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Davos vs. Milken: Battle of the high-profile conferences

Dan DeFrancesco   

Davos vs. Milken: Battle of the high-profile conferences

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC, and my ego has been shattered after getting a hotness rating of 4.9 from this AI. If you're feeling bold, or vain, get yourself rated here.

Fun Fact Friday: King Charles got $500 million in assets after the Queen's death, and he didn't have to pay a dime in inheritance tax! Click here for more on where the monarchy gets its wealth.

Today, we've got stories on a billionaire investor taking a leave of absence, how all the big hedge funds did in April, and fun ways to get trained up on ChatGPT.

But first, Beverly Hills, that's where I want to be.

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1. Milken it for all it's worth.

Arguably the biggest financial conference of the year just wrapped in Beverly Hills.

The Milken Global Conference might be held nearly 3,000 miles from Wall Street, but it still serves as the epicenter of the financial world for a few days.

Lucky for us, the conference coincided with some massive market events, giving the financial bigwigs plenty to talk about (both publicly and behind closed doors). Insider's Dakin Campbell, who was on the ground at Milken, has a report on the five biggest topics discussed this year.

Dakin's report got me thinking about how Milken stacks up against another high-profile conference: Davos.

Having never attended either — the closest I've gotten to Switzerland is treating myself to a Toblerone from a hotel minibar — I decided to ask those who have gone.

When I asked Matt Turner, the editor in chief of Insider's business division, he summed it up nicely: Davos is about trying to save the world; Milken is about getting business done.

Davos has a wider breadth of people, from politics to healthcare to technology. But Milken, from the attendees and panel discussions to the wider discourse at the event, is unabashedly about finance.

"It's just more concrete," Matt said of Milken. "It's dollars and cents."

For Dakin, Milken held an advantage over Davos from a pure logistics perspective. As bad as LA traffic is, navigating Beverly Hills is a lot easier than schlepping around the Swiss Alps in the middle of winter.

Milken is also designed, thanks to its namesake, with a keen eye on what the finance industry wants, he added.

"Milken does a good job of curating an environment that makes his colleagues feel cool and important," Dakin said.

Click here to read more about the biggest topics being discussed at the Milken Conference.

In other news:

2. Billionaire investor Howard Marks is taking a leave of absence. The Oaktree cofounder was recently diagnosed with a form of throat cancer, but told clients he expects to be "back in action around mid-summer." More on his leave here.

3. We've got hedge fund returns. The performance numbers are in for multi-strategy hedge funds in April, and it's two familiar names at the top. Here's a rundown on how all the biggest funds performed last month.

4. Finally! An IPO! Johnson & Johnson's Kenvue went public on Thursday in what was the biggest US IPO since 2021, CNBC reports. JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America were all lead underwriters. For more on how corporate carve-outs are providing a brief solace from the IPO drought, check the Financial Times.

5. "Sober" living in Silicon Valley. Investors and founders say they're holding off on the booze these days, as the alcohol-free trend hits the tech industry.

6. Goldman's getting called into the principal's office. Regulators are reviewing the bank's involvement in the Silicon Valley Bank crisis, including its failed attempt to help the bank raise cash, Bloomberg reports. For a refresher on the role Goldman played in the lead up to the crisis, click here.

7. Conflicting reports about Western Alliance's future has its share price swinging back and forth. The regional bank saw its share price tank after a report from the Financial Times about it considering a potential sale. But the stock recovered after the bank released a statement denying the claims in the story. More on the madness among regional banks.

8. Let's call the whole thing off! The $13.4 billion deal between Toronto-Dominion Bank and First Horizon has been scrapped, The Wall Street Journal reports. Here's why both sides decided to walk away from the deal.

9. ChatGPT for dummies. The AI revolution is coming, whether you are ready or not. So if you're looking for a way to get up to speed on how to use the buzzy chatbot, we've got you covered. Here are six fun ways to learn the AI skills companies want.

10. From life in the big city to easy living on a small island. This family of four moved from the Chicago suburbs to a mostly car-free community off the coast of South Carolina. Here's how they navigate life on the island (and how much it costs in taxes and HOA fees).

Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.

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