In a pinch, Steve Cohen has made himself a few zip-up fleece jackets with only a travel sewing kit and some Silly Putty at his disposal. Alone in the woods and miles from home, Ray Dalio has been known to fashion slingshots out of the remains of wildebeests. Having blown through all his 100-count packs already and in a race against the clock, George Soros has constructed condoms out of strips of bacon; old tea bags; and British pounds. According to Dealbook, however, today they must all bow down to the master. Read more »
Give A Bill Ackman A Fish And You’ll Feed Him For A Day. Teach A Bill Ackman To Fish And He’ll Hire You To Work At Pershing Square. (Ditto Re: Tennis Lessons.)By Bess Levin
How do the world’s leading hedge fund managers go about assembling their teams? While some choose the standard head hunter and “pitch me a stock” route with candidates who’ve had at least a few years of business experience and proven track records, others prefer a more outside the box approach. Bridgewater Associates, for instance, has said that instead of going after veterans of Wall Street, it likes to hire people straight out of college, when their minds are still malleable. Founder Ray Dalio has stated: “Interest in the subject matter is a minor consideration…We are first interested in people’s values, second interested in their abilities, and least interested in their precise skills. We want independent thinkers who are willing to put aside their egos to find out what is true.”
Similarly, Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman, who has never been one to follow the crowd, eschews the typical hiring process in identifying talent. Instead, Ackman relies on gut instincts when it comes to making personnel calls, many of which occur outside the confines of the investing world. For example, one former analyst named Oliver White was hired after serving as Ackman’s guide on a fishing expedition in Tierra del Fuego. (Per Christine Richard’s Confidence Game: “For six days, Ackman and White, a philosophy graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, talked and fished. White explained technical details to Ackman about fly selection, casting the line, and luring the fish. Meanwhile, Ackman spotted the next member of Pershing Square’s investment team. “At the end of his stay, he asked me– no, he told me– I should come to New York and work for him.”) While Ackman was obviously impressed with White’s talent, it seems the offer was made on the basis of spending six days peering into the guy’s soul and seeing something special he knew in his plums would carry over into activist investing, rather than as a barter deal for White to teach Bill his craft, which is another way people have been hired at the fund. Read more »
From time to time around these parts, we like to canvas the world outside Wall Street to see how they deal with certain issues, particularly those related to crisis management. Often times, there are helpful tips to be borrowed and applied to any pre or post Code Red office situations in which you might find yourselves. For instance, thinking about taking a few minutes to evaluate the attractiveness of your co-workers to the guy or girl who sits next to you? Consider not doing it over the PA system, into a bullhorn, or near a recording device. Love to upload home videos of yourself sucking on a partners’ toes to the internet but value your privacy and/or have a board to answer to that doesn’t want to read about your personal life in the press? Rather than telling the press “this is a personal matter,” don’t return their calls. And in the future, consider 1) investing in one of those machines they use to throw voices (like in Scream) and 2) not letting your face appear on camera or, alternatively, have a mask created in your sworn enemy’s likeness to wear while you are filmed using jello molds in a way they were definitely not intended. Do or say some stuff in public that makes you sound a little nuts, that 10 years ago no one would’ve cared about but in this killjoy day and age would get a lot of panties in a lot of bunches? Lay low for a while and later, if asked about it later by some pissant reporters, tell them you really can’t recall if you told someone “If I could, I’d take this fucking ball and shove it down your fucking throat.” Read more »
The Post reports Ackman and Scoggin Capital manager Craig Effron will do battle with McEnroe and his brother, Patrick, after bidding $100,000 on one hour of tennis at a charity lunch the other day. If the brothers are trying to gather intel on Ackman’s style, the Pershing Square founder’s formidable game was described in a book by Christine Richard, Confidence Game: How a Hedge Fund Manager Called Wall Street’s Bluff. Read more »
* Wearing flip-flops, polos and shorts to work?
* Taking leisurely lunches
* Enjoying yourself a good rom-com and paying matinee prices?
* Playing 18 holes before the close?
* Catching a few winks on the company roof deck?
