Wall Street's MVPs, Oracle vs. Larry Ellison, and flawed science at uBiome
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There's an old adage that the most valuable asset a financial institution has walks out the door every day. That may seem less true today, as Wall Street firms invest billions into their own tech and startups. But the denizens of Wall Street still have a significant part to play.
In dealmaking, star bankers are in high demand. As Alex Morrell reported this week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has been on an investment-banking hiring blitz, with the bank most recently landing a Lazard veteran who worked on a $100 billion beer merger.
Barclays meanwhile has lost five bankers specialising in deals involving financial institutions in the past month, according to Dakin Campbell and Trista Kelley. They reported that the bankers left because of a variety of individual factors, though some included the British bank's efforts to cut compensation costs in order to meet a year-end profitability goal.
In related news, UBS sent its bankers an email listing books like 'Charlotte's Web' to help them deal with change as it reportedly mulls job cuts. And we published Deutsche Bank's new org chart following a massive restructuring and 18,000 job cuts.
In the hedge fund world, Bradley Saacks profiled eight people with new ideas about data, fees, and tech who are shaking up the $3.2 trillion hedge fund game. And he reported that a Viking Global hedge fund that's helping turn startups into unicorns is hiring more people to ramp up investments.
In private equity, Casey Sullivan reported that KKR has quietly started hiring college seniors. That comes as private equity pushes to recruit earlier and earlier to battle fierce competition for young talent. And whereas these firms used to send junior staff off for an MBA after a few years, they're now keeping some around to help spend all the money they've raised.
And in wealth management, you hear about the importance of a human touch all the time. We talked to wealth advisers about some of the next-level requests they've delivered for uber-rich clients, including herding cows and hiring private investigators, all in the name of providing a personal service.
In related news, Rebecca Ungarino reported that the private-wealth-management arm at UBS has launched a group to help its US advisers provide family-office-style services to their ultrarich clients. And Rebecca talked to Pepper Anderson, who joined $5 billion wealth manager Chilton Trust as CEO from JPMorgan's private bank this summer. She wants to double advisers at the firm's largest offices in two years.
What have we missed? Let me know.
We're hosting two webinars for Prime members in the coming weeks that you should check out:
- We'll be asking Patty McCord, the first chief talent officer at Netflix, to break down the most dangerous traps that bosses fall into - and how to avoid them. Check it out here.
- We'll be talking to Cy Scott, CEO of the buzzy cannabis tech company Headset, about his VC fundraising tips. Check it out here.
- Dan DeFrancesco talked to Ediz Ozkaya, Goldman Sachs' head of AI strategies in securities, about the bank's investment in H20.ai and what makes the startup stand out in the crowded AI field.
- Rosalie Chan talked to David Heinemeier Hansson, cofounder and CTO of Basecamp, about why it ditched Google Cloud for Amazon this summer.
- Ben Pimentel talked to Peter Ungaro, the CEO of Cray. He explained why, 14 years after taking over as CEO, it was time to sell to HPE for $1.3 billion.
- Ben also talked to Andy Purdy, Huawei's US chief security officer, who said he's been called a traitor for defending the Chinese tech giant. He says his goal is to "promote a safer cyberspace."
- Ashley Rodriguez talked to Andy Yeatman, a top exec at the kids entertainment company Moonbug and former director of kids and family content at Netflix. He said family shows stop subscribers from canceling, and talked through who the major streaming buyers are today.
- Emma Court talked to Cameron Turtle, the 29-year-old chief business officer of the rare-disease biotech Eidos Therapeutics, who also who worked on the listing of BridgeBio, 2019's biggest biotech IPO. He told us the two key lessons that made it a success.
Finance and Investing
WeWork parent The We Company's recent S-1 filing provided the clearest look yet at the coworking giant's impressive growth and wide losses.
The yield curve's recent inversion sparked a frenzy of selling in the stock market because of the signal it has historically sent about a recession.
It's hard to find inexpensive stocks in today's market, and yield might be even harder to find. But David Kostin - the chief US equity strategist at Goldman Sachs - says one group of stocks might fit both criteria.
Tech, Media, Telecoms
Thanks to a decision by three of Oracle's board members, Oracle is now suing its own founder-chairman, Larry Ellison, and CEO Safra Catz for billions of dollars.
The marketing-tech company Nanigans is shopping its social ad business to advertising and marketing companies, according to industry sources.
Regulators are starting to rattle the advertising industry.
Healthcare, Retail, Transportation
When Elisabeth Bik, then the science editor at microbiome startup uBiome, told the company's CEOs that its primary dataset - an analysis of poop samples - was soiled with data that didn't belong, she was waved away, she said.
Health insurance startups just came out with their second-quarter financial results for 2019.
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