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Recounting a weird week of Wall Street courtroom drama

Our last update on the weird courtroom scuffles involving the 1% included a chief compliance officer who sued his neighbors over the smell of manure emanating from their property, despite the fact that he and his wife also own horses, and a suit involving a hedge fund manager who was painted as a murderer, drug trafficker and a member of the Ku Klux Klan, just as an effort to make him move. This past week’s drama may have trumped those tales.

Leading off is the divorce proceedings of Sage Kelly, the current head of healthcare investment banking at Jefferies. Despite a judge urging he and his wife to not air their dirty laundry in public court, they did just that, and then some. There isn’t enough detergent in New York City to scrub their back-and-forth from anyone’s mind.

His wife, Christina Di Mauro Kelly, accused the investment banker of going on drug and alcohol binges to the point that he couldn’t tell the difference between his bedroom and his bathroom, according to the New York Daily News. Sage responded in court papers in great (and rather graphic) detail, noting, “’The Wolf of Wall Street’ tale she tells this court is a work of fiction. I have never defecated or urinated in bed, on the floor or a wall.” Interesting…

She then identified 20 of her husband’s friends, including many people in banking, who she claimed were also wacked out on drugs alongside her husband. Sage then countered in court papers that his wife got into a drunken driving accident four years ago with their children in the back seat.

Perhaps they should have listened to the judge.

Elsewhere, a third HSBC employee has come forward claiming they were sexual harassed at work and that the firm did nothing about it. Each claim is worse than the last, with one former employee claiming her boss told her to dress provocatively at work and even sleep with HSBC executives and clients. Awful.

And then, in less cringe-worthy litigation, Billionaire Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates sued two former employees who pitched their new hedge fund to clients based on their roles at Bridgewater.

They claimed to have key investing roles, but Bridgewater says one former employee, Robert Wang, was just an entry-level analyst in client services who told Bridgewater that he was leaving to “pursue ballroom dancing full time as a competitor,” according to Forbes. The other former employee, Wenquan “Robert” Wu, was a software developer, Bridgewater said.

A weird week indeed.

How To Identify Great Recruiters (eFinancialCareers)

Truth be told, there are plenty of good, helpful, ethical recruiters in the business. You just need to know what to look for.

Traders Up, Bankers Down (eFinancialCareers)

The pendulum seems to have swung. After 12 months in which investment bankers have ruled the roost, the investment banking pipeline is looking a bit less pumped than it was. However, resurgent volatility is doing good things for banks’ fixed income sales and trading businesses.

No Need to Stress (Bloomberg)

Deutsche Bank is said to have booked $1.13 billion in litigation reserves in the third quarter, which is bad, but various reports indicate that the German bank did in fact pass the EU stress test. So that’s good.


Thierry Leyne, the business partner of former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, committed suicide on Thursday morning. The pair were planning to launch a hedge fund.

‘Client of Last Resort’ (Bloomberg)

Here’s a somewhat interesting story about Dish Network co-founder Charlie Ergen and why no investment bankers want to work with him. He often backs out of deals, requests last minute changes and negotiates M&A fees down to their last penny. He’s a potential bidder for T-Mobile, so somebody is going to have to deal with him.

Not Your Traditional Comp Plan (FT)

You didn’t think Bill Gross was going to come cheap, did you? His new employer, Janus Capital, was forced to explain to analysts on its latest earnings call that its compensation ratio will go up next quarter. I wonder why?

Chained To Their Desks (CNBC)

U.S. employees use just 77% of their vacation days, the lowest figure in 40 years.

Buzz Around the Office

Fake It ‘Til You Make It (HuffPo)

A U.K. man who pretended to be a quadriplegic and who often faked seizures that left him “comatose” to avoid being sanctioned for fraud was busted last week when he was seen walking around the grocery store.

Quote of the Day: "Don't confuse brains with a bull market" - Humphrey B. Neill

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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