so that’s nice

Portrait of an investment banker.

Portrait of an investment banker.

Those working in IBD are expected to do quite nicely for themselves come bonus communication day. Others would be smart to remember the ancient Chinese proverb: you’ll take what you get and you’ll like it/those multi-billion dollar fines aren’t going to pay for themselves. Read more »

Unless you’ve avoided Facebook or other forms of social media these last couple weeks, you know that people are raising money for ALS by dumping buckets of ice water on their heads. As a fan of water-based challenges and an opponent of terrible diseases, this thing was right in JP Morgan’s wheelhouse. A firm-wide email was sent around yesterday asking people to sign up to get dumped on today at 3PM outside the 270 Park Ave HQ, with $100 donated for every participant (total amount donated was $150,000). The bank “provided big individual orange buckets for all, as well as free tee-shirts.” Read more »

  • 16 Dec 2013 at 3:08 PM

Christmas Come Early For JP Morgan Junior Employees

Back in the day, as in pre-2008, attempts to make the job of a Wall Street junior banker slightly more palatable would have been laughed off as crazy and unnecessary. The main reason was that any complaints to management about treating young employees like indentured servants could be met with: “Yeah…but you’re/they’re making a ridiculous amount of money for someone just out of college, so get the hell out of my office.” Grappling with the fact that, post-financial crisis, it’s become increasingly difficult to make the case for working junior mistmakers’ little fingers to the bone 24/7, management has been forced to look within and ask itself, “What would PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Analysts/Associates) do?”

In November, Goldman Sachs announced it would be implementing a bunch of “initiatives…designed to improve the junior banker experience,” the most significant being the one that gives analysts and associates 36 hours of rest between Friday night and Sunday morning, rather than keeping them chained to their desks through the weekend. Now, following Goldman’s magnanimous gesture, JP Morgan is said to be about to roll out its junior banker work/life improvement plan. Read more »

Small Victories: Sergey Aleynikov Edition

Goldman Sachs does not have to pay the people trying, at its behest or otherwise, to put former programmer Sergey Aleynikov in jail (again). But it does have to pay to try to keep him out of jail. For now. Unless he does go to jail (again). Then all bets are off. Which is good for old Sergey (for now), because, as you might imagine, given the ordeal he’s been through, he’s broke. Read more »

  • 04 Oct 2013 at 1:08 PM

Pershing Square Investors Standing By Their Man

William Ackman’s bad year is taking a big toll. The activist hedge-fund manager has seen his firm’s assets under management decline by $1.2 billion from a high point earlier this year, largely due to investment declines, according to people familiar with its operations…At the end of September, Pershing Square’s total assets under management stood at $11.2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. That is a $1.2 billion decline from the $12.4 billion that Pershing Square reported it had under management as of March 1 in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission…People with knowledge of the firm said the decline resulted almost completely from weak investment performance, and net redemptions by investors had amounted to less than $150 million so far in 2013. [WSJ]

Over at the Wall Street Journal today you will find a “Where are they now?” round-up of what “The Cast of the 2008 Financial Crisis” has been up to of late. Most of the entries mention books (Paulson, Geithner), current jobs on Wall Street and with the government (Thain, Bernanke, Steel, Dimon, Weinstein, Paulson), low-profiles and responses of “No comment” (Cayne, Mozilo, Fuld, Diamond). While lawyers for former BofA chief Ken Lewis did not get back to the Journal, “someone” close to the guy did offer this delightfully quaint update, which actually sounds like it was intended for his college’s alumni magazine or the Lewis family newsletter. Read more »

Literally. Read more »

  • 04 Sep 2013 at 3:34 PM

Bonus Watch ’14: SAC Capital

According to Bloomberg, SAC Capital announced today that it will be leaving a little extra in everyone’s stocking next year.

SAC Capital Advisors LP, the hedge-fund firm that’s facing federal insider-trading charges and a money-laundering lawsuit, is raising 2014 bonuses for its portfolio managers by 3.5 percentage points to help retain employees, a person with knowledge of the decision. The increase, announced to employees in meetings today, will be paid to equity, macroeconomic and quantitative-trading portfolio managers, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. SAC portfolio managers are typically paid an annual bonus of 15 percent to 25 percent of the profits they generate from their investments…SAC told employees today that it will guarantee a minimum compensation of $300,000 for its equity analysts for next year, the person said. A spokesman for the Stamford, Connecticut-based firm declined to comment.

SAC has long been known for paying extremely competitively, so nothing about this should be too shocking; the Big Guy figured out a long time ago that you gotta spend money to make money. Still, that it comes on the heels of reports employees are holding covert interviews with other hedge funds at various rest stops off of 95 suggests there may be some minor element of desperation to keep people happy. And maybe that SC is one analyst departure away from barricading the doors of the firm, dimming the lights, and using the words of others to make his case when his own fail him. Read more »