Financial Advisory Firm Not As Supportive Of Employee's Dream Of Winning Survivor As One Might Have Hoped

Roberta "RC" Saint Amour is a Bear Stearns alum, winner of the 112th Wellesley College "Hoop Rolling" Competition, member of the first inaugural Ladies of Investor Relations list, and a girl with a dream. That dream? Winning the new season of Survivor: The Phillipines. Starting tomorrow, viewers can watch her go head to head with former San Francisco Giants second baseman Jeff Kent and the actress who played Blair on Facts of Life and while RC believes her time on Wall Street has prepared her well ("If I know how to play with the big boys of Wall Street, I can certainly play with the little boys in the Survivor sandbox,"she says), the $1 million prize is not necessarily in the bag. And on the off chance she doesn't emerge victorious, she'll be looking to one of you for gainful employment, as the management at Landmark Ventures was apparently not interested in coming along for the ride. Newsday: You worked for Landmark Ventures before "Survivor" taped. What's the status there? RCSA: They replaced me while I was gone, and I came back to no job, which was a little devastating -- that's the hardest part you go through with this wonderful experience: The sacrifices you make in order to have your dream come true. It's tough sometimes, but I try not to think about it. Cold and, also, yet another instance in which we can say "Jimmy Cayne would've not only held her job open but watched every episode, with a wheelbarrow of Funyons and a childlike sense of wonderment that can only come with burning through his weekly supply of 90210 Kush in one sitting." LI's R.C. Saint-Amour dives into 'Survivor' [Newsday] Survivor: RC [CBS] Roberta Saint-Amour [LinkedIn] Related: Hedge Funds’ Hottest Assets: The Ladies of Investor Relations [NYM]
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Roberta "RC" Saint Amour is a Bear Stearns alum, winner of the 112th Wellesley College "Hoop Rolling" Competition, honorary member of the first inaugural Ladies of Investor Relations list, and a girl with a dream. That dream? Winning the new season of Survivor: The Phillipines. Starting tomorrow, viewers can watch her go head to head with former San Francisco Giants second baseman Jeff Kent and the actress who played Blair on Facts of Life and while RC believes her time on Wall Street has prepared her well ("If I know how to play with the big boys of Wall Street, I can certainly play with the little boys in the Survivor sandbox,"she says), the $1 million prize is not necessarily in the bag. And on the off chance she doesn't emerge victorious, she'll be looking to one of you for gainful employment, as the management at Landmark Ventures was apparently not interested in coming along for the ride.

Newsday: You worked for Landmark Ventures before "Survivor" taped. What's the status there?

RCSA: They replaced me while I was gone, and I came back to no job, which was a little devastating -- that's the hardest part you go through with this wonderful experience: The sacrifices you make in order to have your dream come true. It's tough sometimes, but I try not to think about it.

Cold and, also, yet another instance in which we can say "Jimmy Cayne would've not only held her job open but watched every episode, with a wheelbarrow of Funyons and a childlike sense of wonderment that can only come with burning through his weekly supply of 90210 Kush in one sitting."

LI's R.C. Saint-Amour dives into 'Survivor' [Newsday]
Survivor: RC [CBS]
Roberta Saint-Amour [LinkedIn]
Related: Hedge Funds’ Hottest Assets: The Ladies of Investor Relations [NYM]

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At Height Of Financial Crisis, One Morgan Stanley Employee Stood Up For Her Rights

Specifically, her rights to Perrier on the company dime. It's unclear what this woman's name is so moving forward she'll simply be referred to as The One With Brass Balls And A Dislike Of Tap. The daily Seamless stipend is considered sacred for employees, and any abuse of the system appears generally overlooked by higher-ups. When Lehman Brothers went under, for instance, Morgan Stanley lowered the Seamless limit from $30 to $25, much to the anger of workers. "People went nuts," recalls a former employee. "Every so often there were these fireside chats with [Morgan Stanley CEO] John Mack 'Da Knife' and a collection of analysts. One of the women on the call asked Mack to raise the limit to $30 again. Mack, not really having paid much attention to expenses, was surprised to hear it had been reduced. Concerned, he asked her why she needed $30 instead of just $25. She said that with the new reduction, 'I can't order my Perrier anymore.'" The next day, as legend has it, there was an entire case of Perrier on her desk--courtesy of John Mack. In related news, the Morgan Stanley Seamless stipend is currently at $20. And while filing formal complaints at the top might have worked when MS was a free-for-all orgy of sparkling water and Italian pastries and whatever else your heart desired,** anyone considering pleading his/her case to James Gorman re: why this just won't do should also think about boxing their shit up first, lest a hasty exit be necessary. How Wall Street Bankers Use Seamless To Feast On Free Lobster, Steak, And Beer [Fast Company] **Particularly if what your heart desired was a pair of fierce as fuck shoes.

