trends

Second-year M.B.A. students at a number of schools are holding out for the perfect job, even if that means rejecting safe-bet offers and graduating into unemployment. The attitude reflects a major shift from just a couple of years ago, when business students aimed to lock in their postgraduation plans by winter break and those still looking in April were assumed to be deficient in some way…Bloom Energy, which taps M.B.A. students for 5% to 8% of its new hires, doesn’t recruit on a set schedule and rarely does so for positions more than six months ahead of time. That means those who want to start work after graduation generally only stand a chance at getting a job in the spring. And they’re willing to wait, said Helen Textor, director of global recruiting and staffing at the Sunnyvale, Calif., clean energy firm. “I’m surprised often at how comfortable they are” turning down other offers, knowing a job at Bloom is far from a sure bet, she said. [WSJ]

Like Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs before it, Credit Suisse announced this week that analysts and associates will have some semblance of a weekend, moving forward. Unlike JP Morgan’s monthly “protected” weekend and BofA’s “take the number of UNAUTHORIZED weekend days you were previously working and cut it in half,” Credit Suisse has chosen to adopt the Goldman Sachs 36-hour weekend model, unless of course urgent work needs to be done, in which case, consider your ass glued to that desk. Read more »

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 »

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 »

  • 12 Jul 2012 at 12:48 PM

Bill Gross Is Not The Only One Who Feels Fat

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 »

  • 10 Feb 2012 at 3:29 PM

Why Not Try: Performance Enhancing Drugs

Perhaps you’ve just put the finishing touches on a fourth quarter letter to investors that includes lines about being “disappointed,” “clearly wrong in our judgment,” and last year being notable for being “the worst in the firm’s history,” and are freaking out about how you’re going to turn things around in 2012. Or maybe you’ve spent every day since the financial crisis waiting to get fired, on account of not having made your firm any money and in fact lost it quite a bit, having only been spared because every time you receive an email from HR requesting to see you in the conference room, you’ve responded with an out of office message, but know that jig will soon be up. Or maybe you did get fired and have remained unemployed but feel confident that you could easily get a new gig, if only you could demonstrate during an interview that you could beat anyone there at an arm wrestling match, right here, right now. Or maybe you’re a lady trader who knows you deserve more capital and could get it if only you could show the boss you’ve got balls, literally. If  any of this is resonating, your prayers have been answered. 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 »