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The Wall Street Lab Profile

The Wall Street Lab

English, Finance, 4 seasons, 112 episodes, 3 days, 16 hours, 42 minutes
The Wall Street Lab is a podcast that explores the world of finance from an insider perspective. The host, Andreas von Hirschhausen interviews top financial professionals in the fields of private equity, hedge funds, investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, asset management, venture capital, management consulting, trading and many more. The themes range from investment related topics, financial markets and news, career development in finance, favourite books, personal habits, just to name a few.
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#108 - Finding The Good In Private Equity - With Rami Cassis, Parabellum Investments

Rami Cassis, founder and CEO of Parabellum Investments, discusses how his firm operates as a hybrid between a family office and private equity firm. He provides an inside look at his investment approach, building relationships and reputation, and his perspective on improving private equity's image. Key Topics and Timestamps: What a hybrid family office and private equity firm is and why Cassis cares about private equity image [00:02:00 - 00:05:45] Cassis' approach to sourcing investments and what he looks for in an acquisition target [00:05:45 - 00:10:15] How valuation discussions unfold and avoiding deal fatigue [00:10:15 - 00:15:00] The importance of honoring your word in building relationships and reputation [00:15:00 - 00:20:00] Integrating a new acquisition and exiting investments [00:20:00 - 00:25:00] Tips on deal negotiations and avoiding concessions [00:25:00 - 00:30:00] Working with management teams and the role of chairman [00:30:00 - 00:35:00] How private equity can improve its image and be a force for good [00:35:00 - 00:40:00] What Cassis looks for when hiring junior team members [00:40:00 - 00:45:00] The importance of diversity and avoiding "assholes" [00:45:00 - end]   More about our sponsor You can find all episodes of The Wall Street Lab Podcast on Check Out these Wall Street Oasis courses: Modeling Elite Modeling Package: LBO Modeling Course: Real Estate Modeling Course:
8/22/202348 minutes, 27 seconds
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#107 - Building a strong investment banking network - Christina Bresani, William Blair

In this episode, Christina Bresani, Managing Director and Head of Corporate Advisory at William Blair, shares her insights and experiences in investment banking and corporate advisory. She discusses her background, breaking into the industry, and the importance of networking. Christina explains the role of corporate advisory and its responsibilities in mergers and acquisitions, including advising clients on acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, and defending against activists. She emphasizes the changing landscape of friendly and hostile takeovers and the need for valuable relationships with clients. Additionally, Christina highlights the importance of diversity and the initiatives taken by William Blair to support women in investment banking. The episode concludes with her advice to be open to learning, curious, and true to oneself in the industry. We discuss the following topics: Christina's background and journey in investment banking Breaking into the industry and the importance of networking The role and responsibilities of corporate advisory in mergers and acquisitions Preparing for shareholder activism and engaging with activists Evaluating defense profiles and best practices in the boardroom The current landscape of friendly and hostile takeovers The importance of diversity and initiatives to support women in investment banking More about our sponsor You can find all episodes of The Wall Street Lab Podcast on Check Out these Wall Street Oasis courses: Modeling Elite Modeling Package: LBO Modeling Course: Real Estate Modeling Course:
8/3/202345 minutes, 10 seconds
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#106 - Understanding Behavioral Dynamics in Investing - Dr. Daniel Crosby

In this episode, Dr. Daniel Crosby shares insights on the behavioral aspects of investing. The conversation covered a range of topics, including the trends of passive and active investing, the biases exhibited by portfolio managers, the impact of recent events like the WallStreetBets phenomenon, and the interconnectedness of personal well-being and financial decision-making. Let's delve into the key takeaways from this enlightening discussion. We discuss the following topics: Passive vs. active investing: Strengths and weaknesses of both approaches. Biases in portfolio managers: Managers can exhibit biases they advise against. Rise of retail trading platforms: Gamification, easy access, and zero-cost transactions. Role of personal well-being: Connection between well-being and financial decisions. WallStreetBets phenomenon: Appeal and cautionary aspects of the movement. Influence of extreme states: Impact of emotional and physical states on decision-making. Overall insights: Understand approaches, manage biases, consider retail trading, and prioritize well-being. More about our sponsor You can find all episodes of The Wall Street Lab Podcast on  Check Out these Wall Street Oasis courses:  Modeling Elite Modeling Package: LBO Modeling Course: Real Estate Modeling Course: Quick LinksGet Embed PlayerDownload Audio File  
7/10/20231 hour, 19 minutes, 36 seconds
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#105 - Where Financial Advisors Get Advice From: Insights from Gene Goldman, CIO of Cetera Financial Group

In this episode of the Wall Street Lab podcast, we had the opportunity to interview Gene Goldman, the Chief Investment Officer and Director of Research at Cetera Financial Group. We will dive into the key takeaways from the interview and explore how they combine quantitative and qualitative data to generate insights for financial investment decisions. More about our sponsor You can find all episodes of The Wall Street Lab Podcast on  Check Out these Wall Street Oasis courses:  Modeling Elite Modeling Package: LBO Modeling Course: Real Estate Modeling Course:
6/14/202355 minutes, 48 seconds
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#104- Leader, Banker, Artist: Lessons For A Sustainable Career From a GS' Prime Brokerage Leader Brian Robinson (Goldman Sachs)

