The next wave of restructuring — Quant power players — Meet Carlyle's Kewsong Lee

Conversations with execs who have worked with Lee paint a portrait of a dealmaker who is decisive, energetic, and doesn't suffer fools gladly.Getty Images

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With coronavirus cases still spiking in areas throughout the country and the US this week reporting a record second-quarter GDP slump, there's a growing concern among borrowers and private-equity firms that cash raised in the spring won't be enough to ride out the economic fallout.Advertisement

And Houlihan Lokey, Wall Street's top adviser to distressed companies, has changed up its outlook: Instead of the sharp but quick downturn the firm initially anticipated, it's now predicting a deeper, prolonged crisis that pushes many more firms to bankruptcy.

"This pandemic is not a short-term blip, and it's going to be something much longer and probably more damaging to the economy," Houlihan CEO Scott Beiser said on an earnings call this week. And as Alex Morrell writes, companies that piled on debt in the early stages of the pandemic may have set themselves up to struggle as the crisis drags on.

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A veteran restructuring banker warns that a corporate debt binge may result in a years-long economic nightmare

Keep reading for a look at 24 quant power players; WeWork's new strategy to fill space; must-know financial adviser recruiters; and an interview with Betterment's president of retail that sheds light on how the robo is thinking about the Robinhood effect.

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What's next for Carlyle

Kewsong Lee became sole CEO of The Carlyle Group last week after two-and-a-half years running the $221 billion private-equity firm alongside Glenn Youngkin.

Casey Sullivan and Meghan Morris spoke with 20 people who have worked with him, and they painted a picture of a change agent who is unafraid to challenge conventional thinking. During his seven years at Carlyle, he's already wound down underperforming strategies, revamped pay for some execs, and built up new businesses.

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Meet Kewsong Lee, the private-equity exec who's now running the show solo at Carlyle. 20 insiders lay out why the move signals a big transformation at the firm.

Must-know financial adviser recruiters

Recruiters Louis and Mindy Diamond, Jodie Papike, and Jeff Feldman are on our list.Diamond Consultants; Cross-Search; Financial Recruitment Partners; Yuqing Liu/Business Insider

Financial adviser moves in the wealth-management industry haven't slowed during the pandemic — recruiters and consultants say it's just the opposite.

"When you look at the numbers, it's really during tougher times that we see the most movement," one San Diego, California-based recruiter said. Rebecca Ungarino rounded up nine US-based recruiters who are at the center of all the action. Advertisement

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These are 9 top recruiters financial advisors should know right now if they're looking to make a move

Quant power players

From left to right: Point72's Matthew Granade, Two Sigma's David Siegel, AQR's Cliff Asness, and DE Shaw's Eric Wepsic.Point72; Misha Friedman/Getty Images; Neilson Barnard/Getty Images; DE Shaw; Yuqing Liu/Business Insider

Quants have gone from a niche practice to a dominant player: the largest and most important hedge funds in the world are heavily influenced by, or completely committed to, computer-run strategies. Advertisement

But a growing group of experts have been calling for more machine-learning techniques to be incorporated in a move away from the models that made so many people successful. And 2020 has not been kind to quants, as the volatility caused by the pandemic earlier in the year slammed many systematic funds that couldn't keep up.

Bradley Saacks took a look at long-time players, under-the-radar heavy-hitters, and entrepreneurial founders with serious pedigrees who will be guiding quant investing into its next phase. Read the full story here:Advertisement

The 24 quant power players driving the future of hedge funds, from well-known billionaire founders to under-the-radar data chiefs

Betterment eyes ways to tap the retail-trading frenzy

E-Trade, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and Interactive Brokers all reported record levels of daily trades during the second quarter.Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

In an interview with Rebecca Ungarino and Dan DeFrancesco, Betterment president of retail Mike Reust offered a window into how the robo-adviser is thinking about the recent self-directed trading mania.

Betterment is not trying to launch a "Robinhood clone," Reust said. But it is looking for ways to tap into the retail trading surge with more tailored options and examining the "psychology and the human side of it," he said.

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Roboadviser Betterment is looking for ways into the do-it-yourself trading boom dominated by Robinhood, like adding more customization for users

WeWork hires big brokers to fill space

WeWork has hired JLL and CBRE to market large availabilities it has in New York City and Los Angeles, respectively.Reuters

Faced with large vacancies in its sprawling portfolio of office spaces, WeWork has turned to major commercial real-estate brokerage companies to help it fill millions of square feet.

As Dan Geiger reports, the move to hire outside firms is a turnabout for the flexible-workspace company that comes as the pandemic has battered the country's office market and stalled leasing activity.Advertisement

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WeWork is embracing big brokerage firms to help it fill space it gobbled up in NYC and Los Angeles. It's a key pivot for the coworking giant as leasing demand slows.

On the move

Cubist, the quant unit of Steve Cohen's Point72, has hired Denis Dancanet as its new head. Dancanet spent a combined two decades at Morgan Stanley and the quant fund PDT, which he left in 2016. Since then, he founded a startup called Jetoptera that hopes to make flying cars and was the head of research at Theorem, a Y Combinator-backed data-science startup focused on the loan market

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