Having George Soros As A Dad Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be (Well, It Sort Of Is, But Still, It Can Be Tough Sometimes, But Not Usually)

Are there many advantages to being born the son or daughter of a billionaire many times over? Sure. Financial security. Unparalleled opportunities. World is your oyster type stuff. But there's also a dark side that few people ever see or talk about, which can make being astonishingly wealthy by virtue of birth all the more isolating and hard. Today, however, in an effort to show kids born into immense privilege that YOU ARE NOT ALONE, the Times has run a profile of Alexander Soros, son of George, which examines the struggles he faced in coming to terms with being rich. They included: Never getting to live in a McMansion. Alex Soros spent his youth padding around a Charles A. Platt-designed 14-room house on a sprawling country estate in Katonah, N.Y. His mother, Susan Weber Soros, now divorced from his father, founded the Bard Graduate Center for the decorative arts and adorned the house with Sargents and Cassatts. Their place in the city was a duplex at 1060 Fifth Avenue. While his parents worked, he spent much of his time with his younger brother, Gregory, now 23 and pursuing a career as an artist; his nanny, Ping, from China; and the staff...Mr. Soros was acutely aware that he lived in a privileged bubble, and sometimes dreamed of living in a subdivision, where he could play football in the street with other boys. “As a kid, all you want to be is normal,” he said. “When all you’re being fed is vichyssoise, you want to eat Big Macs like everyone else.” Gaining weight. After King Low Heywood Thomas, a prep school in Stamford, Conn., he attended New York University, where he tried to come to grips with expectations that came with his last name. For a period, he brooded, and gained weight. Not being seen as an intellectual. “Alex sought anonymity,” said Adam Braun, a former roommate. “He wanted to be known as the intellectual, not the son of the financier.” Alex hated small talk, Mr. Braun added, and he would ditch parties early to go home and curl up with his Baudrillard. Being seen as a "party-boy" who posted pictures on Facebook with captions like “chilling at dad’s house in Southampton, drinking 40s while cruising on the family boat, and making out with the babes," after posting pictures on Facebook with captions like “chilling at dad’s house in Southampton, drinking 40s while cruising on the family boat, and making out with the babes.” ...after graduation, he came out of his shell and started to socialize. He made new friends, some of whom were nightclub habitués looking to trade on his name, he said. It was around that time that Facebook pictures [“chilling at dad’s house in Southampton, drinking 40s while cruising on the family boat, and making out with the babes"] of him popped up. He was shocked to be portrayed as another helium-weight Hamptons party boy swilling away his trust fund. “I became this caricature,” he said. Ultimately, after "wrestling with his moneyed upbringing," Soros came to grips with who he is and what he's worth, monetarily-speaking. He was born rich and he's OK with that. Mr. Soros, now 26, is taking the stage on his own terms, though in a direction his father clearly approves: philanthropy. Last fall, while pursing his Ph.D. in history at Berkeley, the younger Mr. Soros started the Alexander Soros Foundation. Its stated mission is to promote social justice and human rights...These days, he divides the bulk of his time between Berkeley and New York. Alex admits that his lifestyle is wildly at odds with that of most graduate students. He has a house in North Berkeley, a two-bedroom apartment near Astor Place in Manhattan and a place in South Kensington, London. He collects art by Otto Dix and George Grosz, and has “a couple of Magrittes,” he said. He has also given up on the idea that he can escape public scrutiny. His trip to Florianópolis, a Brazilian island getaway, with buddies a couple of years ago somehow landed on Page Six, which had him partying alongside the actor Stephen Dorff (“I’ve never even met Stephen Dorff,” he said). “I live well,” he told the Times. “I try to stay reasonable, but it’s very hard to say what is reasonable. There’s not a how-to book. In a way, if you try to live quote-unquote normal, you’re being disingenuous.” Making Good On The Family Name [NYT]