Brian Robinson is not your average banker. He’s a partner at Goldman Sachs, runs the firm’s Prime Brokerage sales force and leads the hedge fund client segment for equities, both for the Americas region, but he's also made a name for himself through his unconventional yet determined approach to career and leadership. In this episode, we'll take you on an interesting trip through Brian's mind. We'll talk about: What Prime Brokerage is and where it fits into Goldman Sach's business Why fund managers sometimes need support building a business Brian's framework for impacting clients Brian's 19 Cs for success in finance How Brian approaches building human yet performing teams Why you're not cool if you only work and why you need interests outside of Finance to make it More about our sponsor You can find all episodes of The Wall Street Lab Podcast on    Check Out these Wall Street Oasis courses:  Modeling Elite Modeling Package: LBO Modeling Course: Real Estate Modeling Course: Interview Prep Hedge Fund Interview Prep Course: Investment Banking Interview Prep Course: Private Equity Interview Prep Course: VC & PE Venture Capital Course: Private Equity Deals Process:
5/11/202352 minutes, 56 seconds
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#103 - "We come in when founders have figured out the hard stuff" - Christoph Jost, FLEX Capital

Investors are quick to brag about the impact and network they add to their investments. After all, they know a lot of important people, have access to cash, and an infinite source of knowledge. Christoph Jost, Founder & Managing Partner at FLEX Capital, isn't one of them. "We come in when the founders have already done the hard part", he says. "They have scaled their business to 1 million EBITDA or 5 million in revenue. It's clearly working already."  In this episode, Andi and Christoph discuss: What bootstrapped founders face when they scale How FLEX Capital finds and invests in them How FLEX Capital approaches consolidation How Christoph moved into Private Equity More about FLEX Capital:  More about You can find all episodes of The Wall Street Lab Podcast on 
4/6/202345 minutes, 43 seconds
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#102 - Navigating family matters, PE and VC investments inside the World of Family Office Management #102 with Jan Voss (BLN Capital)

Welcome to the Wall Street Lab podcast, where we interview top financial professionals and deconstruct their practices to give you an insider look into the world of finance.   In this episode, Jan Voss of BLN Capital shares insights on the challenges, rewards, and intricacies of working in the family office space We discussed: What are the complexities of family offices and their various forms (Single Family Offices vs. Multi-Family Offices)? How does the role of a family office manager differ from traditional fund managers? What is the importance of discretion and trust in family office management? How do family office managers balance family interests while maintaining professionalism? What is the appeal of working in the family office space in terms of diversity and intellectual stimulation?   More about BLN Capital:   More about You can find all episodes of The Wall Street Lab Podcast on   
3/23/202352 minutes, 47 seconds
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#101 - Ian Schnoor (Financial Modeling Institute) - Financial Modeling: From spreadsheet to story in 3 steps

Welcome to the Wall Street Lab podcast, where we interview top financial professionals and deconstruct their practices to give you an insider look into the world of finance. Financial models are more than forecasts - they're a crucial decision-making tool. And it takes more than Excel-skills to make them impactful. Our guest today is Ian Schnoor, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Financial Modeling Institute In this episode, we discuss: Why Financial Models are vital tools for investment decisions What makes a Financial Model great What can go wrong when building a Financial Model Learn more about the Financial Modeling Institute: More about You can find all episodes of The Wall Street Lab Podcast on
3/9/202356 minutes, 30 seconds
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#66 Stephen Stonberg - Cryptocurrencies, Tokenisation, and Regulation

Stephen Stonberg is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Bittrex Global, one of the leading crypto trading platforms. Before joining Bittrex Global, Stephen held Managing Director positions with Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse, the Winton Group, and Goldman Sachs. He was Partner and CEO U.S. of the hedge fund Brevan Howard.  In this episode, we talk about all things crypto. We talk about the newest trends, the latest news, what's going on with regulation in the crypto space, and where Stephen sees regulation going. We talk about Ripple and their quarrel with the SEC. We talk about tokenized equity and leverage tokens. And of course, how to learn to get into the crypto space and why it's an exciting place to be.
4/1/202153 minutes, 38 seconds
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Update: End of Season I

That’s it guys – The Wall Street Lab will be taking a summer break and will be back in a few months with the next season. “Whoa, what? Why?”, I hear you say. Do you want good reasons, or the true reasons? read all about it in the blogpost below: We will be back soon! Subscribe to the newsletter on our website to stay up to date! 
6/15/20173 minutes, 45 seconds
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#14 Dan Kemp - Using Behavioral Finance to Make Better Investment Decisions

Dan Kemp is the Chief Investment Officer for the EMEA region at Morningstar Investment Management. Dan has a very interesting background. For instance, he holds a BA in Theology at Kings College in London - we spend quite a bit of time talking about how his non-business background has helped him in his investment career. Prior to joining Morningstar Investment Management, he was a Founder and Partner at Albemarle Street Partners, an investment advisory firm that assists advisors in client risk profiling, fund research, portfolio construction and asset allocation. Prior to that, he was a Multi-Asset Fund of Funds manager at Saltus Partners. We touch on a wide range of topics such as how to prevent buying at a high and selling at a low, the importance of having an investment process in place that allows for other team members to poke holes at your ideas, while at the same time avoiding Groupthink. Dan was also kind enough to share some of his productivity tricks, what he looks for when hiring a candidate for a job, his favorite behavioral finance books, and much more. As always, make sure you share the podcast with anyone you think might benefit from the information. And don’t forget to leave us a 5-Star review on iTunes!  For the full show notes go to:    
6/1/20171 hour, 3 minutes, 15 seconds
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#13 Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner - Blockchain, Digital Currencies and Smart Contracts

