Thursday, April 26, 2007
Note: Your representative at Glocap has been unreachable, so we decided to contact you directly.
Thank you very much for your recent application to the Texas-Pacific Group. Your resume and glowing recommendation from your MD were both somewhat impressive. We applaud your efforts to transition from Banking into Private Equity, it is definitely the right move right now. We were considering extending you an offer, actually, but upon review of the quiz you inadvertently submitted to for the New York Post, we regret to inform you that we will be unable to offer you a position at our firm.
Please note that you did score an 87%, which is nothing to be ashamed of. It turns out to a B+ with our generous scaling, and you know what they say—at least you won’t be lonely at the fat part of the bell curve. We only take A’s though. Have you considered a position at Hellman & Friedman?
Please see my edits and scoring below in red below (we know how you like red!!). We start the score at 100 and then subtract and add points as appropriate. Essentially, if had you had said nothing, you would have scored 100%.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
By LINDSAY EDELSTEIN
THE INVESTMENT BANKER
Salary estimate: $190,000, including projected bonus (-2 for not lying)
Job: We help companies raise capital and grow their business. (+5 for lying and making Banking sound semi-cool!)
Suit: Hickey Freeman suit, $2,749 (+1 for overpaying). “I have about 10 suits and usually buy them at Hickey Freeman and Paul Stuart (+1). I have two really heavy pin-stripe suits that I’d classify as ‘power suits.’ Bankers never wear double-breasted suits, it’s a fashion faux pas (+1 for French). I get all of my suits tailored in Rochester, N.Y (-2 for going somewhere north of 86th street that’s not The Hamptons). There is a Romanian couple that have been doing my father’s suits for years. They are trusted in the family, and 10 times better than any of the tailors I’ve used in the city.” (We know that family: Ionescu. All the legit tailors in that lineage are still in Romania. -5 for not flying them over personally.)
White shirt: “There’s a saying in the banking world that you can never have too many blue suits or white shirts (-2, they also said this at IBM circa 1965). I get mine from Hickey Freeman [$149-$249] as my standby, but I also shop at Charles Tyrwhitt [$99-$200] (+0, Fine brand, but we have a feeling you shop at their Madison Avenue store, which is across the street from Men’s Warehouse), Thomas Pink [$149-$249] (+1) and Turnbull and Asser [over $250] (+1). I get my white shirts heavy-starched (+1).”
Collar: “I always buy cutaway collars (+1) and French cuffs (+1) from the British stores (Tyrwhitt, Pink, Turnbull & Asser), and Barrel (button) cuffs from Hickey Freeman.”
Watch: Breitling Navitimer, $5,299 (+3). “Bankers have a complex with having a watch. Far and beyond the most popular watch is a Rolex Submariner (+1)– black or white face, half bezel is blue. The Navitimer comes in a few different sizes and shapes.” Nice work on this section!
Shoes: Ferragamo loafers, $395 at Saks Fifth Avenue. “The standard banker shoe is a fashion loafer or a tie cap toe.” (-5 for not shopping at Bergdorf.)
Tie: Hickey Freeman (again with the Hickey?) tie, $125. “The two tie brands that embody the investment banker are Hermes (+1) and Salvatore Ferragamo (+1). I don’t wear a lot of Ferragamo because they tie small knots and are usually pastel – I like thicker knots (+1) and cutaway collars (+0, whoops, already got this one). Every now and then I’ll pick up some pastels from Brooks Brothers (-8, [shudder]). I’ve bought one or two Ferragamo ties from the outlet (-4 because we don’t understand what that last word means). But I buy most of my ties from Hickey Freeman (-5 for acting like you’re sponsored by them). They retail anywhere from $98-$130.”
(-1 for each, -1 for lack of inventiveness making us think about off-the-rack clothes):
Armani, Gucci, Eton, Hilditch & Key, Brioni, Kiton, Canali, Versace
PDA: A BlackBerry 8700c (-2, one for every year old this phone is. Get an 8800 or at least a Pearl, kid!), it’s gray with black trim. “I bought mine at the Cingular store in Midtown. (we are going to be nice and neglect this comment) At first, people are apprehensive and they think it’s a virtual leash. Now I can’t imagine life without it. (+5 for never being out of pocket!)
Red pen: “I keep a pen behind my ear at all times. I never used red pens before, now I always do – it stands out.” (We’re not really big on the whole ‘analog’ thing. How could you forget MS Excel as a tool? -8.)
Shoe-shining: “I like to shine my own shoes. You can get a shine kit at any shoe retailer with brush, polish and cloth. But in an emergency, there are shoe-shiners walking around on our floor offering to shine our shoes [$5].” (-3 for not actively supporting Taylorism and division of labor).
Cigars: “My favorite cigar is a CAO Brazilia (+2, no MX2, though?), with Partagas Black Label (+1) coming in close behind. I buy most of my cigars at JR Cigar on 46th and Fifth. Sometimes I will buy from Barclay Rex on Lexington Avenue, and sometimes I order them by the box on Thompson Cigar online. I’ve been smoking cigars for four years now, it’s even on my résumé (+3, good form). Liking cigars is a good talking point (talk to the -2).” (Fyi, at TPG we only smoke individually muled cigars from Cuba, rolled by no one over the age of 7.)
Red Bull: “Every two weeks I buy a 12-pack of sugar-free (-3) Red Bull. I have one before I get in the shower, and then I drink one on the way to work. I don’t really drink coffee because it’s a slow process. Redbull is portable and it gets you ready to embrace the day.” (+7 for “willing to do what it takes”-ness, -3 for shoddy arithmetic).
Blanton’s: “The only alcohol I drink is Blanton’s whiskey (+.5), Woodford Reserve (a small-batch bourbon) (+.5) and Glenlivet 15-year (a single-malt scotch) (They make scotches aged fewer than 18 years?! -10 for knowing that.). There’s a good liquor place on 86th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam that I go to every now and then.”
Bar: “The bad side of the long hours. After six months, I noticed people started calling me less and less (+25 for being able to “give us your all”). Some of my friends and I go to Milk & Honey (-3 for being behind the game). It’s really small and there are rules. Men can’t approach women, you have to make reservations and they chip the ice into your drink. At the other end of the spectrum is Yogi’s. They have $7 pitchers of Bud Ice. ’nuff said.” (-2 for not helping out The Patriot, +1 cause Yogi’s is owned by the same guy).
Thanks again for your application. I’m actually only in HR here at TPG, so this is just a first pass, and I’m sure I may have missed some stuff (the folks here seem to agree with us and might have provided additional input). We do understand you may have had limited time while answering these questions and that reporters tend to take things out of context, so we tried to take that into consideration. But you’re a bit of a media extravaganza now, so I’m sure you’ll understand that our hands are tied.
Best of luck,
Andrew, sorry about the lack of contact–they disabled my email account. To be honest, it’s looking pretty grim. I hear Strategic M&A at Blimpie has an opening, though. What do you say? Free subs!