Your Dream Gig: Now Within Reach

Back in the day, as in 2007, Wall Street compensated its employees in a way that made them feel loved. In a way that made them feel special. In a way that made the long hours, the constant stress, the soaring highs and the crashing lows, the verbal and sometimes physical abuse bearable. Now, obviously, not so much. Combine that with suffocating regulation and you've got a bunch of financial services hacks who are saying "I want out." Some, like the Goldman partners who've already made enough money to not have to work again, are simply retiring. Others are waiting to get fired. Yet other are seeking out the warm embrace of hedge funds. A lesser number, though, are using the shift as an opportunity to finally leap for that dream, be it baking cupcakes or slapping bare asses with branches. But about your dream? You know the one. The one you've never shared with a soul. The one that's always in the back of your head. The one that keeps you up at night. The has you giving the side-eye to the dog-walkers you see your neighborhood-- because it's not fair. YOU should be the one wrangling the packs of pups, masterfully juggling dozens of leashes at a time that you'd never let get knotted.  Unfortunately, because this is the world we live in, no one would ever give you a chance. Something about being overqualified for the job, they said, looking you up and down in your dress pants and blue button-down, smirking, thinking "Like this guy can command the respect of a bunch of bitches." Plus, you had a lifestyle to maintain and the golden handcuffs were still a serious draw. Now though, you've been unshackled. And you know all those little plastic bags you've been subconsciously saving under the sink for years, waiting for your moment to come? It's here now.

Financial Services Employee Living In Relative Squalor Takes On Adversity And Wins

Back in February, Bloomberg ran a deeply distressing story about financial services employees whose lives had been turned upside down as a result of bonuses being slashed last year. There was a guy who who was forced to sell two motorcycles in order to keep his labradoodle and bichon frise in the $17,000/year lifestyle they'd grown accustomed to. Another had to turn down an offer to attend a wet tee-shirt contest in New Orleans. One man had to start shopping at Fairway and buying discounted salmon. All harrowing, to be sure, though none could quite compare to the story of Andrew Schiff, whose situation we wouldn't wish on our worst enemy. Schiff had almost too many woes to mention but they included having to scale back his Connecticut summer house rental from four months to one; the pressures of paying private school tuition for two kids; traffic (“Schiff was sitting in a traffic jam in California this month after giving a speech at an investment conference about gold. He turned off the satellite radio, got out of the car and screamed a profanity. ‘I’m not Zen at all, and when I’m freaking out about the situation, where I’m stuck like a rat in a trap on a highway with no way to get out, it’s very hard,’ he said”); and living in a smaller Brooklyn duplex than he wanted. "I'm crammed into 1,200 square feet," he told Bloomberg. "I don't have a dishwasher. We do all our dishes by hand. [I want] 1,800 square feet...three bedrooms, maybe four." But what we want and what we can have are often two very different things, and when one is hovering around the poverty line, it's difficult to imagine a way out of cramped quarters and washing the dishes in a sink, like some kind of hobo. Sometimes, though? Miracles happen. The director of marketing for broker-dealer Euro Pacific Capital Inc. has purchased a condo at 35 Woodhull Street in nearby Carroll Gardens for $1.23 million, according to city records...Besides more space, the four-bedroom, three-bath condo has “a huge private terrace off the master bedroom” and “jaw dropping views of Manhattan and the harbor.” There are 10-foot ceilings, “rich walnut wood floors,” and built-in speakers with an iPod deck, according to the listing. But what of the kitchen? Well, as Mr. Schiff and Ms. Barnes relax to the lulling whir and gurgle of their new dishwasher[!!!], they can gaze with pleasure at the stone counters, glass-tiled backsplash, Shaker cabinets, Liebherr and Bosch appliances and a Bertazzoni range. Lest anyone get too excited, though, Schiff would like to make it clear that the new digs are far from luxurious and actually quite similar to tenement house-living, pointing out to the Observer that the condo is "a walk up...about 50 yards west of the BQE." Andrew Schiff Finally Buys Own Brooklyn Apartment on Measly $350,000 Salary [NYO] Earlier: Nightmare On Wall Street