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner is Head of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management where he analyses implications of blockchain technology on companies and business models.  Prof. Sandner is also member of the FinTechRat – a council for financial technology of the Federal Ministry of Finance in Germany. In our interview this week we discuss the Blockchain technology and its potential implications. Prof. Dr. Sandner answers all our questions and more regarding the Blockchain and closely related technologies such as smart contracts, digital currencies and other applications of this revolutionary invention. As the conversation continues we jump into topics such as Bitcoin farming, regulatory issues and most recent disruptions in the field. We also discuss how can people and businesses prepare for the arrival and progressive implementation of the blockchain in the financial industry.   For the full show notes and to subscribe to our newsletter go to:   And now for the show notes: 2:00 – Introduction to the Blockchain and potential applications 7:30 – Application of Blockchain in Options trading 10:30 – Most exciting technology application in relation to Blockchain 12:45 – Why is it called a Blockchain? 15:30 – What is the public ledger and what it implies? 16:30 – Blockchain and privacy? 19:30 – Public and private Blockchains 20:25 – Bitcoin as the final digital currency? 24:10 – Backing for Bitcoin and digital currencies? 26:50 – Can Bitcoin be hacked? 29:25 – Blockchain replacing intermediaries in the markets 32:10 – How should people adjust for arrival of the Blockchain technology 34:30 – Regulatory issues with the Blockchain technology 39:30 – How does the Blockchain work on the fundamental level 43:20 – Bitcoin farming 44:50 – Is there still place for research within the Blockchain space 45:40 – Storage of transactions problem 48:00 – Why does it take so long for Blockchain to be adopted? 50:20 – Credits   If the interview was valuable to you, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter on our website and take a few seconds to leave us a 5-Star review on iTunes.   Subscribe and stay tuned for the next ones!      
5/18/201752 minutes, 8 seconds
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#12 Joerg de Vries-Hippen - Equity Research and Portfolio Management with Allianz Global Investors' CIO of European Equities

Jörg de Vries-Hippen is the CIO for European Equities at Allianz Global Investors. He has built his career within AGI and has been part of the organization for 25 years since he finished his M.B.A. degree from the Universit of Mannheim in Germany. In this interview, we cover a wide range of topics such as the skills needed to succeed as a portfolio manager, the importance of both technical knowledge and the communication skills to be able to sell the story to prospective clients, how he handles uncertainty as a central part of his job as a CIO, what he looks for when hiring equity analysist and fund managers, and much more! For the full show notes go to: If the interview was valuable to you, make sure to take a few seconds to leave us a 5-Star review on iTunes.     [04:00] The importance of being flexible to change with your organization over time [05:00] The difference between working in finance today when compared to 25 years ago [06:15] What does it mean to build your career “the hard way” [08:00] How long it takes to become a portfolio manager [09:45] How we should be using technologies to make us better portfolio managers [10:30] The importance of analytical vs. communication skills for an equity analyst/portfolio manager [13:30] How does Jörg separate the signal from the noise as a portfolio manager [16:30] How does Jörg deal with making prediction mistakes [18:30] Jörg’s opinion on the current European equity markets [20:00] The importance of being predictable, rather than following the current trend [23:00] What to look at when looking at individual investments [25:30] Jörg’s opinion on the impact of technology in the asset management industry in the near future [27:00] What Jörg looks at when hiring an equity analyst or a fund manager [30:00] His opinion on the importance of education and financial designations [32:00] The career advice Jörg gives to his own children If the interview was valuable to you, make sure to take a few seconds to leave us a 5-Star review on iTunes. Stay tuned!
5/4/201736 minutes, 58 seconds
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#11 [Special] How to Pass the CFA Exams

Most of you are familiar with the CFA designation – the one that makes you lose at least 3 Springs of your life (if you are lucky), your friendships and sometimes your partner. The one that makes you, according to CFA Institute’s statistics, read 8,914 pages of material, study 3,865 equations and take 18 hours of examinations. It is true that studying for it can be a very daunting and time consuming task. But if you are really interested in it (and I am not here trying to convince you to become a CFA charterholder – although I think it is a great thing to do if you are passionate about finance), I think you are going to get a lot out of this episode. For the full show notes go to:  I have been asked many times over the years about tips and tricks on how to improve your chances of passing the CFA exams. So, in this special episode in which we decided to be the ones doing all the talking, Luke and I put together a list 18 points that may improve your chances of being more successful in studying for the CFA exams. I must say that the combination of the points shared during this podcast made a huge difference in my studying attitude and I like to think they have positively influenced my results. Please note, however, that these are tactics that have worked well for me, and may not work so well for others, so pick whatever idea you like most and try to implement it to your mindset. Also, here is a spoiler alert – if you are looking for tactics and/or ideas on how to tackle specific CFA curriculum material, you will not find any of it here. There are plenty of resources online for that. If you listened to the episode and still have any questions, feel free to send us an e-mail at [email protected] and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have. Also, while we are at it, If the interview was valuable to you, make sure to take a few seconds to leave us a 5-Star review on iTunes. Stay tuned! Luke & Leo
4/20/201747 minutes, 16 seconds
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#10 Ian Morgan - How to get into Investment Banking

