Morning Coffee: The new criteria for advancement at Goldman Sachs. The reviled ex-banker with "f**** everybody money"
Want to get ahead at Goldman Sachs under soon-to-be chief executive David Solomon? You may need to get a bit more in touch with your feelings. Having something to talk about other than work likely won’t hurt either.
Unlike outgoing CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who’s been known to engage and sometimes disarm those around him with dry wit, Solomon is more expressive and less opaque. He appears to want to see the same qualities in his colleagues. Solomon believes that leaders need to be “more vulnerable, they have to put themselves out there a lot more than they probably are comfortable doing,” Brian Levine, Goldman’s co-head of global equities trading, told CNBC.
Solomon proved those comments to be in earnest almost immediately, telling a room of interns the day after his announced appointment that he “was shaking” when Blankfein called him up to the stage to introduce him as the bank’s new CEO. “I was pretty emotional about it, it really affected me," he said. You rarely if ever hear such introspective words from a Wall Street chief, particularly one heading up Goldman Sachs. The culture Solomon is likely to sow sounds like a far cry from the “radical transparency” demanded of employees at Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, but one can still expect a clear shift in tone come October 1. It may take some getting used to – “vulnerable” isn’t exactly the first word you’d think of when describing a banker.
Meanwhile, another possible change coming to Goldman Sachs could be a slight work-life balance improvement. CNBC unearthed a podcast from October of last year where Solomon spoke of his side-hustle as a DJ. He stressed the importance of having passions in life outside of work and incorporating them into your professional life. "If you can't…it's just harder to have the energy to keep on doing this,” he said. Outside hobbies didn’t seem as important to Blankfein, who once told a group of interns that he spent his weekends reading briefings, taking work calls and answering emails.
Elsewhere, former Trump strategist and ex-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon recently took part in a Sunday Times feature chronicling his political aspirations for Europe. While cursing out basically everyone, Bannon’s ire was aimed particularly at French president and fellow former investment banker Emmanuel Macron, whose pockets are filled with loose change, according to Bannon. "Lil Mac is a Rothschild banker that never made any money," he told the Times. "I've got not just f***-you money, I've got f***-everybody money” – which is basically all he said throughout the interview.
Speaking of David Solomon, Goldman’s current COO and part-time DJ, known as D-Sol, just dropped a remix called “Don’t Stop” that debuted at No. 39 on Billboard's Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart. It’s an acquired taste. (Billboard)
Goldman Sachs and a host of boutique investment banks are expanding their U.S. M&A teams in the Midwest, adding headcount in Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Louis, among other cities, as they aim to place bankers closer to potential clients. (Bloomberg)
Banks are also honing in on Nordic countries, where M&A activity has spiked. J.P. Morgan seems to be leading the charge. (Bloomberg)
Activist investor Edward Bramson’s proposal to dramatically shrink Deutsche Bank’s investment bank hasn’t been met with ringing endorsements. A fellow fund manager called the proposal “bizarre,” while another top investor said Bramson’s push prompted “complete bewilderment.” (The Times)
As the newly-minted sole head of global equities at J.P. Morgan, Jason Sippel is calling his shot. The bank will overtake Morgan Stanley as the top equities shop by 2021, according to Sippel. Equities traders at J.P. Morgan outpaced rivals at Goldman Sachs for the first time on record during Q2. (Bloomberg)
Recently-deceased Wall Street mogul John Jakobson may have fathered another child unknown to his immediate family: TV actress Marina Squerciati, who said she kept the relationship a secret for 36 years due to promises that she would be provided for in his will. (NY Post)
Swedish banks have the automation bug. Firms like Nordea, SEB and Handelsbanken are actively cutting staff as they implement more technology solutions. (Bloomberg)
Quant funds like Renaissance Technologies, PDT Partners, WorldQuant and Two Sigma have some serious fringe benefits. Their funds that are only open to employees and early investors are killing it. (WSJ)
Being cast on a reality TV show like “Love Island” is more lucrative than earning a degree from Oxford or Cambridge. (Independent)
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