Wall Street's MVPs, Oracle vs. Larry Ellison, and flawed science at uBiome


Jamie Dimon


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.

— Matt


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. 

In conversation

  • 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 might be painting itself as a tech company, but it’s facing a bunch of old-school real estate worries

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. 

JPMorgan’s quant guru says the main driver of recent stock turmoil has nothing to do with recession fears — and explains why it’s now a bullish force

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.

Recession fears from Trump’s trade war have all but ensured the Fed will cut rates further. Here are the 12 stocks Goldman Sachs says could benefit most.

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

Oracle is suing Larry Ellison and Safra Catz over the $9 billion NetSuite deal, thanks to letter written by 3 Oracle board members

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.

Ad-industry insiders say one of Facebook’s oldest and biggest marketing partners is selling its social business, and it’s a warning sign for other ad-tech firms

The marketing-tech company Nanigans is shopping its social ad business to advertising and marketing companies, according to industry sources.

Sweeping regulations like California’s upcoming privacy bill threaten to wipe out the advertising industry. These 10 tech companies are trying to help marketers survive.

Regulators are starting to rattle the advertising industry.

Healthcare, Retail, Transportation

uBiome insiders say key science at the buzzy startup was flawed from the start. Now, the company and a top science journal are investigating.

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 like Bright and Oscar have raked in $3 billion in venture funding. Here’s how they fared through the first half of 2019.

Health insurance startups just came out with their second-quarter financial results for 2019.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How Area 51 became the center of alien conspiracy theories