Ian Morgan is a former Managing Director at Société Générale who, after over 20 years as an investment banker, decided to become an entrepreneur in order to follow his passion. He is now an  executive coach who provides a tailored coaching service designed specifically for finance industry professionals, in the fields of leadership, career management and interviewing. He is passionate about helping individuals reach new levels of achievement and performance. for the full show notes go to:  If the interview was valuable to you, make sure to take a few seconds to leave us a 5-Star review on iTunes.   [5:00] Ian’s background and all the projects he is involved with at the moment [6:30] What made Ian quit his job as a Managing Director at a large Investment Bank to start running his own business. [8:45] Ian describes his experience in resigning from his position as an MD and what the first day of running his own business felt like. [11:15] What do successful candidates do that unsuccessful candidates generally do not? [15:00] Cover letter writing strategies [16:50] Ian shares his thought on networking best practices [18:30] Practical skills for the job hunt if you did not major in business and finance. [21:40] Is it too late to start a career in investment banking if you are in your late 20’s / early 30’s? [23:50] Understanding the fact that interviewers also have cognitive biases and use that to our advantage during an interview [25:50] The danger of trying to sound smarter that you really are during an interview [27:50] Is it ok to answer an interview question with “I don’t know”? [29:50] How much is too much when it comes to preparing for an interview? [31:50] How do I accelerate my career at an investment bank, once I have a foot in the door? [34:20] The performance formula [36:50] Daily routines and habits that can help you become more productive at work [41:30] Ways to avoid distractions at work [44:10] The importance of reading; Ian’s book recommendations [47:50] The importance of a “glass half-full” attitude [49:10] Where you can find out more about Ian Morgan’s work   Stay tuned! Luke & Leo      
4/6/201752 minutes, 7 seconds
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#09 Alexander Doll - CEO of Barclays Germany Perspective on Investment Banking and M&A

Alexander Doll is the CEO of Barclays Germany and the Head of Banking for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Prior to his role at Barclays, Mr. Doll served as a Managing Director of Financial Advisory Business at Lazard.  Mr. Doll joined Lazard after eight years with UBS. His previous experience also includes working for Lehman Brothers in New York and Frankfurt. For the full show notes please go to: Have you asked yourself what the best-case scenario for your career would be? I mean, if everything goes extremely well – you get along with your colleagues, you become a well-known and recognized expert in your field, you are being nicely rewarded financially for what you do - what would that look like for you? Will you be a CEO of a company? Or perhaps a successful investor or run your own business? Regardless of what your answer is, there is one thing we can agree on - to get there, you are going to work extremely hard at it. You must master multiple skills, not only on the technical side of your craft, but also your interpersonal abilities. And, as we have heard from so many previous guests on our podcast, you are going to have to truly love what you do – “do it for the love of the game”, as Steven Gerbel said. There is one thing that all guests on our show have in common – they have achieved a level of “success” that most of us can only dream of. We believe that, whenever you have a chance to talk to someone who has “been there”, regardless of the field they are in, we should all stop and listen, as we all stand to learn something new from them. In fact, there is nothing stopping any of us from finding someone we admire and asking for 30 minutes of their attention. These overachievers are usually genuinely nice people who are more than willing to share their wisdom with eager souls looking to grow in their careers. This is exactly what Luke and I do with our interviews – the only difference is that we bring our audio recorder with us. Maybe all you are missing is an audio recorder! Today is one of those days when we tell ourselves – “we are so glad to have recorded this”. In this wide-ranging conversation, you will get a glimpse at what it is like to be the regional CEO of a global investment bank. You will soon realize that you cannot climb the corporate later at an investment bank if you are not both good with the numbers, but most importantly, good with clients. Mr. Doll also tells us the differences between the M&A markets in Europe vs. the US, what he looks at when interviewing job candidates, and much more. And now to the show notes! 1:40 How Mr Doll explains what he does 2:30 The story of how Mr doll started out in finance 04:45 How does Mr Doll's typical day look like 06:25 current developments in the M&A markets 07:50 differences between the investment banking environment in US and EU 09:54 What is the most important aspect when analysing an M&A deal? 11:40 Specialization, industry experts and their role in investment banking 12:55 What has changed the most since Mr Doll started out in investment banking? 14:30 How does Mr Doll deal with the information overload 16:20 News outlets that Mr Doll follows 16:50 Three pieces of advice to the younger self 18:50 Favourite mistake 19:20 A person who shaped Mr Dolls life 20:25 on mentorship 21:50 on importance of education and designations 23:00 Outside of work what takes the majority of your time? 24:50 If you could… What book would you make employees at your company read? 25:25 Daily Routines? 26:02 What questions would you ask in a job interview? 26:30 What is something that you believe to be true that most people do not believe to be true? 28:00 Is there anything you would like to leave our audience with?   If the interview was valuable to you, make sure to take a few seconds to leave us a 5-Star review on iTunes. Stay tuned! Luke & Leo P.S: Our next episode will come out on March 6th, in which we cover the topic of interview preparation and career development with Ian Morgan, a former Managing Director of Société Générale turned executive coach focused on helping professionals succeed in the financial services industry.
3/23/201730 minutes, 16 seconds
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#08 Dr. Thomas Bloch - Fintechs, Robo-Advisors and The New Banking

