The outlook for Wall Street jobs after a 'wonky' 2019; banking execs declare a truce in the tech talent war
Let's talk about jobs.
We've written plenty this year about Wall Street headcount; layoffs at places like Deutsche Bank and Charles Schwab; hiring freezes; and shrinking financial adviser ranks at wirehouses. With 2019 drawing to a close, we're already hearing a lot of chatter from insiders about how things will shake out next year.
It's not all doom and gloom (some positive news below, I promise.) Here's what you need to know.
Recruiters and career coaches at a CFA Society of New York gathering this week said they expect more challenges after a "wonky" 2019. There's been a yearslong trend of consolidation in asset management and investment banking, while sell-side equity businesses have been decimated this year, they noted. There were bright spots, including family offices and middle-market investment banks. Still, they advised job-seekers to keep an open mind (and a sense of humor) heading into 2020. Read the full story here.
Meanwhile, there's been activity in parts of the job market that heat up as recession worries rise. Recruiters told us they're seeing an uptick from the $800 billion private-credit industry, with large direct lenders now looking to staff up their restructuring teams. But it's a delicate balance for a business that's ballooned over the last decade as banks retreated from riskier corporate lending - people who saw the last recession through don't come cheap, and firms aren't willing to warehouse them indefinitely. Read more here.
This week, we learned how Morgan Stanley is using a reverse-mentoring approach to train 15,000-plus financial advisers on its year-old WealthDesk platform. That's not just an exercise for newer, tech-savvy staffers in helping out full-fledged advisers - it's a chance to show off and "prove to the advisers that they would be useful to a team in the branch," Andy Saperstein, the head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, told a conference in New York this week. Get all the details here.
When it comes to tech talent and the battle for the best engineers, Wall Street execs declared something of a truce this week. "The war for talent is over - all the talent is working on open source," Donald Raab, a managing director at BNY Mellon, said at a Fintech Open Source Foundation event. See the full story here.
We also had a fresh batch of news on proptech and insurtech deals and fundraisings. More great reads below, including a roundup of VC outlooks on the payments space, a new Goldman Sachs memo, and a look at a wealth startup that's taking the Netflix-like subscription approach.
Have a great weekend,
Lone Pine Capital's latest client letter argues value investing is going extinct - and says downtrodden stocks are cheap for a reason
The market-rattling momentum-stock crash in September did not spare billionaire Stephen Mandel Jr.'s Lone Pine Capital.
The $19 billion hedge fund firm saw its two funds - Lone Cypress and Lone Cascade - drop 2.1% and 2.6%, respectively, for the quarter, paring year-to-date returns down to 16.9% and 19.2%, a letter to investors said. The firm cited the sudden decline in momentum stocks as reason why, but told investors that it does not plan on changing its strategy.
Execs at Warburg Pincus-backed startup Facet Wealth told us why they went with Netflix-style subscription pricing for financial planning
If an investor assembled a basket of themes shaping the wealth management industry today and fed them into a blender, they would end up with a creation that looks a lot like Facet Wealth.
Facet, a Baltimore-based registered investment adviser with a fintech twist, uses Facet-branded digital tools to pair clients with certified financial planners who work remotely from homes around the US.
The firm, founded by a financial planning executive and two venture capitalists, finds clients primarily by referrals from independent broker-dealers, hybrid robo-advisers, and traditional RIAs who might pass on them because their asset base is too small.
We watched 15 Blackstone employees pitch charities to senior dealmakers to learn what it takes to impress the firm's top brass
At The Blackstone Group's New York headquarters this week, the firm's top brass convened in a large room on the 43rd floor to assess junior talent.
With a small stage at the center, senior dealmakers would get to see how well a group of associates, product managers, and other staff brought in from offices around the world could make a pitch.
The pitches were for the firm to make charitable donations, not investments, but the process gave us insight into what it takes to impress Blackstone's senior leaders.
Goldman Sachs just unveiled a new gender pronouns initiative as part of a broader inclusion push at the Wall Street firm
Goldman Sachs is embracing gender identity with a new initiative that gives employees a choice to identify themselves by their pronoun.
The Wall Street bank has enacted a multi-faceted initiative, to be rolled out in one stage beginning immediately and adding elements over time, according to a memo sent to all employees today and viewed by Business Insider. The memo was signed by global diversity committee co-chairs Gwen Libstag and Liz Martin.
"Few things are more personal than how people address us, and using a person's self-identified pronouns," according to the memo, "is an important way to show respect."
We talked to 4 VC investors about the hottest trends in payments and the biggest innovations to keep an eye on
Citi Ventures; Insight Partners; Bain Capital Ventures; Andreessen Horowitz; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
The fintech world is big, and funding is flooding into startups like robo-advisors, neobanks, and alternative lenders.
In the third quarter, total fintech funding topped $8.9 billion, a record when adjusted for Alibaba's fintech Ant Financial's $14 billion last year, according to CB Insights. Globally, there are now 58 fintech unicorns (startups valued at more than $1 billion).
Payments is interwoven into nearly every segment of the fintech landscape, from credit card processing to online sales to analytics around consumer behavior. Some unicorns that have made big waves in payments include AvidXchange, Brex, Plaid, Stripe, and TransferWise.
We spoke to investors at Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Ventures, Citi Ventures, and Insight Partners about where they see the next innovations and opportunities in payments tech. Here's the full roundup:
- Uber and Apple are just the start, and eventually every company will want to be a fintech. An Andreessen Horowitz general partner explains why.
- A partner at Bain Capital Ventures explains why payments companies need to do more than just move money to survive
- Citi Ventures is betting on cars that pay their own bills, and its co-head of investing envisions a future where your devices make payments without you
- An Insight Partners principal says the era of 'dumb payments' is over, and sees opportunities in using machine-learning to combat fraud