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Exceptional use of WFH by 25-year-old Goldman Sachs analyst

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It is not uncommon for investment banks to recruit elite athletes. Usually this happens in two ways – either they go into banking at the end of their career, emphasizing their determination and competitive spirit. Or they are world-class athletes whose graduation date does not fit well into the Olympic cycle and who are given time off, with the understanding that photos of them sporting the company flag alongside the national flag will have look great in brochures.

What’s unheard of is that someone gets the offer, joins the bank and then start the fight to get to the Olympics. Surely the level of commitment required to reach the highest levels in world sport, plus the hours required to be successful in investment banking, must be over 168 per week? Meet Eric Brodkowitz, the all-time king of time management.

Eric is a 25-year bond analyst at Goldman Sachs. The only clue to his other life on his LinkedIn is that he is a member of the “Yale Baseball Alumni” group; in fact, he was a star pitcher and a member of the 2018 All-Ivy-League first team. Under ordinary circumstances, that probably would have just meant that he had spent a lot of time being accused of being a bell ringer in summer leagues. After all, hardly anyone makes it into Major League Baseball, and Yale students with offers from Goldman don’t tend to see minor leagues as a viable alternative career.

But, for the past two years, everyone has been working remotely. This means that some senior bankers may have moved to the Hamptons or Hawaii. It also meant that Eric Brodkowitz was able to move from New York to the other side of the country, join the Idaho Falls Chukars and continue playing in one of the few leagues still in operation. he woke up at 5:30 a.m., did a full day of work on his laptop, then continued playing baseball until midnight. And that, in turn, could have given him enough playing time to earn a spot on the Israeli national baseball team for the Tokyo Olympics.

It can be a bit difficult to deal with during the return to office phase, but it seems that even before the pandemic hit, Eric Brodkowitz had managed to build a reputation for himself as being able to work hard and play hard baseball. During the qualifying stages, as Israel moved up among the European Baseball Championship and Africa-Europe qualifying tournament groups, it played matches in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Ireland, Serbia and in many other places where baseball isn’t that big. He did it without time off, just by carefully organizing his paid time off and being determined to get the job done no matter what. His insistence on the latter seems to have earned him a pass not to return to the office (for now) even while his colleagues at Goldman meet again at their desks.

There are six teams in Olympic baseball competition, and since four of them are the United States, Japan, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, Eric is unlikely to come back with a medal. But in many ways, it’s a more impressive achievement; Good luck to him.

Elsewhere, Mary Erdoes of JP Morgan Asset Management seems to think that after all, it’s the hours you put in, not what you put into it. In an interview with Bloomberg Wealth, she suggested that since it apparently takes 10,000 hours of practice to master something, a banker who works a normal forty-hour week will take five years to achieve proficiency while a working person twelve hours a day, six days a week will do it in half the time.

In addition to making us wonder how many hours Ms. Erdoes spent learning to read the play, this superficially plausible calculation comes across a reality check. If ten thousand hours in the office were a critical hurdle, third year associates would have learned pretty much everything. This is not a proposition that stands up to simple tests like “have you encountered one”. In fact, this argument may end up proving the opposite – since even five sleepless years is barely enough to produce a competent VP, it is clear that most of the time has been spent on more than learning.

Meanwhile …

Deutsche Bank has joined the $ 100,000 club for first-year analyst salaries… (Bloomberg)

… Just like Stifel. It now looks like a base amount ‘wouldn’t get out of bed for less’ and the few banks that haven’t budged are sure to come under pressure. (Financial news)

Mid-market private equity deals are starting to stop – according to Nickie Norris of New Heritage Capital, “I was speaking to an investment banker yesterday who said they were closed this year. They are so full of pipeline deals that they’re going to market this summer, they’re trying to get them done by the end of the year, they’re not accepting any new deals for this year. ” (The Middle Market)

As the eminent but anonymous blogger TED puts it, “Cemeteries are full of indispensable men.” But JPMorgan doesn’t want Jamie Dimon to hurry; they gave him a special long-term options award to ensure that “a significant number of years remain” (FT)

Ralph Hamers of UBS seems to be one of the few CEOs who understood that some clients actually prefer virtual meetings. He says remote work is “here to stay” for “two-thirds to 75%” of UBS employees. (Bloomberg)

On the flip side, Morgan Stanley General Counsel Eric Grossman is now getting cranky over the number of law firms that still allow their lawyers to attend business meetings through Zoom. (Global Legal Position)

A pristine, never-opened, never-played copy of Super Mario for the Nintendo 64 sold for $ 1.64 million, possibly indicating the last speculative bubble, certainly suggesting that Gen X has reached the stage of life. “too much money”. (FT)

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Photo by Mike Bowman on Unsplash


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