Financial Services Employee's Excel Spreadsheet Of Dating Prospects Allows For 18 Year-Olds, Has No Room For "Jappy" Girls

Have you ever wanted to bring the same methodical organization and analytical rigor to your dating life that you bring to your work product? Did you think to yourself, "Excel, of course," and proceed to create a spreadsheet that included not simply the names, phone numbers, and photos of the people you were either in the early stages of or attempting to date but the last time you "communicated," the last time (if ever) you saw each other, and your initial thoughts on said person? A document that did not allow you to input a number in the "age" column but choose one from a drop-down list (18-30), just as it constrained you from entering a value of less than 7.0 in the "appearance" field, lest you attempt to veer off course with someone underage, old, or not up to an acceptable level of hotness? Did you tell a person included in said document about its existence and did you proceed to send it to her? At least one financial services professional feels you. From: [redacted] Date: Sat, Apr 7, 2012 at 12:16 AM Subject: spreadsheet... Well...this could be a mistake, but what the hell. I thought about deleting the names, but figured I might as will give you the whole thing. I only deleted the non-match people's names (at the bottom) since some I've known for a long time. I hope this e-mail doesn't backfire, because I really had a great time and hope to hang again soon :). However, I will keep my word! Have a great weekend! Prospects Spreadsheet [PDF]

Goldman Sachs Unimpressed By Sophomoric Writing Efforts Of Former Employee

Back in March, a young man named Greg Smith published an Op-Ed in the Times called "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs." Greg wrote that despite joining a firm that, in the beginning, cared about "teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by clients" and not "just about making money," he'd ultimately come to be sickened by a place that, twelve years later, he couldn't even recognize. A place that, on Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn's watch, had lost its way. A place that, he'd come to see, was devoid of any sort of morals, whatsoever. A place that needed to take a long hard look at what it had become. A place that, he predicted, was not long for this earth. Because unlike Smith, whose proudest moments in life-- "being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist and winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics," respectively-- involved hard work and no short cuts, "Goldman Sachs today," Smith wrote, is all "about the shortcuts and not enough about achievements." Goldman Sachs 2.o, one might say, hasn't worked an honest day in its life and that didn't feel right to Smith anymore. The piece, which was said to come as shock to Goldman, did not please many people on the inside, nor did the $1.5 million deal Smith scored shortly thereafter to write Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story, out October 22. Here's how Greg's publisher describes WILGS: From the shenanigans of his summer internship during the technology bubble to Las Vegas hot tubs and the excesses of the real estate boom; from the career lifeline he received from an NFL Hall of Famer during the bear market to the day Warren Buffett came to save Goldman Sachs from extinction-Smith will take the reader on his personal journey through the firm, and bring us inside the world's most powerful bank. And while higher-ups at GS may have been initially worried about the potentially damaging revelations that would appear in the book, apparently time, a slap in the face and an order to 'get it together you pustulant milquetoasts' by the ghost of Lucas van Praag has resulted in this delightfully bitchy, exceptionally underminery comment from 200 West: “Every day, some young professional, after a decade in a post-collegiate job, reassesses his or her career and decides to move on and do something else,” David Wells, a Goldman Sachs spokesman said Dealbook in an e-mailed statement. “Others can better judge whether Mr. Smith’s particular career transition is of unique interest.” Regardless of whether or not Goldman is correct in its assessment that Greg's sounds like the story dozens of analyst finishing their first year would tell of the "epic" stuff they witnessed during their 12 months of banking (+previous summer internship, during which things got pretty crazy) or if his particular career transition is indeed of unique interest, Dealbreaker will be hosting an evening of dramatic readings of select chapters, with yet-to-be secured GS alum/raconteur/boulevardier Lucas van Praag standing in for the part of Mr. Smith. Venue and ticket pricing to follow. Former Banker Promises A Peek At Goldman Sachs [Dealbook] Earlier: Resignation Letter Reveals Goldman Sachs Is In The Business Of Making Money, Hires People Who Don’t Know How To Tie Their Shoes; Jewish Ping-Pong Tournament Participant / Sixth-Year Goldman Sachs Vice President Is Looking For His Next Challenge; Goldman Sachs Accuser Greg Smith (Might Have) Lied About That Which He Holds Most Sacred