Veteran investment banking icon Richard Jenrette was known for, among other things, his unique and personable leadership style. It therefore was rather fitting that, before passing away at 89 last week, he left on his desk a list of advice for being successful in life, with a clear focus on work and likely finance.
Jenrette, who co-founded securities firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette with two Harvard Business School alums in 1959, clearly left the hand-written note for public consumption. In it, he doles out a few clichés and many gems. The list, titled “What I Learned: How to Succeed and Have a Long and Happy Life,” leads off with an interesting piece of advice coming from an investment banker – someone who has likely seen troves of people walk away from the industry.
“Stay in the game. That’s often all you need to do – don’t quit. Stick around! Don’t be a quitter!” There was no statement he hammered home stronger. Interestingly, Jenrette started out as a sports journalist and an insurance salesman before co-founding the investment banking firm. He also added that people should be open to change and consider what’s new, “but don’t blindly follow it.” So if you quit, quit with a plan, like going to Harvard Business School and starting a multi-billion dollar securities firm.
Topping this list were also quips about being humble on your way to the top. “Don’t burn bridges (behind you)” he wrote. “Try to be nice and say ‘thank you’ a lot!” And: “Don’t leave old friends behind – you may need them.”
Jenrette then got a bit more personal. “It helps to have someone to love who loves you,” he wrote. “Not just sex,” was added in parentheses for clarification. “Have some fun – but not all the time!”
In his later years, Jenrette became best known for buying and preserving 19th century mansions. Quite a hobby to have if you can afford it.
Elsewhere, Goldman Sachs President David Solomon confirmed the occupation with the worst job security at the firm. The good news is that, unless you're one of three people, you’re not in harms way. "We had 500 people making markets in stock” 15 to 20 years ago, he told Bloomberg. “Today we have three.” Quite frankly, Solomon’s words are more troublesome for equities traders at other banks that employ more than just a handful of people. They could be next.
Solomon said that Goldman has made up for the headcount reduction in other areas, noting that the bank employs roughly 9,000 engineers and continues to add more employees focused on regulation.
Barclays Chairman John McFarlane will remain at his post for at least another year. “While some might wish so, you are not getting rid of me yet” he said. (FT)
Morgan Stanley is making Clare Woodman the first woman to lead a major investment bank in the London. She’ll head up EMEA, kicking Rob Rooney back to New York, where he’ll oversee the firm’s technology unit. (FT)
Another landmark case concerning the legality of negotiating tactics over the sale of mortgage-backed securities is headed to jury deliberation. Former Cantor Fitzgerald trader David Demos is facing “experimental prosecution,” according to his attorney. (Bloomberg)
AllianceBernstein will be the latest Wall Street firm to leave New York for greener (read: cheaper) pastures. The asset management firm is relocating its headquarters and most of its staff to Nashville, Tennessee. Some of the client-facing staff with remain in New York, however. (WSJ)
Blockchain technology is nothing but a “fad” with little to no demonstrable benefits for financial firms, according to one management think tank. (Business Insider)
Some investment bankers who work in bond underwriting may be the next crop to lose their jobs to machines. Citi, J.P. Morgan and Bank of America are planning on launching an electronic platform later this year that will automate part of the process. (Reuters)
Being grumpy at work – rather than putting a smile on and faking it – is better for everyone involved. (Quartz)
Nonstop political arguments are ruining the culture at Google. (WSJ)
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