Time was, entertaining a client on Wall Street was a relatively straightforward affair. Invite them to dinner at a steakhouse, maybe hit up some kind of sporting event, round out the night at a strip club. It was a simpler time, of simpler tastes. In the last number of years, though, things have changed. Most people would prefer to hit up a spinning class rather than spend upwards of 5 or 6 hours in the presence of some insufferable sales guy, and when they do want to involve scantily-clad entertainment? Candy on Stage 5 no longer cuts it. Read more »
Wall Street Tired Of Stripping, Pole Dancing, Moving Toward More Highbrow Pursuits (Public Urination, Etc.)By Bess Levin
At Least One Salesperson On Wall Street Still Prefers Entertaining Clients The Good Old Fashioned Way (Taking Them To Strip Clubs In The Bronx), Thank You Very MuchBy Bess Levin
Time was, bankers ingratiated themselves to clients in an attempt to win their business by taking them out for steak dinners, offering them prime seats at sporting events, and showering them with coke and prostitutes. According to a report by Bloomberg today, though, dangling a chunk of meat in a hedge fund manager’s face no longer holds the appeal it once did. People are a lot more health conscious than in the past, they only have limited free time outside of work, and quite honestly? If they have to sit through another agonizing dinner in Midtown that involves the sort of secondhand embarrassment that can only come from you insisting on addressing the waitresses as “Sweet cheeks,” “Sugar tits,” and “My little piece of Kobe beef,” they might just cut their ear off. What’s a salesperson tasked with providing bonding experiences to do?
Gaining popularity, apparently, is inviting hedge fund managers and mutual fund traders to spend an hour or so working out together. The allure is in the fact that it’s a relatively quick commitment, it can be done in the morning, no one feels fat afterwards, and, of course, the enforced silence (other than motivational shouts and grunts).
Pre-dawn and afternoon classes at Manhattan fitness studios SoulCycle, Barry’s Bootcamp and Flywheel Sports are growing popular with bankers who want to bond without loading up on liquor and fatty foods, according to traders and salesmen. John Abularrage, head of Tullett Prebon Plc’s Americas unit, takes clients to 5 a.m. sessions at Barry’s Bootcamp in Tribeca, where they run on treadmills and lift weights to thumping dance music…Health-conscious clients increasingly view steak dinners as “three-hour ordeals,” said Chelsea Kocis, a 26-year-old former equity saleswoman. “‘Let’s meet at 5 for a workout,’” she said, describing the way she’d invite out traders. “‘You can be home before your kids go to bed.’ That’s an enticing thing for a lot of people.”
Another equity salesman, who asked for anonymity because his company doesn’t let staff speak with reporters, said he e-mails clients a weekly invitation listing classes he will attend. The 5 a.m. sessions at SoulCycle in Tribeca, a block from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. headquarters, are the most popular with brokers and portfolio managers, he said. Steve Starker, co-founder of BTIG LLC, says he spins four or five times a week at SoulCycle in Greenwich, Connecticut, the Upper East Side and in the Hamptons, sometimes with clients. The brokerage also sponsored a charity spinning class for clients earlier this year at Flywheel, Starker said in an e-mail. “All it is is bonding,” said Starker, who’s also a founding investor in Cyc Fitness, a chain of less expensive spinning studios geared toward college students and young professionals. “You’re saying let’s go spin this morning, get a sweat and grab a juice after,” said Starker, whose company has studios in Austin, Texas, and Madison, Wisconsin.
And while Kocis has gone so far at to quit her job at BofA to start “a cycling studio in the Flatiron district called Swerve Fitness, which will cater to banker outings,” based on the assumption that this is the direction things are headed, others are not buying it. Like the saleslady who scoffed at the notion anyone would prefer exercise over sticking singles in g-strings at a gentlemen’s club that, according to one Yelp reviewer, “USED to be my prime choice of entertainment in the early 2000′s BUT since the recession (2009) it seems as if they let any ol Sally dance on the pole.”1 Read more »
Are your pants getting a little tight? Have you become convinced mirrors have a personal vendetta against you? Are you too distracted by the rolls spilling over your belt to trade? Do you find yourself veering off course in your letters to investors to talk about your love handles? Is it only a matter of time before you lose your firm billions and/or take down the entire market because your fingers are so big they span four keys each on the keyboard?
