What Wall Street's thinking, the VC investors getting rich, and Chevy's long game


Lara Warner Milken


The Wall Street elite spent the first half of this week in Los Angeles for the annual Milken Institute Global Conference. And the mood, according to Business Insider’s Dakin Campbell, was cautious. In his story, Inside Milken 2019, where Masters of the Universe fret over the economy even as their wealth grows, he wrote: 

One West Coast banker is telling business owners to sell their company in the next 12 months or prepare to navigate through the next recession. An Orange County money manager is advising his high net worth clients about pushing more money into alternative investments to weather a downturn. An investment manager at a sovereign wealth fund is looking to sell whatever he can.

According to Business Insider’s investing editor Joe Ciolli, investors and economists spent much of Milken dispelling misconceptions around a potential recession, the Fed, and inflation. And as Becky Peterson reports, despite high-profile female speakers and a lounge devoted to diversity content, Milken was still overwhelmingly male. Here’s her story:

Billionaire cabana meetings and secret confessions: Milken’s male-heavy conference for the global elite shows finance is all talk when it comes to gender equality

And here are some other highlights: 

  • 10 of the world’s best investing minds shared their biggest fears at Milken — and the lack of consensus is a major red flag of its own
  • The CEO of SoftBank Investment Advisers, who runs the world’s biggest venture fund, offers an inside look at how he picks which companies to lavish with billions of capital
  • Investing in Uber? Here’s why one tech banker says not to hold your breath for big returns
  • The investment chief at $265 billion juggernaut Guggenheim made the crowd at Milken gasp with a bold stock-market forecast
  • ‘Elevating the role of the human’: A group of powerful CEOs shares why the common wisdom about automation and robots stealing jobs is so clearly wrong

What did we miss? Let me know. You can reach me at mturner@businessinsider.com if you have any questions, ideas, or requests.


Quote of the week

“Look at it simplistically. If you have no capital, why be a capitalist?” — Michael Hintze, a billionaire and group executive chairman and senior investment officer at asset management firm CQS, on the rise of populism.

In conversation

  • Meghan Morris talked to Artie Minson, WeWork‘s copresident and chief financial officer, about the company’s plans for managing workspaces for larger corporate clients.
  • Meghan also talked to Woody Bradford, the CEO of $141 billion asset manager Conning, about his plans to buy a few asset managers with various investment strategies, including real estate debt and quantitative fixed income.
  • Emma Court talked to Eirene Kontopoulos, who manages the investment giant Fidelity‘s $2.5 billion biotech fund, about the 10-item “mental checklist” she uses to choose the most promising stocks in a notoriously risky field.
  • Alyson Shontell talked to JPMorgan Chase‘s chief marketing officer Kristen Lemkau, about the bank’s efforts to find new ways to reach consumers.
  • Rosalie Chan talked to Mark Mader, CEO of SmartSheet, which has seen its stock more than double since it went public, about the company’s next phase of growth.
  • Charlie Wood talked to Adrien Nussenbaum, a cofounder of Mirakl, a French software-services startup, about Silicon Valley culture, which he says treats workers “like chickens laying eggs in factories.”
  • Graham Rapier talked to Toby Sun, the cofounder and CEO of Lime, about why he’s welcoming new competition from Uber and Lyft with open arms
  • Lucia Moses talked to Jon Steinberg, founder of Cheddar, about how ignoring conventional wisdom led him to a $200 million cash exit.

Finance and Investing

Meet the 5 rising stars presenting their investment ideas at the world’s highest-profile hedge-fund conference

If you want to make a name for yourself in the hedge-fund game, you could start with presenting an investment idea at the Sohn Conference.

Citadel has poached a top executive from Morgan Stanley in one of Wall Street’s fiercest hiring battlegrounds

Hedge-fund giant Citadel has poached a top executive from Morgan Stanley in one of the fiercest talent battlegrounds on Wall Street.

This wealth manager for celebrities says the young people who ask her for investing advice are often making a basic financial error

Rebecca Rothstein spends her days managing billions of dollars for the very wealthy, but she makes a point of talking to younger people about their financial situations and needs.

Tech, Media, Telecoms

Meet the 7 VC investors getting rich off of this year’s parade of ‘unicorn’ IPOs

2019 is set to make a lot of people very, very rich.

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi is courting big brands like P&G and Anheuser-Busch, seeking up-front ad deals for the streaming platform

The Hollywood exec Jeffrey Katzenberg’s yet-to-be-launched mobile streaming-video service, Quibi, is courting several big-name advertisers in a bid to secure up-front ad deals.

Verizon’s marketing for mobile 5G appears virtually nonexistent, and analysts predict big strategy changes could be coming

Verizon may have been first to 5G, but the telecom giant is still sorting through issues around service and strategy.

Healthcare, Retail, Transportation

A health insurance startup in North Carolina is betting on pharmacists in an entirely new approach to a $327 billion market

A health insurance startup is betting it can use pharmacists to take better care of elderly Americans.

Chevy’s marketing chief explains how the automaker is playing the long game with electric cars

When it comes to electric cars, Tesla gets a lot of attention — but General Motors has been in on the action for longer than Tesla has existed.

A $70 billion investment manager turned the Milwaukee Bucks into a basketball powerhouse. Now he’s set on improving America’s dismal passenger trains.

Hugging Florida’s Atlantic coast is a narrow strip of land with some of the country’s most recognizable attractions.

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