Dr. Thomas Bloch is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Vaamo, a leading German Robo-Advisory platform. Prior to founding an asset management fintech Dr. Bloch has worked in investment banking for J.P. Morgan for almost 9 years. This unique set of experiences makes our today’s guest an amazing conversation partner as he shares valuable insights as seen from both sides of the table. In our conversation, we jump from topic as we discuss the history of Vaamo as well as the current fintech environment and the struggles of founding a financial startup. We also get very deep into the way a Robo-advisor company operates and what is required to succeed in this field. For anyone who is planning on founding a financial startup this is a must-listen. For the full show notes and to sign up for our newsletter go to:  And now to the show notes: 2:00 How does Dr. Bloch explain what he does 3:00 Professional background and the story of Vaamo 06:50 How did the idea for Vaamo come along? 09:00 How was the switch from investment banking to the Fintech space? 10:00 Typical day? 11:00 Fintech impact on banking 13:15 Fintech business environment in Europe in comparison to the US and Asia 16:04 What is a Robo-Advisor? 19:00 Should I purchase S&P500 or give my money to Vaamo? 20:50 Typical customer risk profile questions 22:35 Human role in Robo-Advisors 23:50 Strategies behind Robo-Advisor investments 28:20 The biggest problems Dr.Bloch ran into when launching Vaamo 32:10 Best method of obtaining capital for a financial business and how did Vaamo do it? 33:10 What is Dr.Bloch’s favourite fintech? 34:40 Brexit effect on the startup/finance industry in Frankfurt? 36:00 What pieces of advice would Dr.Bloch give to himself when starting Vaamo? 37:40 Contact 38:05 What would you like to leave our audience with?   As always, if you like what you hear, make sure to sign up to our newsletter and share the podcast with anyone you think might benefit from the information. And, if you want to be really cool, please leave us a 5-Star review on iTunes.   The next episode will come out on March 23th, in which we interview Alexander Doll, the CEO of Barclays Germany and the Head of Banking for the DACH region! Stay tuned!    
3/9/201740 minutes, 38 seconds
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#07 Steven Gerbel - Merger Arbitrage Hedge Fund Investing

  Steven Gerbel is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Chicago Capital Management, a US-based merger arbitrage hedge fund. Steven has over 20 years of experience in hedge funds focused on merger arbitrage and convertible arbitrage markets. Prior to founding Chicago Capital Management, Steven was a general partner at First Capital Management LP, a Chicago-based hedge fund focused on merger and convertible arbitrage, value investing, and distressed markets. Prior to this, Steven traded commodities on the Mid-American Commodities Exchange at the Chicago Board of Trade. He holds a bachelor of science in economics degree from DePaul University. For the full Show notes go to: In this wide ranging conversation, Steve shares some valuable information for those who aspire to become a hedge fund manager. We touched on a variety of topics, such as the current state of the merger arbitrage industry in the US. Here is how he explained why he believes the merger arb market is bullish: “For years, merger arb spreads have been effectively priced at three times the risk free rate. And with interest rates going down, our spreads have been contracted and now with interest rates seeming to have bottomed here in the United states, that will cause our profit margin to expend at a rate of three, an if we get some inflation on top of that and an expanding economy, there could be a great wave of merger arb transactions coming in the very near future” As a manager that focuses on mergers in the financial sector, Steven explained in a very simplistic way the reason why he thinks there will be a wave of mergers in the banking sector in the foreseeable future: “Why do you we have just under 8000 banks in the United States? If you walk down the street in New York, you see banks in almost every corner in expensive real estate. It just doesn’t make sense. In this electronic environment, less and less people go to their branch office every day to deposit their checks or to get their cash, we all use ATMs.”  We talked about his greatest trading loss and what he learned from it:  “I learned my lesson that despite the fact that we had good information and that our information was ultimately right, if the regulators go against you, you lose” On the topic hiring, he mentioned how much he values honesty in people, as he believes he can teach anyone the tools they need to succeed as a merger arb trader, but one thing he cannot teach them is honesty: “I am looking for character; I am not really as hung up on credentials” Finally, he gives a valuable piece of advice to aspiring hedge fund managers who are just starting out: “Find the smartest person in the segment of the market they are interested in send them their resume and then I would call them every day and drive them absolutely nuts. Let them know that you are ready to dedicate your life to serving them” And this is just the tip of the iceberg! As always, if you like what you hear, make sure to sign up to our newsletter and share the podcast with anyone you think might benefit from the information. And, if you want to be really cool, please leave us a 5-Star review on iTunes. The next episode will come out on March 9th, in which we interview Dr. Thomas Bloch, the co-founder of the FinTech robo-advisor company Vaamo.  To follow us go to:  And now, the show notes: 02:37 – What is Merger Arbitrage hedge fund strategy 04:40 – Do you speculate on mergers? “Buy and hope” 05:40 – What is the biggest risk of merger arbitrage strategy? 07:20 – How do you mitigate these risks? 08:10 – Mistakes that Steve made on the way 09:40 – How Steve became a hedge fund manager 11:05 – Analogy of flying a plane and investing in merger arbitrage strategy 13:04 – How long does it take from an investment idea to the actual trade happening? 14:50 – Current market landscape for merger arbitrage 18:40 – Steve on economic business cycles and crisis 21:10 – On the increase in inflows of capital across the merger arbitrage strategy 24:05 – Liquid alternatives fund 24:48 – Restrictions on mutual fund trades and limitations 25:25 – What Steve is looking for when looking at a potential candidate 29:00 – Piece of advice to graduates 31:10 – Who did Steven look up to ? 29:50 – 30-second elevator speech 34:15 – Steven’s daily routines and on being engaged 37:50 – If you don’t love what you are doing you will not make it in the financial markets 39:00 – How does Steve deal psychologically with big loses 41:50 – Steve’s favorite books 43:00 – The most important thing about getting into the hedge fund industry and who you are competing against  
2/23/201740 minutes, 41 seconds
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#06 Dr. Nelson Lacey, CFA - A Deeper Look Into the CAIA Designation

