The Wall Street stories that defined 2020

The Wall Street stories that defined 2020
Keith Bedford/ REUTERS

What a year.


That's probably the best way to sum up 2020, which was an absolute whirlwind.

And while most of us will be happy to close the book on what has been a difficult and trying year, we'd like to take a look back at some of our top stories from the past 12 months.

Below you'll find some of our best work, from in-depth profiles of big personalities to deep-dive investigative pieces on widespread power struggles at the highest of levels.

If you're not yet a subscriber, you can sign up here to get your daily dose of the stories dominating banking, business, and big deals.


Like the newsletter? Hate the newsletter? Feel free to drop me a line at or on Twitter @DanDeFrancesco.

Masa Son faces one of his biggest challenges yet

Before the pandemic and the craziness that ensued, one the most talked about topics on Wall Street was SoftBank. Dakin Campbell takes you inside the man in charge, Masayoshi Son, with this deep dive in which he spoke to more than a dozen insiders. Read more here.

How Dan Sundheim became the LeBron James of investing and launched one of the hottest hedge funds on earth

Few hedge fund managers have had a run like Dan Sundheim and his fund, D1 Capital. Bradley Saacks and Alex Morrell take you inside the world of the former chief investment officer of Viking Global, who has a stake in the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and a high-profile art collection. Check it out here.


Former employees say BTIG, a Wall Street firm backed by Goldman Sachs and Blackstone, had a toxic party culture that was stuck in the '80s

The Wall Street stories that defined 2020
Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Wall Street culture has evolved a lot over the years, but in some places it is still very much the same from decades ago. Nicole Einbinder and Rebecca Ungarino uncovered some startling revelations of what it was like to work at BTIG. Read more here.

40 insiders reveal the meteoric rise of Silver Lake's Egon Durban, the tech-focused PE firm's No. 1 dealmaker

In the world of private equity, few have risen quicker, or higher, than Egon Durban, co-CEO of Silver Lake Partners. Dakin Campbell and Casey Sullivan spoke to 40 insiders to fully map out Durban's career and what lies ahead. Read more here.

Pay rifts, a partner divide, and a threat at the Ritz Carlton: 50 insiders reveal all on a massive shakeup at elite law firm Boies Schiller

Nothing like some good drama at one of the most powerful law firms in the world. Casey Sullivan and Meghan Morris take you inside Boies Schiller Flexner and the more than 30 partners that exited the firm over the course of six months. Read more here.


Meet Ram Sundaram, the leader of a secretive Goldman Sachs desk that's minting billions by designing some of the bank's most imaginative - and controversial - trades

Goldman Sachs has spent plenty of time in recent years trying to rebrand itself away from its cutthroat roots. Ram Sundaram, however, is a throwback to the bank's old persona, according to multiple people Dakin Campbell spoke with to source this deeply reported story. Read it all here.

Inside Vista Equity Partners, where a top exec is negotiating a messy exit and questions about its future loom large

One of the biggest breakups in the world of PE this year came out Vista Equity Partners between founder Robert Smith and departing president Brian Sheth. Dakin Campbell and Casey Sullivan bring you inside the negotiations between the two sides in the lead up to Sheth's eventual departure. Read more here.

How a 23-year-old Wharton wunderkind seized power, alienated employees, and blew a $350 million opportunity at Coatue


Here's a great inside look at how a data-science team at Coatue Management run by a young up-and-comer completely fell apart thanks to a hectic work environment. Alex Morrell and Bradley Saacks break down the fall of Coatue's quant fund. Read more here.

The inside story of how $3 billion Brex went from raising $150 million to slashing staff in just 10 days

Over the course of less 10 days, high-profile fintech Brex went from announcing $150 million in funding to cutting 17% of its staff. I wrote about the lead up to both events, talking to insiders at the company about the culture of the fast-growing company. Read more here.

These are the 38 fintechs that investors say are poised to be breakout B2B stars

Take a peak at the future of fintech. Shannen Balogh and I outlined 38 of the hottest early-stage B2B fintechs in the US, as recommended by investors. Check out the list here.


Meet 2020's Rising Stars of Wall Street from firms like Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, and Bridgewater shaking up investing, trading, and dealmaking

We'll end on a high note, looking toward the future. Meet the top young talent on Wall Street, from hedge funds to banks and even cryptocurrency investors. Read the full list here.