Morning Coffee: The most outrageous sales pitch since the UBS yoga pants flash mob. Best workday ever
Back in 2007, UBS dressed 75 of its bankers in Lululemon gear and had them take part in a photographed “flash mob” yoga session in the privacy of Central Park – all in an effort to help woo the retailer and become one of the underwriters for its upcoming initial public offering. The (surely awkward) photos were then included as part of UBS’s pitch.
Not one to be outdone, Goldman Sachs had its bankers show up to the actual meeting dressed in Lululemon athleisure-wear, with now-CEO David Solomon sporting a maroon blazer and sweatpants. Former Lululemon CEO Robert Meers joked at the time that the company’s sales took a hit when they stopped interviewing banks. For the past decade, the courting of Lululemon has stood as the gold standard for what bankers are willing to do to land a lucrative job. That is until now.
As Morgan Stanley’s top technology banker, Michael Grimes has pushed the envelope before. When pitching Pandora ahead of its public offering, Grimes had all his bankers wear t-shirts from their favorite rock concert. To help prepare, he studied his daughter’s usage of the music-streaming service. Consider that child’s play compared to his prep work and dedication to winning over Uber, which is said to be looking to go public early next year.
Grimes, a millionaire many times over, has reportedly spent years moonlighting as an Uber driver to help position Morgan Stanley as the main contender to underwrite the expectedly-massive IPO, according to the Wall Street Journal. Again, years! All while working the hours necessary to earn roles as the top underwriter for tech giants like Facebook, Snapchat owner Snap Inc. and reportedly Palantir, Peter Thiel’s secretive data mining venture that may fetch a $41 billion valuation when it goes public. One can only imagine what Grimes’ accountant was thinking when they first saw the Uber earnings on his 1099. – Or what his family was thinking when he had to head off to his “second job.” Good luck to any tech banker who tries to prove their level of dedication as a trump card with potential clients.
Elsewhere, Business Insider put together a day-in-the-life piece of a San Francisco-based HSBC banker. If the piece is to be believed, every banker in New York and London should quit their job and go work for HSBC in San Francisco tomorrow.
After waking up, Melania Edwards spends around an hour meditating, then FaceTimes with family and friends before playing some tennis. She walks to work and arrives around 9 a.m. Edwards meets with VCs and tech companies in the morning, and then takes lunch at noon. She “refuels” for a quick 90 minutes. In the afternoon, Edwards commutes to her second office in Palo Alto on the train and catches up on some podcasts. When work is done, she volunteers some of her time drafting proposals for a non-profit. "In my spare time, I try to give back," she said. Yoga at 7:30 p.m., then winding down by trying out some new recipes with her boyfriend in her majestic apartment.
Similar to how your average day goes? Frankly, it’s extremely hard to believe this depiction – which set Twitter on fire with jealousy and confusion – is really accurate. After all, one can only play so much tennis.
Banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank are expanding their loan book for multi-millionaire private clients who want to buy things like mansions and art without all the hassle. Deutsche Bank has been hiring in the U.S. while Goldman plans to add to its private bank overseas. (Bloomberg)
U.S. bank earnings suggest that UBS may have good news to report. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank could post another disappointing quarter. (Breaking Views)
Goldman Sachs will not be sending any of its executives to a high-profile Saudi investment conference next week due to the disappearance and alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Deutsche Bank is said to be on the fence about going, while bankers from HSBC, Societe Generale, Morgan Stanley, Citi and Credit Suisse are reportedly still planning to attend, though things could change. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday said he is scrapping plans to attend “Davos in the Desert.” (Reuters)
If you want to consider yourself part of the top 1% in New York City, you’ll need to earn over $710k per year. Roughly 38,000 people accomplished that feat during 2016. More than 1,400 New Yorkers made at least $10 million. (Bloomberg)
A second UBS executive is facing possible suspension following another allegation of sexual assault made by a former graduate trainee in London. (Financial News)
Deutsche Bank is replacing its top transaction banker with a DB lifer who is said to be a close confidant of chief executive Christian Sewing. Stefan Hoops is replacing John Gibbons “with immediate effect.” (FT)
Bank of America has cut its headcount by more than 100,000 over the last decade, according to CEO Brian Moynihan. The key to managing the cuts without sinking the business? “Let attrition be your friend,” he said. The 59-year-old Moynihan also said that he plans on running the bank as long as he can, referencing 87-year-old Warren Buffett as an example. (CNBC)
Steven Wirth, UBS’s former global head of infrastructure investment banking, has left the firm after more than two decades. (Financial News)
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