Dr. Nelson Lacey, CFA is a professor of finance at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. He earned his PhD in finance from the Pennsylvania State University and he also holds the CFA charter. Professor Lacey has been at CAIA since its inception. He has been active in working on the program’s curriculum and examination and became a Director of Exams in 2004. Professor Lacey’s academic work has led to over 50 publications in finance and economics. He is also the co-author of the book Modern Corporate Finance: Theory and Practice. For the full show notes go to: The love for knowledge is really one of the main reasons why we started this project. We truly believe that education is not an end in itself, but a continuous journey. As Albert Einstein said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death”. With that in mind, if you look at the financial services world, there are really dozens of exams you can take in order to learn new things and improve your career prospects. Some of them are less well known, but I bet you will be familiar with a few of them, such as the CFA, the FRM and CAIA, to name a few. For those of you who don’t know what CAIA is, it stands for Chartered Alternative Investments Analyst. And it is a financial designation that focuses specifically in Alternative Investments, such as structured products, commodities, real estate, private equity and hedge funds. We had the pleasure of interviewing the Director of Exams at the CAIA Association, Dr. Nelson Lacey. What is interesting about this interview is that it does not only cover the CAIA designation on its own. There is an obvious curiosity, especially amongst undergraduate and graduates students in the field of finance and investing, about the benefit of an Alternative Investments designation. When people ask me about CAIA, I tend to naturally gravitate towards comparing it to the CFA designation. Of course, it makes sense, as everyone in our field knows what it is. And that is exactly what Dr. Lacey did during our interview. If you are thinking about studying for the CAIA exams or are already a candidate, I really believe this conversation will help you. We cover topics such as the growth in the interest in alternative investments in emerging markets, especially in India and China, we discuss some misconceptions that people have about investing in alternatives, how the CAIA curriculum and exam questions are written, and much more. And now, the show notes: [03:00] How Dr. Lacey’s background and how he got involved with the CAIA Association [10:00] Comparison between the CFA and CAIA designations [11:00] The process of putting together exam questions [12:10] How to study for CAIA [13:15] How the CAIA Association comes up with a “passing grade” for each of their exams [17:15] The difference in the pool of candidates for CAIA vs. CFA [21:30] The growth in awareness of financial designations as a function of the development in domestic financial markets. [24:00] What are the main reasons why candidates decide to study for the CAIA designation [28:00] Dr. Lacey discusses the examination fees for the CAIA exams [31:30] A discussion of the CAIA University partnership and scholarship programs. [34:30] A discussion of the “Warren Buffett Bet” [40:10] A discussion of a common misconceptions about what alternative investments are supposed to do for a portfolio. As always, if you like what you hear, make sure to sign up to our newsletter and share the podcast with anyone you think might benefit from the information. And, if you want to be really cool, please leave us a 5-Star review on iTunes. The next episode will come out on February 23rd, in which we interview Steven Gerbel, a Merger Arbitrage Hedge Fund Manager and founder and president of Chicago Capital Management, LP.
2/9/201743 minutes, 47 seconds
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#05 Richard Lucas - Angel Investing

Richard Lucas is an angel investor who is currently involved with close to 20 different companies across a variety of industries. He has made many investments into world-class startups over the years, including deals with startups backed by the likes of Y Combinator. For example, Richard was an early investor in the company Estimote, which won the 2013 Tech Crunch disrupt in the Hardware category. Part of the reason why Richard is such a fascinating person to talk to, is that he is involved in a variety of projects outside of his main work. He is the founder of Cambentrepreneurs, an alumni network for the graduates of Cambridge University and others focusing on entrepreneurship. He is also the license holder of Tedx Kazimierz, which is an independently organized Ted event in Krakow, Poland. Show notes and links: Our interview with Richard is jam-packed with really great and practical insights into the mind of someone who, in his own words, thinks about the world in terms of problems and solutions. We touch on some of the red flags he looks for before deciding to invest in a business and the importance of building a company with an exit plan in mind: “If you don’t build a company with an exit in mind, then you don’t really prepare for it.” Richard Lucas We also discuss the reasons why he has deliberately decided not to exited any of his business, despite having received offers to sell them: “I’ve never done an exit and that is not because I have never been offered money for my businesses, but it never seemed sensible to take money at 3x or 4x earnings, because 3 or 4 years later you have got the same amount of money if the company doesn’t fail, and you still own it.” Richard Lucas We also talk about his early experience as an entrepreneur and the lessons he learned, which he openly shares with us. You - yes, you - are lucky for living in an era of information abundance. Don’t take our word for it: “The great advantage for listeners now is: you can be 19 and or even 10 and listen to this and think: oh, I won’t make the same mistake as Richard Lucas. I am really jealous of you guys for being able to compress all that knowledge”. Richard Lucas And this is just the tip of the iceberg! As always, make sure you share the podcast with anyone you think might benefit from the information. And, if you want to be really cool, please leave us a 5-Star review on iTunes. The next episode will come out on February 9th, in which we share a great conversation with Dr. Nelson Lacey, the director of exams for the CAIA (Chartered Alternative Investments Analyst) Association. Stay tuned! For more information and to subscribe  visit us at:   Time Stamps: 02:15 –Richard explains what is it that he does for a living 09:20 –On holding onto the companies in the long run and not liquidating angel investments 11:10 – Richard’s first angel investment 14:40 – Acquisitions – deal structuring 15:50 – Opportunities created by Angel investing 17:05 – Difficulties of B2B businesses 20:35 – How Richard tacks the developments in the markets of his portfolio companies 22:35 – Media Richard Follows 24:50 – How Richard Screens investment ideas 27:35 – Typical process of Angel Investing and how to approach an angel investor? 33:20 –Is working for a start-up an easier life than a typical job? 38:30 – Importance of experience of working at Start-ups 41:20 – The way to agree on the pre-money valuation 43:00 – Richard’s favourite portfolio company 45:45 – Company culture and focus in a start up 47:00 – On financial success of a business 50:35 – Richard on giving advice to his younger self 57:07 – Other projects Richard is working on   Links: Richard’s Blog – Project Kazimierz Podcast – TEDxKazimierz – The Alumni Group for Entrepreneurship Support by/for  Cambridge University  Alumni – Krakow Enterprise Mondays – Open Coffee Krakow – Krakow Standup Comedy – Wojtek The Soldier Bear – The Alumni Group for Entrepreneurship Support by/for Winchester College Alumni – The Wojtek Narębski  TEDxKazimierz TEDx talk – Questions from a potential investor – Richard’s Blog Post – Richard’s Linked in Profile – Argos Multilingual Blog –   Some of Richard’s Investments: SKK – Estimote – Argos Multilingual – Unicard . ISL – Syndicate Room – – Vantage Power – Untitled Kingdom – Love Krakow – Crowdcube –
1/26/20171 hour, 6 minutes, 58 seconds
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#04 Brian Tomlinson, CMT - Fixed Income Investing with a Global Portfolio Manager

