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Wounded Vets Provide Good Excuse For Citi Traders To Stage Massive Hula-Hoop Competition

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Wall Street takes competition so seriously that business is considered a blood sport. Citi’s investment bank has upped the ante by staging a series of wacky challenges that have raise more than $180,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity that helps injured members of the armed forces. On one Friday afternoon in late October, Citi traders took a break from the flurry of numbers whizzing across their computer screens to watch their bosses compete in a series of “feats of strength.” Senior executives from the stock, bond, and currency trading units squared off, with personal pride and the loyalty of their deskmates on the line. It was all PG-rated, of course, in a nod to the post-bailout, post Boom-Boom room era. Traders racked up points by keeping their hula hoops going the longest or by tossing bocci balls and rings. A noontime putting contest, situated between the currency and fixed income desks on the fourth floor, drew hundreds of onlookers...But the featured event was a round-robin tug-of-war — an intense battle that some say was as bruising as the push-and-pull politics of financial regulatory overhaul in Washington. Even though they were outmuscled in the event by top executives from the currency and credit desks, a team made up of Citi’s top stock traders — Rick Bartlett, head of North American equities; Armando Diaz, head of United States equities trading; and Kevin J. McCaffrey, the United States head of equity sales — emerged as the winners.

The Flurry At Citigroup Was For A Good Cause [Dealbook]