Welcome to Capital Confidential — a weekly diary column featuring the best tidbits from around the U.K.’s business and political landscape from sister publication Financial News .
This week: Goldman goes to new lengths to attract trader whizzkids; JPMorgan co-president offends music lovers; and Nathan Latka’s secret to financial success...
Goldman’s desperate appeal to students
New year, same old Goldman Sachs /zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite GS -2.00% . Capital reported in October last year about Goldman’s madcap stunt where interns were confronted with a shortage of chairs. The investment bank is still going to desperate lengths to appeal to the next generation of trader whizzkids. Surprised interns on existing Goldman Sachs programs have been asked by the bank if any of their friends can fill slots on its newer work experience placements. An email from Kerry Vanslembrouck, vice president of graduate recruitment at Goldman Sachs, seen by Capital, informs interns the bank is engaging “in some very direct marketing”. She asks if the young recipients know any “students studying correlated courses” who can take part in “our first internship program in consumer and commercial banking (Marcus)… their profile requirements are rather different to our broader divisions”.
And then there is the recent Christmas ecard sent to interns by Goldman Sachs’s campus recruiting division and also seen by Capital. Not content with merely wishing interns the compliments of the festive season, the ecard goes on to inform students that “We’re looking forward to you joining the [applicable] Analyst class in 2019.” Former chief executive Lloyd Blankfein might have famously once suggested the bank does “God’s work”. But to feature such corporate housekeeping in a Christmas card is surely a tad too promotional, even by the standards of the sender.
Pinto and piano
Beware the casual Christmas anecdote. Daniel Pinto, co-president of JPMorgan /zigman2/quotes/205971034/composite JPM -2.96% and head of its investment banking business, recorded a seemingly innocuous interview about receiving his worst ever Christmas present as part of a wider segment on the subject for the bank’s internal TV and web channel. Pinto said his worst Christmas present from a family member “was an electric piano – [a] beautiful, very nice present except for the fact that I never played the piano. I didn’t know how to play the piano, nor did I have any intention to learn!”
This hasn’t gone down well with music lovers at JPMorgan. “I don’t directly work with Daniel but his musical disrespect and lack of interest in the piano isn’t shared by the company,” says the employee who sent Capital the recording on condition of anonymity. “We [JPMorgan] give money to the New London Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, among others. Pinto might not value musical culture but the company does.”
Dressed for success
Nathan Latka, the U.S. founder of private-equity firm Latka Capital and software company Heyo, has outlined an unlikely secret to financial success: never change your wardrobe. In his forthcoming book How to be a Capitalist Without any Capital, Latka declares: “My minimalist approach to getting dressed does save me money. I wear the same thing every day: a black T-shirt and black traveler slim cut pants, both from Banana Republic. Patagonia black jacket if it is cold. I just have many copies of these items… when you bring gently used clothes back to Banana Republic, they give you a 30% discount off your next order. They donate the clothes for you.” Latka adds of his Banana Republic shopping habits: “I get my T-shirts, which retail at $35, for about $12 each.” Henry Ford, eat your heart out!
The special fund
Manchester United /zigman2/quotes/205140601/composite MANU -4.64% fans are hardly mourning the departure of manager José Mourinho after he was sacked by the footballing giant last month. It transpires Mourinho’s alienating managerial style extends to the money management arena. An impeccable source says at one stage Mourinho chose Barclays Capital to look after his not-inconsiderable fortune (he has made an estimated £51.5m from payouts alone). But the source adds Mourinho wouldn’t only demand to choose which money managers he would meet, but insist on selecting the specific room they would be meeting in. How special.
Up to speed
McLaren, the supercar manufacturer spawned out of Woking, has released more details about its latest, much-anticipated 250 mph roadster. Tycoons, who have already dug deep to splash out £1.75m for its Speedtail, can choose from a range of bespoke enhancements including a tasteful 18-karat gold badge. The vehicle also distinguishes itself from the competition by coming replete with three front seats – the main “hot seat”, along with space for a brace of passengers, one either side. One chauvinist petrolhead views this innovation as “space for both the wife and the mistress”.
Matter of honor
The political battle over Brexit shows no sign of slowing down in 2019. Taking a sarcastic swipe at high-profile Remainers, backbench Tory Brexiteer MP Conor Burns tells Capital: “Initially I was resistant to George Osborne being made a companion of honor in David Cameron’s resignation honors list [in 2016]. But now I believe it is fully deserved – for his services to Brexit! His public interventions have been most helpful to those looking forward to leaving the EU. As for Lord Heseltine? He should be given the Order of the Garter!”
Snapchat goes to Hollywood
One can be forgiven for suffering big tech fatigue, but over in Hollywood they’re just getting started. The Black List, the celebrated survey of the hottest film screenplays yet to be produced, which in previous years has included the scripts for Slumdog Millionaire and Argo, has just been unveiled. Selections this year include Frat Boy Genius, Elissa Karasik’s story about an employee of social media platform Snapchat who loathes chief executive Evan Spiegel; and Drudge, a biopic about influential online news aggregator Matt Drudge, penned by Cody Brotter. Capital hears the Snapchat and Drudge movie writers thankfully won’t be enduring any tech dating horror stories of their own any time soon: Karasik and Brotter are dating each other.
This article also appears on Financial News.