Brian Tomlinson, CMT is currently a Global Fixed Income Portfolio Manager at Allianz Global Investors. Prior to joining AllianzGI, he spent 7 years at Pimco as a Portfolio Manager. He also worked at other companies well known to most of us, such as Merrill Lynch, Citi Bank, Dresdner Bank and IBM. for the full shownotes and more go: to:  If you are one of those who think fixed income is boing, I can almost guarantee you that you will change your mind after listening to our conversation with Brian. Not only is he extremely good at what he does – and you will hear that when he walks us through the thought process that lead him to position his portfolio to take advantage of both a possible Brexit vote and the Trump election – but he is also very good at making seemingly difficult concepts, such as the effect of negative interest rates in society, very accessible to everyone. “If you really want to make money, it is not the money that drives you, it is winning and the desire to be right” Brian Tomlinson" The Information contained in this episode is as of November 2016.  Now, to the show notes: The importance of having an elevator speech [02:00] How Brian’s grandfather influenced his decision to get into finance [03:20] Brian’s early interest in currencies, interest rates and hedge funds [06:00] Brian’s initial disappointment about what is taught at universities [06:35] Brian’s view of the global financial markets [07:25] How he deals with fear and pain in trading [08:20] Trading in, out and around currency positions [11:50] The importance of understanding correlations for traders and portfolio managers [13:00] How does Brian deal with volatility in his portfolio [14:10] What Brian looks at to gauge where future volatility is likely to go [16:00] The importance of being a self-learner and having a mentor [18:30] How to size trades in which you have a low conviction [22:10] How he taught his son Texas Hold’em Poker when he was 6-years old as a way to learn probability [23:17] How Brian positioned his portfolio to profit from a possible Brexit vote [25:00] His experience on the day Trump was elected [28:45] Brian’s advice for university students [31:00] Brian’s view of Quantitative Easing and negative interest rates [33:15] Brian’s view on the current US economic cycle [37:10] Qualities he looks for when hiring people to work for him [40:40] Brian’s thoughts on mentorship [43:00] What makes fixed income exciting, even in a low interest rate environment [44:15] His view on the CFA and other financial designations [48:30] Brian’s career advice to young professionals [49:30] Brian’s book recommendations [53:00]  If you have any thoughts on how we can make the podcast more valuable to you, e-mail us at [email protected] Make sure to sign up to our newsletter. We promise not to spam you! Find out more at
1/12/20171 hour, 1 minute, 4 seconds
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#03 Marcus Storr - Hedge Fund Investing

