Who Wants To Work 2-3 Hours, Play Some Golf And Call It A Day?

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Are you a trader looking for a new gig? Do you have certain requirements of the job that've made finding the perfect employer slightly difficult? Do they include:

* 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.

On the day the "flash crash" bludgeoned the stock market and chaos swept over the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, the founders of Briargate Trading were at the movies. Rick Oscher and Steven Rubinstein weren't playing hooky. Briargate, a proprietary-trading firm that the two former NYSE floor "specialist" traders started in 2008, is mostly active at the stock market's open and close. In between, when market activity typically drops, the Wall Street veterans play tennis in Central Park, take leisurely lunches, visit their children's schools and work out at the gym. Dress shoes have been replaced with flip-flops, slacks with cargo shorts. Once during market hours, they walked about five miles and crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to try Grimaldi's pizza. "We actually planned on working a full day," says Mr. Oscher, wearing a white polo shirt and blue-plaid shorts. "But from 11 to 2, the markets are pretty quiet—what's the point? As a specialist, you have to stand in your spot all day and we did that for 20 years."

In 2008, the men joined forces with a programmer from Van Der Moolen and started Briargate. The five employees that now comprise Briargate work out of an apartment in a luxury-hotel and condominium complex on Wall Street. Briargate trades mostly stocks, using computer algorithms that still require human decision-making. Sometimes the firm's programmer is left in charge when the rest of the staff leaves the office. Focusing trading on those times could limit gains, but Messrs. Oscher and Rubinstein are at peace with that. "Would you rather play tennis or make an extra $80? It's a lifestyle question," says Mr. Rubinstein, who sometimes works remotely from Florida. "I can go play 18 holes of golf and then come back and trade and that's a workday."

"If someone offered us three times what we make to do a real job, we wouldn't do it," Mr. Oscher says. "Money isn't everything. Plus, we'd make terrible employees."

These Trader Play Only The Open And Close [WSJ]

Related

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.)

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 prefers 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, a former analyst named Oliver White was hired after serving as Ackman's guide on a fishing expedition in Tierra del Fuego. (Per Christine Harpers'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 the investing world, rather than as a barter deal for more fishing lessons. In other cases, people have been asked to join the Pershing team after dazzling Ackman with a skill he wanted to acquire. Days after Bill Ackman won control of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP), the nation’s second-largest railway, he was at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center trying to control his backhand against Wall Street’s biggest hitters. “My groundstrokes were actually pretty good,” the 46- year-old chief of Pershing Square Capital Management said toward the end of play at the R Baby Foundation doubles tournament. The event was a fundraiser to aid emergency pediatric care. “I had too many unforced errors.” [...] On Saturday, his partner was Elena Piliptchak of Tiger Europe Management, who played for Kansas State University and was the lone female competing. Ackman’s partner was 25-year-old Mariusz Adamski, a business major and No. 1 doubles player at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. After they were introduced three years ago by Jeffrey Appel, an investment banker, Ackman hired Adamski at Pershing. Where will Bill find his next super star? Let us be the first to suggest the ranks of street magicians, as they have have all the classic BA lures including the possession of a skill he most likely doesn't have and would like to learn and natural stage presence. Harvard, Princeton Bankers Seek Net Glory In Tennis Match [Bloomberg] Confidence Game [Christine Harper]