Do you want to do something about it but are repulsed by the idea of healthy eating and exercise and also know yourself well enough to realize that there is no way you’re going to be able to stay strong if everyone around you is eating solid food at lunch and sooner or later you, a usually pretty mild-mannered guy, will be leaping across a row of Bloomberg terminals and threatening to kill a coworker (and meaning it) unless he hands over Ho Ho now? Then round up your similarly tubby colleagues and tell them they’re in for a real treat. Read more »
Are you a Connecticut-based hedge fund employee, perhaps living and working in Stamford and unable to imagine life getting much better than that in the 06901? Well don’t get too comfortable. According to a report in the February issue of Bloomberg Markets Magazine, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that your bosses may soon force you to relocate to Malta, where many a firm has been “lured by low taxes, cheap labor and a coveted address inside the European Union.” If the idea of giving up all this [gestures towards the ashes of Hula Hanks Island Grille & Bar, I-95, the gleaming, glittering UBS building, freezing your ass off walking from house to car and car to office] for a “sun-drenched island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea” that gets 300 days of sunshine per year sounds like a trade you’re somewhat unsure about, you’re not alone. Erik Nelson was once in your shoes, too.
Erik Nelson was working in Stamford, Connecticut, as a research analyst at FMG USA LLC, the U.S. arm of FMG, a fund of funds specializing in emerging and frontier markets, when his bosses called him into a meeting in September 2009. They had recently moved FMG’s corporate headquarters to Malta fromBermuda and now they wanted Nelson, 27 at the time, to head up the new office. “I’ll have to think about it,” Nelson replied.
Three months later, Nelson did end up making the trip, like the other hedge fund employees who’ve helped Malta increase the number of funds with a local presence by 30 percent since 2010. And in a crazy plot twist no one saw coming, is actually having a pretty okay time. Read more »
Max Libre co-founder and Gregg Lippmann wingman Jordan Milman has plunked down a couple million to venture into uncharted territory. Williamsburg. Read more »
Financial Services Employee Refuses To Accept Double Standard That Men Can’t Spruce Up Their Appearance With Plastic Surgery Like WomenBy Bess Levin
Looked in the mirror lately? If you’re a man of a certain age it’s quite possible you were repulsed by what you saw. Those bags under your eyes. Those wrinkles. Those 4 necks where only one should be. And dear god we’re not even going to touch on the breasts you’ve sprouted. The longer you look in the mirror the more disgusted you get. You start to wonder if maybe your bonus would’ve had a few extra zeros if it weren’t for that massive gut of yours. You want to do something drastic about it and fast but society says no, you must suck it up, unlike the lucky ladies who are free to get as much plastic surgery as they please. Well no longer. A small but burgeoning group of men, like Jim Wehrheim, founder of Wehrheim Financial Services, are standing up and demanding equal rights. Read more »
Earlier this week, we took a serious look at a sport beloved to a certain hedge fund in Stamford, CT: ping pong. Second only to trading and hunting humans, p-pong is the pastime that is often cited internally as the secret to this firm’s success, the practice of which has made what started out as a 2-bit boiler room into the powerhouse fund it is today. A prescient call, as today Bloomberg has published an article quoting table tennis experts on ping pong being the hottest new thing in the business community.
“It’s like a real-life version of LinkedIn,” says founder Peter Farnsworth. “We’re bringing the business community together through pingpong.”
According to Alan Williams, of sports management firm North American Table Tennis, “Everyone who plays table tennis [will] live longer, be smarter, and be more attractive.” While true, this affirmation did not please our hedge fund manager who, as we all know, is above all else a trend-setting icon, not a follower. He doesn’t hop on bandwagons, he builds them from the ground up (see: skinny jeans) and the burns them down when others pile on, years later. Read more »