Hedge Fund Chief Can See How People Might Confuse 'Was Meditating' With 'Was Arrested'

Li Yifei would like to clarify that she was not doing the latter.
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The Chinese boss of the hedge fund giant Man Group re-emerged from a mysterious week-long absence yesterday to dispel rumours she had been taken into custody by authorities probing the country’s recent market turmoil. Li Yifei, the chairwoman of Man Group China and one of China’s most high-profile businesswomen, posted on her social media account that she had attended “industry meetings” and then gone on holiday to meditate, rejecting reports she had been detained. The upbeat message from Ms Li, who is not accused of any wrongdoing and has not been charged, follows a report on 31 August that she was helping police with an investigation into big swings in the Chinese stock markets. Subsequent comments from her husband, Wang Chaoyong, who told reporters in China she was locked in meetings with regulators in Beijing, added to the confusion. [Independent]

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How Can Wall Street Feel Alive Again?

As some of you may recall, there was a time not too long ago when you could work on Wall Street and be compensated in a way that made you feel special. Appreciated. Loved. Eight, nine, ten-figures of love. Now, obviously, not so much. But that is not what's eating the industry's most fragile spirits of late. They are fine taking pay cuts. They could care less about the money. What they're not fine with is having the rush, the intensity, the adrenaline-pumping fear that comes with, say, putting on a trade in which maybe the firm will make $1 billion or maybe it'll lose $10 billion, WHO KNOWS, IT'S ALL RELATIVE, I CAN'T FEEL MY LEGS, THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT SO EXCITING taken away from them. Take Sean George. He used to spend his days destroying company property and now, thanks to financial regulation, has had to get his kicks elsewhere. Sean George kneeled in the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Manhattan. He wasn’t praying. A gash below his right brow bled into his eye and down his nose before a knee to his groin sent him to the floor. George, 39, head of credit-derivatives trading at Jefferies, was making his Muay Thai debut at the church June 22 in a sport that allows kicking, elbowing and kneeing. His eye was swelling shut by the time he lost in a split decision. It was the happiest he’s been all year, he said. “Right now at work I’m making less risk decisions -- and I enjoy taking risks,” George, who headed investment-grade credit-default-swap trading at Deutsche Bank AG before he joined Jefferies last year, said in an interview. “If you’re in it for the game and the fight, the game’s over and the fight’s over.” Risk is what drew George and the colleagues he respects to Wall Street, he said. He could bring in millions of dollars in a single month at his peak, and trading was so intense that during one credit-default-swap deal he smashed a phone against his desk, sending part of it three rows away, “one of the records for the best break,” he said. Ethan Garber's lost that tingly feeling in his plums. “There’s no sexiness, there’s no fun, there’s no intellectual intrigue, either,” said Ethan Garber, who ran proprietary credit-arbitrage portfolios for Credit Suisse Group AG and Bear Stearns Cos. “A lot of my friends who actually lingered for the last four years are all now getting fired anyway,” said Garber, 45, currently CEO of IdleAir, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based firm that provides electricity at truck stops. “The air is taken out.” Robert McTamaney has been reduced to doing his best impression of a whiskey-swilling, cigar-chomping newspaper man from the 1940's, who we assume addressed Bloomberg's Max Abelson as "toots" here. “The socks are higher, the skirts are longer,” said McTamaney, who helped run Goldman Sachs’s equities- trading business in Asia. “It’s like styles: They change, and you’ve got to change with it or be left behind.” Former King Street Capital and Bank of America trader Sam Polk isn't gonna lie, the worst part of Wall Street 2.0 is not being able to feel like a god by dropping $10,000 for bottle service on Wednesday nights, and sometimes even Thursdays. “You could be a 20-something trader three years out of school, able to go to any restaurant or club or ballgame on any night that you wanted, and it was totally paid for,” he said. “It was a tremendous feeling of power.” Michael Meyer is dying a slow, painful death. “The light at the end of the tunnel is dim,” said Meyer, now co-head of sales and trading at New York investment bank Seaport Group. Clearly, it's not pretty. But here at Dealbreaker we're about offering solutions, not whining about problems. How can these guys and girls replicate the feelings they once got by taking on risk on the job, if, unlike Sean George, getting kicked in the balls is not their thing? Drinking the carton of milk in the break room that's been sitting out for two days, telling the boss's wife it looks like she's gained a couple pounds, having unprotected sex with a junkie, shouting "You go girl!" at yourself in spin class after being kindly told to "Shut the fuck up" or else, and leaving dirty dishes in the sink all seem like good jumping off points but we can do better. These people need our help. Bloodied Trader Pines For Risk As Wall Street Retreats [Bloomberg]

Personal Assistant Wasn't Stealing From Her Hedge Fund Boss She Was Stealing From Her Hedge Fund Boyfriend, Says Personal Assistant In Her Own Defense

Do you see the distinction? Prosecutors say that when glamorous young Renata Shamrakova spent nearly a million bucks last year jet-setting around the world and buying armloads of jewelry, the funds were stolen from her high-society boss, Todd Meister. Wrong, she says. He was my lover. The 26-year-old aspiring actress pleaded not guilty in Manhattan Superior Court Thursday to charges of grand larceny, identity theft and tampering with evidence. "It's not as clean and neat as the DA is saying," said Mark Agnifilo, the sultry Shamrakova's lawyer. "It's a he said-she said. He said this is a theft. She said it is not, because there was a relationship." Meister, 41, a Harvard Business School grad who founded the multibillion-dollar Priderock hedge fund, was not in court to hear the claim that his personal assistant maxed out his credit cards "with his consent." But afterwards, Meister - who has dated some of the richest women in society and was once briefly married to his childhood pal Nicky Hilton - called it a bunch of nonsense. "She didn't work out of my house, she worked out of my office. I've never even had a meal with her - not even a cup of coffee," Meister said. Hope this clears things up. Glamorous assistant to Nicky Hilton's ex says she didn't steal from tycoon - she was his lover [NYDN]

Area Hedge Fund Manager: Leave Harry Alone!

As you may have heard, earlier this week the lovable scamp that is Prince Harry of Wales got in a bit of hot water when he was photographed ass naked in Las Vegas, with a bunch of equally ass naked ladies, following some sort of swim meet with Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte. Those photographs, some of which involved a billiards table and pool cues, were subsequently run on the covers of various newspapers and the Queen, being none too pleased, told her grandson to get on the first flight back to London (apparently in a tone so scary he knew she meant business and "did not mingle with other passengers," instead remaining "in the upstairs cabin of the 747" to think about what he'd done). While it's unclear what kind of punishment the Queen has in mind, or if she's yet delivered the sort of tongue lashing generally reserved for naughty Corgis and her subjects at RBS, in the meantime many have come to the prince's defense and advised the old lady to back off, like the hedge fund manager the Times found on the tube who thinks the Queen should relax and have a good laugh about it. She'd be doing the same thing if Prince Philip ever gave her a weekend off. Among people surveyed at random in central London, including subway commuters reading about the Las Vegas incident on the front page of the tabloid the Evening Standard, the verdict was mostly thumbs-up. “I think it’s quite funny,” said John Daniels, 46, a hedge fund manager. “I’m sure most people would like to be doing exactly the same thing, especially in Vegas. This is his own private time and people shouldn’t be taking photographs of him.” For Prince Harry, Vegas Exploits Didn't Stay There [NYT]