PIMCO still radiates Gross’s workaholic culture. On a recent visit to PIMCO’s headquarters, the trading floor was graveyard quiet. People who have worked for PIMCO say Gross prefers traders to swap electronic messages rather than speak – believing too much talk is a distraction. It’s not uncommon for PIMCO traders and portfolio managers, who start work at 4 a.m. Pacific time, to find a sheet of paper with their bond holdings circled by Gross himself, asking them to justify their trades. Gross’s temper has been known to flare at work, where he has slammed desk drawers in anger. He discourages employees from socializing and speaking with competitors, and once fumed at an employee for attending an industry conference: “I don’t want you to attend the conference, I want you to be a speaker at the conference.” [Reuters]

Put it in your purse

Less than a week ago, UBS announced that profits for the third quarter may not be what they were hoping for, as a result of a trader named Kweku Adoboli losing the bank $2.3 billion dollars. Tensions have been running a bit high since then, on account of many employees wondering if a) they’ll be the lucky recipient of a zero dollar bonus this year or b) they’ll still have a paycheck period by the end of the year. While management can’t make promises on either front, they may be able to do one better. Do the sounds of waves crashing, some complimentary rounds of golf and a few days out of the office that will afford you the time to conduct phone interviews with other shops sound like something you’d be interested in? If you answered yes, consider this your lucky day. Read more »

  • 11 Jul 2011 at 10:47 AM

Black Eyed Peas Too Good To Sing Live For Deutsche Bank

Last week, Deutsche Bank held a party for a few hundred clients at a resort in England. The event was catered by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, who created “hundreds of gin and tonic meringues, cooked in front of guests in liquid nitrogen,” included spa treatments and unlimited rounds of golf and was deemed an “exquisite experience” for all attendees. Having said that, there were some behind the scenes issues when it came to the evening’s entertainment, the mistakes of which any firm planning a conference/weekend/what have you in the future should take note. Initially, Deutsche Bank, for some reason, had hoped to wow clients with a performance by the Black Eyed Peas. Unfortunately, the Germans were apparently unaware of the fact that this supergroup of artistic purists believe they’re in a position to play hard ball.

Organisers had initially contacted one of the world’s biggest bands, The Black Eyed Peas, asking them to perform instead. ‘They had offered even more money to The Black Eyed Peas to appear,’ a source revealed. ‘Unfortunately the group’s management said they refused to perform live for the bankers, even for that kind of money, and would only lip-sync to their hits.

While the Peas undoubtedly do believe they’re too good to strain their vocal chords and memorize lines for a group of financial services employees, what was clearly lost in translation was that the band has a tiering system and that this is how they negotiate. Deutsche was supposed to come back to the table and offer more, at which time Fergie would have explained to them that the bronze level (£1,000,0000) gets you a methed out Fergie (you supply the meth) plus 10 minutes of lip-syching, silver (£5,000,0000) gets you 30 minutes of lip-syching and attitude and gold gets (£10,000,0000) you an actual live performance. DB organizers did not know this, though, and simply told the Peas to piss off, as they could do better. Potential nip-slip better. Read more »

Despite the fact that his co-star Shia Labeouf has the accumulated wisdom of several lunches with top brass at the Encino branch of Charles Schwab, sitting in on rounds 17-23 of the Goldman Sachs interview process, and months of studying for the CFA’s Level I exam only to come down with a stomach virus the day of the test, it was retired investor Mike D who will be talking shop at CLSA’s investor conference in Hong Kong this September. For those who question whether or not Douglas knows anything about investing in real life, and why he and not another I don’t know– THE GUY WHO HAS BLOOMBERG ON SPEED-DIAL– was invited, rest assured, MD knows what he’s talking about here. Read more »