weren’t terribly amused.”

Stepping Lively at Credit Suisse
[New York Times]

The American in Zurich
[Wall Street Journal]

Dougan Leads Derivative Traders to First Top Bank Job

  • 12 Dec 2006 at 3:39 PM
  • CSFB

The Ghosts Of Holiday Parties Past

We’ve been getting some good reports of holiday parties, and today’s best came in the comments to our item this morning asking for more information about this years parties. Go ahead and leave more like this, or email your stories to tips@dealbreaker.com. The best stories will be promoted from comments into full DealBreaker posts. So, so 2.0.
First up, Eustacia Vye (named for our second favorite Thomas Hardy character) thrills us with a tale of Credit Suisse’s holiday party from just before the tech boom came to an end.

The asset management division of Credit Suisse celebrated its simul-cuisitions of Warburg Pincus and DLJ in December of 2000 with a black tie affair at Chelsea Piers. I had just started in the business with a junior level analyst position – I skipped out on rent that month and squandered my salary on a knockout YSL dress for the occasion. large cap growth and tech paid the bills that year. Champagne flowed at every table, all night. A portfolio manager actually made out with his assistant on the dance floor. I got hit on egregiously at this and future parties…political incorrectness was definitely a fact of life – the fund guys referred to themselves as rock stars and acted accordingly.
Over the past 6 years, $80 billion in assets and 500 employees have walked out the door. The term “holiday” party was changed last year to “end of year” party because someone was apparently offended by the word Holiday. (Jehovas Witnesses, I think.) And in an hour, today, the annual party will actually be held in a CONFERENCE ROOM. I don’t think there will be a carving station.
It’s okay, though, because 75% of the guys who quit this place started their own hedge funds and I’ve been invited to crash three more parties. (Plus I still have the dress.)

creditsuisse.JPGEven as analysts say that many Wall Street firms are hiring in an attempt to add more depth to their still post-bubble-bust-depleted ranks, buyside bankers at Credit Suisse’s received a memorandum today announcing a hiring freeze in the US, according to a source at the Swiss bank.
Buyside bankers at Credit Suisse were told there were to be no more US hires without approval of the management committee, the source said.
“Of course, the fucking Swiss are coming over here by the boatload,” the source said.
Credit Suisse is scheduling “townhall meetings” with various constituencies within the bank to discuss third-quarter results, which were quite robust despite reported trading losses.
Another source at the bank was skeptical. This source had not seen the memorandum but speculated that the “hiring freeze” may be attributable to a typical end of the year slowdown in hiring.
“If we come across talent, I’m sure we’ll hire,” the second source said.
The spokesperson handling internal matters at the bank could not be immediately reached for comment.

Credit Suisse bankers breathed a sigh of relief today as the third quarter numbers announced by the bank came in better than expected and seemed to dismiss fears that had circulated around the bank that it had suffered up to $900 million in trading losses. The Swiss bank said today that net revenues in its investment banking segment were down 5% compared to last year, primarily due to lower equity trading revenues. Revenues were also lower in equity underwriting and advisory fees, but the bank said declines in these segments were partially offset by increases in debt underwriting and fixed income trading revenues.
Although Credit Suisse declined to give the exact numbers and reasons for trading losses, the actual losses in equity trading revenue seem closer to the $240 million indicated by sources within the bank last week than the $900 million some had feared.
So how will the bank’s third-quarter performance affect bonuses at the bank? Today’s statement gives some indication when it notes that total operating expenses for the quarter decreased 1% “due primarily to lower compensation accruals in line with lower revenues…” Exactly what that statement means is a question Credit Suisse bankers are no doubt pondering this morning.

Credit Suisse Profit Declines 1.6% on Securities Unit

  • 27 Oct 2006 at 4:16 PM
  • bonuses

Bonus Panic! More Credit Suisse Rumors

switzerlandasseenfromplane.jpgHow bad have the losses from derivatives trading hurt Credit Suisse? That’s the question that is making the rounds at the Swiss bank, as hard working bankers fret that their year-end bonuses might be hurt.
You know all that from our item this morning. Now an additional source at Credit Suisse has told DealBreaker that if the bank reports worse than expected numbers with its third quarter financials—due next Thursday—some bankers will be dusting off their resumes in expectation of “getting fucked over” at bonus time. Credit Suisse’s equity-trading arm has lagged behind industry leaders like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley for much of 2006, and at least one top executive has reportedly been ousted over the poor performance.
Keep in mind that what we’re reporting here are internal rumors at Credit Suisse, and it is entirely possible that these rumors lack any basis in reality. But we think our readers—and even the gnomes who run the Swiss bank—deserve to know what the folks in the New York office are talking about.
[Another disclaimer: When John Carney practiced law, Credit Suisse was a client of his law firm and he worked on more deals for them than he can count.]
[Photo explanation: That photo is “Switzerland beneath clouds seen from a plane” and meant to convey the impression that we’re discussing rumors and loose talk flying around Credit Suisse.]