JPMorgan is on the hunt; private equitys data culture clash; Symphonys plan to win over the buy side




Hi readers, 

One word caught our eye this week: “aggressive.”

As in, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon saying the firm is going to be “much more aggressive in acquisitions across the board.” So what else could the biggest U.S. bank be looking to add, exactly? Well, there were some clues. Buying another deposit-taking bank is a no-no for JPMorgan. Sheer scale doesn’t exactly appear to be the goal, and Dimon said the bank will be open-minded and creative.

Rebecca Ungarino talked to insiders to learn what could fit the bill for JPMorgan — particularly when it comes to its asset and wealth management division. 

And with all the deals already going on targeting fintechs and newer players — Intuit said it would buy Credit Karma just days after Morgan Stanley revealed plans to buy E-Trade — Dan DeFrancesco laid out 7 buzzy fintechs that could be looking like a good buy for whoever is on the hunt. 

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Samantha Lee/Business Insider

A culture clash is holding private equity back from using data to do deals — here’s how firms can overcome the human roadblock

To understand why the use of data in the investment process is only in its early stages in the private-equity industry, look no further than conversations at a massive industry gathering this week. Casey Sullivan was part of the crowd of thousands at SuperReturn in Berlin. He chatted with insiders about the challenges of getting getting investment professionals and data scientists to work together — as one put it, “EQ is more important than IQ” when it comes to collaboration. 

Citadel, BlackRock, and D1 Capital are racking up hundreds of millions in gains as coronavirus fears tank airlines, cruises, and movie-theater stocks

While we were unpacking all the M&A action, coronavirus fears were also dominating headlines and tanking the markets this week. But as Bradley Saacks writes, there are some asset managers making money off of the chaos. BlackRock, Citadel, D1 Capital, and Adelphi Capital are all racking up big gains on short positions in airlines, cruise companies, movie theaters, and malls — companies that were directly impacted by the unfolding public health crisis.

Symphony’s CEO is plotting a big strategy shift as the messaging startup struggles to lure hedge-fund clients

Messaging startup Symphony, which has raised $460 million from some of the biggest firms on Wall Street en route to a $1.4 billion valuation, is adding a referral program allowing customers to sign their own clients up to the platform for free.

The plan, as explained by Symphony CEO David Gurle in an exclusive interview with Dan DeFrancesco, will be rolled out in the coming months and is meant to entice more buy-side firms, long a sore spot of the firm, as it looks to gain traction helping facilitate complicated financial trades. 

Bank of America is shaking up its global markets division and poached a Goldman Sachs exec to fill a key new role

Alex Morrell reported all the details — plus we’ve already updated our equities and FICC org charts to help you map out the new power structure. And the Goldman partner exit means we’ve also got another name to add to Dakin Campbell’s running list — you can check that out here. 

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Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

We got a look at billionaire investor Seth Klarman’s super-rare book. Here are the predictions he nailed, and where he missed.

Klarman’s book “Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor,” is something of a (very expensive) cult classic. It’s out of print, and first editions of the book sell online for thousands of dollars. Bradley took a read of the 1991 text, and while some of its proclamations don’t exactly stand the test of time (indexing, as it turned out, wasn’t just a fad), others hold up just fine. 

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That’s it from me! A round of of fintech news and must-know people moves below, if you need to catch up with everything we published this week. As always, my line is open at

Enjoy the weekend, 


People moves

Fintech and proptech

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