I’ll lay off WeWork this week, although the story has no signs of going away anytime soon. Perhaps the most eyebrow-raising nugget from this past week was that Adam Neumann invited the heads of the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq to the Hamptons while the two exchanges were fighting over his listing and then requested they ban meat and disposable plastics. The ban had nothing to do with WeWork, of course; it was just that Neumann is personally anti-meat and anti-plastic.
Meanwhile, a lot of WeWork employees were mad about Neumann’s $1.7 billion golden parachute.
In other big Wall Street news this week, Citi executive Jane Fraser was promoted to president and head of the consumer bank. The move lays the groundwork for her to succeed Mike Corbat as CEO and become the first female CEO of a top US bank.
Women in senior leadership positions are rare, particularly in the financial sector, Business Insider’s Sherin Shibu reports. While banks are under pressure to add more women to senior ranks, this was undermined earlier this year, when Rep. Al Green, the Texas Democrat, asked the CEOs of the seven biggest US banks whether they believed their successor would be a woman or a person of color. Not one CEO raised his hand. Which is part an unfortunate bigger picture: Just 25 CEOs in the Fortune 500 are women.
Other banks, including JPMorgan, have made steps to elevate women in recent months, with CEO Jamie Dimon putting Jennifer Piepszak and Marianne Lake into roles that could lead to them replacing him.
This is the last time you’ll be getting Wall Street Insider from me for a while as I’ll be on maternity leave until March. While I’m out, you’ll be hearing from my fabulous deputy, Meredith, who will keep you up to date on all the best finance stories of the week. (I promise you won’t miss me at all!)
I’m planning on spending the rest of the weekend taking my son to the zoo and the Museum of Natural History in our last few days as a family of three. If you have any tips about how to handle a toddler and a newborn, I’d love any help.
Have a great weekend, everyone! -Olivia
Inside WeWork’s all-hands meeting, where the new chairman from SoftBank addressed employee concerns about worthless stock options and Kanye West’s ‘Flashing Lights’ played
WeWork held an all-staff meeting on Wednesday to talk about SoftBank’s takeover and the embattled office company’s future.
WeWork Chairman Marcelo Claure, who came from SoftBank, answered questions about employees’ stock options and cofounder Adam Neumann’s future at the company.
Claure said he had no specific numbers on layoffs, but is committed to “fast” and “transparent” job cuts.
The new head of Blackstone’s massive credit business is plotting a $12 billion direct-lending push aimed at recession-proofing the firm
Blackstone’s credit arm – known as GSO Capital Partners – is going through a transition. All three of its founders will have retired from the firm by year’s end.
It has 400 employees globally, with $140 billion in assets under management, and it offers investors everything from energy loans to European lending.
As GSO’s last founder exits, its new leader, Dwight Scott, says it will now focus on what’s known as direct lending, or giving loans to midsize companies with no brokers involved.
These are safe bets in a downturn, he said, because Blackstone would be a senior creditor in the event of a bankruptcy. Blackstone expects to raise between $10 billion and $12 billion for direct lending by the end of the year, Scott said.
Cannabis firms cut hundreds of jobs as the once hot industry contends with a ‘toxic’ landscape
Cannabis companies have been hit with a wave of layoffs in recent weeks ranging from venture-backed startups like Pax to giants like CannTrust. It amounts to close to 600 jobs across both startups and public companies.
The layoffs come amid a broader downturn in the sector. One index of marijuana stocks lost over 60% of its value since its high in January 2018.
On the private side, a tight funding environment has made it difficult for growth-stage cannabis startups to raise capital.
Inside a meeting of elite investors, which mixed in yacht and jet sales pitches with doom-and-gloom recession talk
Inside a bright room lined with exposed brick on the third floor of a downtown Manhattan townhouse, members of the investment community sipped cucumber- and mint-infused water and discussed recession fears, geopolitical issues, and the yacht market.
At this wealth-management event held Wednesday, thrown in part by a lifestyle-media company and an asset-management firm, the chatter captured what elite investors, economists, and decision-makers are dwelling on. Among the topics that men and at least two women discussed were the family office space as well as investing amid international trade uncertainty.
“It’s not really quantifiable – it’s completely an emotional purchase,” said Bianca Nestor, a charter broker for Burgess Yachts, responding to an attendee questioning a yacht investment’s practicality.
We found the 40 most powerful investment bankers at Bank of America. Here’s our exclusive org chart.
Business Insider is mapping out the power structure in the global banking and markets businesses overseen by Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s chief operating officer, Tom Montag, one of the most powerful executives on Wall Street.
We’ve identified 40 of the most powerful people in the bank’s new-look corporate and investment bank, which has been surging this year since a leadership overhaul.
Business Insider spoke with insiders, ex-employees, consultants, and other industry experts for this project.
SigFig, the buzzy robo-adviser that’s teamed up with big wealth names, has cut about 10% of staff SigFig, the robo-adviser that’s signed deals to sell its tech to some of the biggest wealth managers, has cut about 10% of its workforce – some 20 people – Business Insider has learned.
It’s seen some departures in roles that helped sign up and take care of clients. Martin Attiq exited in August as the firm’s head of strategic partnerships. Randy Bullard left in September as general manager of wealth management.
- Billionaire Howard Marks gives his best advice for navigating an anomalous market where 30% of the world’s debt has a negative yield
- Wall Street has fallen in love with stocks that pay big dividends, and Goldman says they’re still the cheapest in a decade. Here are the 13 the firm recommends most.
- ‘A license to print money’: A former chemical engineer and Ph.D. with no market experience now makes a living day-trading full time. Here’s his 3-step process to finding that one successful trade that makes his day.
In tech news:
- Flexible apartment-rental company Blueground raised $50 million from investors including the former CFO of Blackstone and Airbnb as it looks to take on Zeus, Sonder, and Lyric
- The CEO of $2.6 billion Plaid spends a third of his time recruiting. Here’s why he ‘hires for spikes’ rather than seeking well-rounded candidates.
- Bullying allegations, $1,000 pens, and a celebrity chef: Inside the collapse of Faraday Grid, the ‘$6.5 billion’ energy startup backed by Adam Neumann
Other good stories from around the newsroom: