Wall Street's poaching war, Amazon's biggest test yet, and an end to the DNA testing fad
This will be the last email you'll be getting from me for a little while, as I'll be taking eight weeks of parental leave. In my absence, some of our talented editors will be taking over the Sunday email, so you can look forward to hearing more from them in the coming months.
Here's what I've been paying attention to this past week:Yes, there have been lots of layoffs in the financial services industry again in 2019. But for particular pockets, 2019 was a year of frenetic hiring on Wall Street.
- Alex Morrell talked to top Wall Street recruitment and executive search firms and tracked the 2019 poaching war between rival investment banks, listing the 40 must-know hires and exits for the year.
- Goldman Sachs is assembling a team of senior bankers focused on middle-market private equity, Casey Sullivan reported. He got the inside track on the key hires and the playbook they'll use to land new clients.
- Private equity giants like Blackstone and KKR are loading up on industry specialists to help squeeze out returns, and that's creating a new power dynamic inside the firms, according to Casey.
- And the $800 billion shadow-lending industry is staffing up with recession pros who can sort out messy credit meltdowns, Alex reported.
Amazon's biggest test yet
Amazon is set to spend more than $3 billion this year on its burgeoning transportation network of planes, ocean freighters, vans, trucks, and more, Rachel Premack reported this week. The next 20-something days represent a huge test for that network.
There are just 26 days between Black Friday and Christmas Day this year - six days fewer than last year and the shortest holiday shopping season we've seen since 2013.
That doesn't mean customers will be buying less, according to the National Retail Foundation. But it does mean that the pressure is on for online retailers to fulfill orders. And e-commerce analysts are hunkering down to see if Amazon will be able to deliver, avoiding another customer service fiasco.
In related news, nearly all of America's 1.8 million truck drivers are paid on a per-mile basis, but Amazon is breaking with the norm, according to internal documents seen by Rachel.According to the docs, Amazon pays truck drivers per day, rather than per mile, through three job categories. Rachel reported that the tactic could be a brilliant maneuver that may give the e-commerce giant an advantage.
The DNA testing fad is over
As Lydia Ramsey reported, for years, the hot gift at the holiday season has been DNA test kits. Not anymore.
From Lydia's story:
Consumers aren't flocking to send their spit into genetic testing companies in as high numbers as the industry expected.
"The market's been down and we don't see that coming back next year," Vijay Kumar, an analyst at Evercore ISI said.
She talked to the CEOs of Ancestry and 23andMe about how they're fighting back.
That's it from me. Before I go, I want to say thank you for reading! Have a great finish to 2019, and I'll be back in your inbox in 2020.
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