How must you describe yourself at appraisal time if you work for Goldman Sachs? Standard fare such as, “I am a team player who has delivered value to the firm over the past year,” may not be sufficient. No. If you want to make your mark at Goldman, you may feel impelled to drop in superlatives and references to international sporting greats.
Take Deeb Salem, an ex-Goldman mortgage trader whose self-assessment documents became public during a recent court case. "I am as competitive as Michael Jordan," Salem declared of himself. "I don't just want to win - I want to win every time and I want to steamroll the opposition." This clearly not being sufficient to cement his identity as a team player imbibed with Goldman’s values, Salem added that he was an ‘expert trader’ who deserved to be promoted to managing director.
Saleeb isn’t the only Goldmanite to go hubristic at self-appraisal time. Similar behaviour has been exposed in the past. Modesty doesn't cut it at the firm.
Whether this sort of stuff actually works at Goldman is another question. Saleeb’s hubristic performance review dates back to 2007. He subsequently left for a hedge fund and sought to sue Goldman for $21m in unpaid compensation and legal costs. That claim was vanquished by the bank yesterday.
Separately, there are more claims of managerial dysfunction at bond fund Pimco this morning. The Financial Times reports that Marc Seidner, a generalist fund manager who was interim head of Pimco’s baby equities business, resigned shortly after being made one of three new deputy chief investment officers at the fund. Seidner reportedly thought that chief executive Bill Gross was becoming “increasingly illogical and irrational”.
Gross’s illogicality and irrationality seems to have centred around a new equities business that Pimco's developing as a counterweight to its traditional bond bias. Along with allegedly disliking employees speaking in the morning, it seems that Gross just wasn’t that interested in diversifying. With that caveat, you may be interested to know that Pimco is hiring for its new equities team: Virginie Maisonneuve, the new head of equities, hired from Schroders, wants to recruit 15 people according to a separate article in the FT – maybe even more. Go there at your own risk.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is hiring the head of VTB Capital’s Middle East cash-equity sales and sales trading in Dubai. (Bloomberg)
BlackRock is building a new credit alpha fund and is recruiting distressed credit specialists. It’s hired Sunil Aggarwa from Morgan Stanley. (Financial News)
Odey Asset Management has hired Didier Scemema, head of European technology research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. (Financial News)
Dominic Strauss Kahn is starting a new global hedge fund. China will play a large part in it. (NYPost)
49-year old ex-Goldman Sachs executive, Marc Spilker, who is president of Apollo Goldman Management is stepping down for no apparent reason. (NYTimes)
Every bank that sold bonds to the BOE that day was doing something similar to what Mark Stevenson was doing, just in less stupid and piggish form. (Bloomberg)
The Bloomberg terminal was the first ever social network. (Matt Ruck)