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Goldman Sachs' London partners donate $162k after wild all-nighter

Goldman Sachs staff have, apparently, run out of things to do. It appears they’re inventing games to play, possibly due to low deal flow.

A couple of weekends ago, a group of Goldman bankers, hedge funders and others participated in the London iteration of the “Midnight Madness” puzzle solving event that first surfaced in New York over a decade ago. The London chapter ran from approximately 7:30pm to 6am at a “secret location”, presumably revealed to the contestants in some capacity before the start time. Puzzles of undetermined difficulty were presented, with a number of actors playing roles to facilitate immersion. The event’s organizers describe it as “The Crystal Maze meets the Da Vinci Code.”

Midnight Madness has been running in London since 2018 and raises money for charities including children's hospices and conservation organisations.  £560k ($696k) was raised for charity this year, compared to £618k last year. The inaugural New York event raised approximately $3.5m for charity.

The team which attracted the most donations was “Team 0441529852”, a Goldman Sachs team. It was led by Andrew Fisher, head of EMEA flow and strategic equity derivatives trading. Also featured on the team was Maryline Mertz, global head of origination across equities and fixed income, currencies, and commodities.

The second most attractive team for donations, “Hyde & Seek”, was also a Goldman Sachs team. It was led by Ben McRoberts, a VP quantitative strategist. The third most attractive team was “Emergers”, led by investment banking associate Sebastian Skrzypek.

Elisha Wiesel, Goldman Sachs’ former Chief Information Officer and one of the original creators of the event, described participants as “intellectual athletes.” Another former Goldman Sachs partner, Ewan Kirk, described the New York event he participated in as “one of the best evenings of [his] life.”

A handful of Goldman Sachs' partners donated a combined £130k ($162k) for the efforts of the sleepless participants. Most were based in London, but Edward Emerson, the bank’s US-based head of commodities trading, gave the most at £37,500. Kunal Shah, global head of emerging markets trading, gave £25,000. Rajesh Venkataramani, head of global currencies and emerging markets foreign exchange, gave £18,750. David Wade, global head of data engineering, gave £18,000. Dimitrios Nikolakopoulos, global co-head of equity structured products, donated £15,000. Erdit Hoxha, global co-head of flow derivatives and emerging markets trading, gave £15,000.

Goldman wasn't the only participant. Representatives from Man Group, Quadrature, Bridgewater, and PDT Partners were also present. However, Goldman Sachs' teams provided the bulk of money raised from the event. The top three teams - Team 0441529852, Hyde & Seek, and Emergers generated 57% of the donations between themselves.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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