* Having bosses that understand there’s not much of a point to working more than a few hours a day?
Then shoot a resume over to Briargate Trading. These are the guys for you. Read more »
First, there was the World Cup outcome-predicting cephalopod mollusk that everyone was obsessed with, who the financial media took great glee in pointing out made better predictions than UBS. Now there’s Grandpa the Monkey, who’ll likely serve up another kick in the pants for the Swiss bank in the coming days. Read more »
Last Night At The US Open, A Heated Debate Broke Out Between Two Spectators Regarding The Root Causes Of The Housing CrisisBy Bess Levin
Yup, pretty sure that’s what happened here. Broheim thinks it was predatory lending, lady friend blames Alan Greenspan’s policies. What? You don’t think that’s what could’ve sparked the increasingly physical argument captured above? If you have an alternative theory or any intel on the situation, please do share it with the group at this time.
What do we know about Fabrice Tourre, the only Goldman employee named-checked in Friday’s suit against Goldman? Save for the fact that he refers to himself as “Fabulous Fab” in emails to friends, not much, though the Daily Mail did uncover this photo of Mr. Fantabulous, I don’t know, jumping out of a plane? And a few more details on the man about to be placed a burlap sack and beaten with reeds by Lloyd Blankfein (if it hasn’t happened already):
* Ecole Centrale Paris graduate
* Masters from Stanford
* Apparently tells people he’s from a “very refined family”
* Earned £1.5million a year while working for GS in New York, where he lived in a £3,000-a-month apartment Read more »
In 2007, birthday boy Stephen Schwarzman celebrated with a party that cost $1 trillion and included John Thain, Maria Bartiromo, Vernon Jordan, Bill Clinton, Rod Stewart and Patti LaBelle singing “Happy B’Day.” He’s scaled it back in the years since, preferring the simplicity of quiet celebrations at home, just him, wife Christine and the crabs. Sixty-three was set to be more of the same, with a quick bite to eat followed by a 7:30 showing of Valentine’s Day, the only trappings of diva-ness being SS’s plan to send a fleet of assistants several hours prior to rope off a couple of sections with caution tape to prevent the riff-raff from interrupting his viewing enjoyment. That was, until Haiti called. And when Haiti comes a’ knock’in, Steve Schwarzman answers. Rom-com, canceled. Dinner at the Sizzler, out. Lunch at home, in. Charity tennis match with John McEnroe et al, and the opportunity for Stephen “The Third Williams Sister” Schwarzman to help the earthquake victims while showing the “Adonis Effect” in action? So very in.
The first because he’s not a total pussy and the second because he can move. Also, according to Nick Bollettieri, the duo’s coach, Big Lar doesn’t smile when he’s playing, which makes sense considering that while he loves tennis, it ranks third among his favorite things, which are 1) drinking diet Coke and 2) sleeping during work. For those of you who’ve recently received an invite to knock some balls with Obama’s economic team, here’s what you can expect:
A quick look at Summers suggests diving for drop shots isn’t really his game, though opponents say he’s deceptively agile. The typical Summers point will start with a cannon-like serve. If the return is weak, the bulky six-footer will cut the ball off and swing for a difficult angle. Each additional shot is more likely than the last to either be out or un-returnable–the shorter the rally the better. As a player, “Larry is very tenacious … like his personality,” says Bollettieri.
Geithner Is “Dauntingly Fit” And Quick On Tennis Court, Object Of Tennis Partner’s Threesome FantasiesBy Equity Private
As you’re aware, the Times released Tim Geithner’s schedule last week, from when he was New York Fed Chairman. He had some tennis dates with former Portfolio editor Jim Impoco in 2007, and Daily Intel got in touch with the guy to find out what kind of game T. Geith throws down. Apparently the Treasury Secretary is “ever polite,” “dauntingly fit,” “quick” and all-around “awesome” on the court. But what of his selection as one of the 100 most beautiful People? Jimbo says, “Personally, I find his wife Carole much more appealing, but I suppose I wouldn’t vote Tim off that list.”