🍋 Bullying MD Put on Leave

Citi has put one of its MDs on leave for berating junior bankers, plus Steve Mnuchin could save TikTok.

"'‘Why am I not successful?’ You'll get answers that berate you. ‘How can I succeed here?’ You'll get answers that push you.” — Julie Gurner

Good Morning and Happy Friday! Steve Mnuchin is considering saving TikTok and teaming up with other investors to buy the social media platform. Another Boeing plane was forced to make an emergency landing in LAX. Morgan Stanley became the first bulge bracket investment bank to name a head of artificial intelligence. Hedge funds are ramping up leverage to near-record highs. And inflation was hotter than expected in February. Plus 3 moves to level up your executive presence, and how to deal with a bad boss. 

SQUEEZ OF THE DAY

Bullying MD Put on Leave

For decades, junior investment bankers have just had to grin and bear mistreatment from their bosses. The late-night calls, berating, and pls fixes have almost become Wall Street’s version of hazing.

But it seems like one managing director at Citi, Edward Ruff, might have pushed things a little too far. Ruff is 40 and is on Citi’s industrials, energy, and power team, specializing in IPOs. 

There are two instances of poor behavior that reportedly put Ruff on leave. The first? Screaming insults at junior bankers because they were late for a meeting. Ruff was screaming so loudly that one other MD reportedly had to intervene. 

The second? A new analyst who joined through a diversity program says Ruff intimidated him during a phone call. And Ruff told him not to go to HR because they won’t be his ‘friend.’

He also reportedly shouted an analyst because of the way he was dressed. Later, when HR questioned him about the incident, he approached the analyst and offered to take them to his tailor for some office-appropriate clothes.

Takeaway: Ruff also complained that his analysts didn’t work on Saturdays, even though Citi analysts get protected Saturdays. And while he’s technically on leave since January and hasn’t been fired yet, it’s safe to say Ruff won’t be back at Citi headquarters any time soon. Citi’s CEO Jane Fraser is the only female executive of a major US bank and wants to bring more “empathy” to Wall Street. Citi’s exec team has asked bankers to speak up if they see any sign of inappropriate behavior, a stance likely to be appreciated universally.

SHORT SQUEEZ INSIDERS

Is the Cold Plunge Legit?

Cold plunges are the talk of the town. From your Northwestern Mutual uncle to health podcasting gurus like Huberman, it seems everyone's diving into the conversation.

Even finance bro heaven, Equinox Hudson Yards, has set up a cold plunge to cater to the growing demand.

We’ve seen everyone from Joe Rogan to Liver King espouse the benefits of the cold plunge. Sure, you certainly get an endorphin rush after you get out, but the amount of content around the topic is enough to make anyone roll their eyes. 

How Legit is the Cold Plunge?

In the inaugural edition of our Insiders Wellness Newsletter, we thoroughly investigate all the scientific research on the topic to determine whether taking the plunge into icy waters is beneficial for you:

HEADLINES

Top Reads

  • Steve Mnuchin interested in buying TikTok (CNN)

  • Boeing plane forced to make emergency landing at LAX (Fox)

  • Morgan Stanley named head of AI as Wall Street leans into industry (CNBC)

  • Hedge funds ramp up leverage to near-record highs (YF)

  • Treasury yields rise because inflation is hotter than expected in February (CNBC)

  • Retail sales rebound in February after shopping pushback (Axios)

  • Stripe passed $1 trillion in total payment volume in 2023 (CNBC)

  • Goldman Sachs resuming its bets on U.S. real estate (Reuters)

  • IBM is slashing jobs in marketing and communications (CNBC)

  • Vista Equity tapping investment banks for Solera IPO (Reuters)

  • Hedge funds that rode cat bond rally are recalibrating bets (YF)

CAPITAL PULSE

Markets Rundown

Stocks closed lower as Treasury yields rise.

Movers & Shakers

  • (+) DICK’s Sporting Goods ($DKS) +16% after the retailer posted a holiday earnings beat, raised its dividend.

  • (+) Robinhood Markets ($HOOD) +5% after announcing strong crypto trading activity in February.

  • (–) Under Armour ($UA) -10% because Wall Street investors don’t like CEO Kevin Plank returning.

Private Dealmaking

  • AstraZeneca bought Amolyt Pharma for $1.05 billion

  • Wiz, a cyber startup, bought Gem Security for $350 million

  • Luminary Cloud, an engineering SaaS, raised $115 million

  • CarbonCapture, an air capture startup, raised $80 million 

  • Eclipse Labs, an Ethereum layer-2 developer, raised $50 million

  • CodaMetric, a healthcare billing tech provider, raised $40 million

For more PE, VC & M&A deals, subscribe to our Buysiders newsletter.

BOOK OF THE DAY

Hershey

The name Hershey evokes many things: chocolate bars, the company town in Pennsylvania, one of America’s most recognizable brands. But who was the man behind the name? In this compelling biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael D’Antonio gives us the real-life rags-to-riches story of Milton S. Hershey, a largely uneducated businessman whose idealistic sense of purpose created an immense financial empire, a town, and a legacy that lasts to this day.

Hershey, the son of a minister’s daughter and an irresponsible father who deserted the family, began his career inauspiciously when the two candy shops he opened both went bankrupt. Undeterred, he started the Lancaster Caramel Company, which brought him success at last. Eventually he sold his caramel operation and went on to perfect the production process of chocolate to create a stable, consistent bar with a long shelf life...and an American icon was born.

Hershey was more than a successful businessman—he was a progressive thinker who believed in capitalism as a means to higher goals. He built the world’s largest chocolate factory and a utopian village for his workers on a large tract of land in rural Pennsylvania, and used his own fortune to keep his workers employed during the Great Depression. In addition, he secretly willed his fortune to a boys’ school and orphanage, both of which now control a vast endowment.

"A charming and absorbing account of one of American capitalism's eccentric visionaries."

DAILY ACUMEN

Embarrassment

Embracing the risk of short-term embarrassment is often the precursor to long-term brilliance. This principle underscores the idea that enduring moments of discomfort or misunderstanding is a necessary step on the path to achieving exceptional results.

At the heart of innovation and growth lies the willingness to step out of one's comfort zone, to experiment and sometimes fail, in the quest for something truly groundbreaking.

The fear of looking foolish can stifle creativity and hinder progress, whereas those who dare to be different, to make mistakes and learn from them, are the ones who ultimately carve paths that others aspire to follow.

It's a reminder that the journey towards greatness is paved with the courage to face potential ridicule, only to emerge with insights that can redefine what's possible.

ENLIGHTENMENT

Short Squeez Picks

MEME-A-PALOOZA

Memes of the Day

 

 

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