The Latest

Researchers from Harvard Business School, Wharton, and the MIT Sloan School of Management have determined that venture capitalists like their pitches wrapped up in pretty packaging. If you’ve got a great idea but sense you’re not Adonis, consider hiring a male model to do the talking. Also of note, don’t even think about letting a woman make your presentation. Read more »

  • 07 Apr 2014 at 3:16 PM

It’s Really Happening


[@ilovestamford via @sallypancakes, earlier]

Our algorithms proved correct. El Erian The Man could only be tied by Jos. A. Bernanke if UConn upset Florida on Saturday. And it happened! Read more »

Like the elderly couple that has money in the bank but nevertheless scrimps and saves every last scrap of food because they lived through the depression, flashbacks to John Thain skipping board meetings to powwow with decorators to select the finest drapes and trashcans money could buy keeps Greg Fleming in check. Read more »

  • 07 Apr 2014 at 2:36 PM

Today Is Not Just Another Monday

October 12, 1492. July 4, 1776. July 21, 1969. All dates of such historical and cultural significance that if you asked someone where they were on that day, they’d surely be able to tell you. Because they weren’t just any old days; they were moments when everything changed. When seismic shifts in history occurred. When everything that came after it would be different than before. The day Christopher Columbus reached land; the day Congress the adopted the Declaration of Independence; the day we put two men on the moon. Today, another date will be added to the history books: April 7, 2014. The day SAC Capital changed its name to Point72 Asset Management. Read more »

Activist Investors Aren’t Going Anywhere

Carl Icahn will retire some day. Some time after that, probably, Bill Ackman and Dan Loeb and Paul Singer and Barry Rosenstein, too. But for now, they and people like them have more money with which to seek to oust directors, executives and lavish organic dinner throwers than ever before. Read more »

It pays to be an employee at 15 Central Park West. Author Michael Gross reports in House of Outrageous Fortune, his new book about the behemoth condo building, that the average worker there made $22,500 in tips during the holiday season in 2011, give or take a few Benjamins…Not bad for tending to a tower full of influentials, plenty of whom have made Fifteen — its nickname, apparently — their base of power…Sandy Weill…is remembered by one (anonymous) staffer as being “very demanding … An automatic call is made to the manager if a letter or a magazine doesn’t arrive when it’s supposed to.” [NYM, related]

Opening Bell: 04.07.14

Fallout From High-Frequency Trading Hits Brokerages (WSJ)
Shares of E*Trade Financial Corp., Charles Schwab Corp. and TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. tumbled last week amid concerns that regulators would ban a practice that allows brokerages to collect hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue by selling orders to middlemen who use high-frequency strategies to trade with the brokers’ customers.

Pimco’s problems grow as pension funds take fright (FT)
One of the first investors in Pimco’s $232 billion Total Return fund has begun looking for an alternative fixed income manager as concerns over the world’s biggest bond house escalate. The Orange County Employees Retirement System, situated just 12 miles from Pimco’s headquarters in California, has instructed an investment consultant to search for an “additional” domestic fixed income portfolio manager. The $11.5 billion pension scheme has invested in Pimco chief executive Bill Gross’s Total Return strategy since 1982, but it has put the fund on watch due to “organisational and personnel issues” at the company.

BlackRock Reshuffles Management (WSJ)
BlackRock Inc. took a big step toward picking a successor to co-founder and Chief Executive Laurence D. Fink on Sunday, announcing a reshuffling of the management ranks that will elevate a number of executives to prominent roles at the world’s largest asset-management firm. In a call with employees Sunday afternoon, Mr. Fink and President Robert Kapito stressed that Mr. Fink, 61 years old, would remain with the firm for years to come. But the New York firm laid out its most sweeping managerial overhaul in years. Among other moves, it added a new co-president and tapped a new chief operating officer, while promoting a number of other executives, including its company heads in Asia and New York. Mr. Kapito, 57, long has been seen as the heir apparent to Mr. Fink, and the moves are seen as strengthening that position, according to people at the company. He has been president of the firm since 2007…Among the biggest moves, the firm promoted Charlie Hallac, the New York-based company’s chief operating officer, to the new position of co-president alongside Mr. Kapito, who will remain in that role.

The Best Dirt From 15 Central Park West (NYM)
Billionaires Carl Icahn and Daniel Loeb allegedly tussled over a $45 million apartment; Loeb won by not blinking at the astronomical price. Icahn supposedly offered half the asking, a story he dismisses, saying he only wanted one of two units that could be combined: “There was no hondling,” Icahn is quoted in the book. “Bullshit.” (“Page Six” reports that Loeb was upset that Gross and his book are being feted at the building via a party hosted by political cartoonist and resident Ranan Lurie and his wife, Tamar; it’s still scheduled to take place as of this writing.)

Legendary Man U coach headed to Harvard Business School (NYP)
Alex Ferguson, the legendary British soccer manager for Manchester United who is famous for his volcanic temper, is bringing his coaching techniques to Harvard Business School. Ferguson, who retired from managing ManU last year, will teach in Harvard’s executive-education program, the school said this week. Ferguson, 72, is the most successful manager in British soccer and was knighted in 1999.

Australian groom banned from getting married after showing up drunk (NYDN)
Jake Francis Brookes, 41, was reportedly still drunk from his bachelor party when he rocked up at Exeter Uniting Church in Adelaide in February. Witnesses said he was swaying, bruised and sporting torn clothes. It led Reverend Ian Hunter to refuse to proceed with the ceremony because it was “unethical.” This resulted in a “minor altercation” between Brookes and Hunter – which ended after cops were called, according to the Adelaide Advertiser. Brookes was then arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour and resisting arrest – while his wife-to-be decided to cut her losses and end the relationship. He appeared in Port Adelaide Magistrates Court for a preliminary hearing on Thursday. Afterwards, he told reporters outside: “I miss her to bits – she is always in my heart.” “She wants me to be the best I can possibly be…I had my bucks night the night before bro, I mean come on, we are all men here,” he added. Read more »