Marcus Storr is the Head of Hedge Funds at FERI Trust, a German asset management company and one of the largest investors in Alternative Assets in Germany. Marcus has held various positions in the investment industry over the years, including being a Vice-President for Global Equities at Robert Flemings in London, which is now part of JP Morgan, and a Director of Global Equities at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. For the full show notes and to subscribe go to:  Let me tell you: you are in for a real treat! As you will notice very quickly, not only did Marcus provide us with great insights about the hedge fund industry, but he is also very entertaining and humorous. During our interview, we touch on a range of topics including different hedge fund strategies, the current state of the hedge fund industry, how to improve your chances of getting hired by a hedge fund manager, and many other very interesting topics. And now, to the show notes: 01:42 – Start of the Interview 02:05 – What does a Hedge Fund Manager do? 04:03 – How did Marcus get into Investment Banking? 08:37 – Working at a Scottish investment bank 09:05 – How does working in London compare to working in Germany? 11:40 – How does Marcus’ previous Investment banking experience compare to investing into Hedge Funds 13:00 – On moving from London to Frankfurt 14:30 – Investment Banking and “The Work-Life Balance” 17:50 – Best practices for starting out in Investment Banking 20:50 – His thoughts on the CFA Program 21:35 – Hedge Fund Job Interview 24:00 – The Perfect Cover Letter 25:40 – Intensity of working in finance 27:15 – Good body is good for the health 28:40 – Typical day as the Head of Hedge Funds 31:00 – Conversation on the hedge fund performance 33:55 – Fund of funds, direct investing and custom portfolios 36:20 – Great Manager or a great investment strategy? Which is better? 38:20 – How the due diligence process in hedge funds investing looks like? 41:10 – What is the craziest hedge fund strategy Marcus has ever seen? 42:50 – Hedge funds as an exit route for investment banking professionals? 46:30 – Personal routines and questions   We are really interested in your opinion, so if you have any thoughts on how we can make the podcast more valuable to you, e-mail us at [email protected] Stay tuned for our next episode, which will come out in two weeks, on January 12th! Also, make sure to sign up to our newsletter. We promise not to spam you! Find out more at    
12/29/201655 minutes, 1 second
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#02 Oliver Schebela, CFA – Private Equity Fund Investing

Oliver Schebela, CFA is the Head of Private Equity Solutions of Bethmann Bank, a traditional German private bank, wholly owned by ABN AMRO. Prior to this, he spent 7 years at FERI Trust, where he started as a Private Equity Manager and worked his way up to Head of Private Equity. In his earlier days (he is still very young), he worked at Credit Suisse and at Commerzbank. For the full show notes and to subscribe go to:  This is a special episode for us. Not necessarily for the great conversation we had with Oliver, but for what it means to this journey Luke and I have embarked on. Back in the day when starting The Wall Street Lab was just an idea, we used to grab coffee and talk about who could potentially be guests on the podcast. Oliver was really the first person we thought about! So having the opportunity to actually interview him serves as validation that our idea was really worth pursuing. As you will notice from the interview, Oliver is a very down to earth, extremely competent and experienced private equity fund manager. During our conversation, we touch on topics such as the difference between direct and fund of fund private equity investing, the pros and cons of working for large companies versus smaller boutiques, his experience studying for the CFA exams, things he looks at when interviewing candidates to work for him, to name a few. We really hope you enjoy this conversation with Oliver. If you do, make sure rate us on iTunes and follow us on the various social media platforms.   Please see the show notes below: The difference between private and public equity [03:30] The difference between direct and indirect private equity investments [04:50] How Oliver started in finance [07:00] The importance of combining theory and practice when starting your career in finance [08:00] The early days of private equity in Germany [10:00] The pros and cons of working for a large company when compared to boutiques [12:30] Different ways to get into private equity [14:30] How Oliver selects private equity fund managers [16:30] How he is able to read through fund marketing pitches and extract important information from private equity managers [20:00] The differences between investing for institutional clients versus investing for high net worth individuals [22:00] Oliver’s view on the illiquidity premium received by private equity funds [27:00] Oliver’s opinion on the best way to get a head start in private equity [31:15] What Oliver looks at when interviewing people to work for him [35:30] Oliver’s experience studying for the CFA exams and receiving his charter [40:10] His opinion on the importance of having a CFA charter in asset management [42:05] Oliver’s suggestion on how to prepare for the CFA exams [44:00] What daily activity would he outsource, if he had the chance to [46:50] Who are Oliver’s role models [48:10] Oliver’s view on the importance of having a mentor [49:30] Oliver’s favorite book [50:55] For more information and to subscribe to our newsletter please visit:
12/15/201655 minutes, 18 seconds
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#01 Simon Hirst – Investment Banking, Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity Investments

  Simon Hirst has spent the majority of is live in various leadership positions within the M&A and Private Equity industries, including 12 years at Lehman Brothers. He also served as a Global Co-Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at Commerzbank and as the CEO of a London Stock Exchange listed company. In addition Simon is a co-founder and a managing partner of Tri-Artizan Partners a boutique merchant bank. He is also a visiting professor at some of the top European business schools, such as the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Cass Business School, as well as IE.  For the full show notes and to subscribe go to:  Before this interview, The Wall Street Lab was all but an idea. What changed? Luke decided to e-mail Simon Hirst, without really expecting to receive a positive response. After all, he is a very busy man. Besides, “what is The Wall Street Lab anyway?”, he must have thought. To our surprise, Simon Hirst was very gracious in agreeing to meet us on the next day. We were officially in business! To make a long story short, what you are about to hear is the fruit of that initial hard work (which, by the way, pales in comparison to what we have done since!). We really hope you enjoy the interview and excuse our newbie mistakes! We are really excited to put out this content for all of you and are determined to improve as we go along. If you like what you hear, it will be really helpful to is if you could leave us a 5-star rating on iTunes, as it really helps spread the word to those who could eventually benefit from the content we are producing. To find out more and to subscribe to our newsletter visit us at: To the show notes: The difference between his experiences studying at Oxford and Wharton [05:04] His experience working in M&A at Lehman Brothers [06:55] Work-life balance (or rather the lack thereof) in M&A [08:01] Simon’s definition of a financial crisis [11:10] His experience in a turnaround situation of a publicly traded company [12:50] Comparison between his experience in M&A and in private equity [14:55] Discussion of the value added by private equity firms to businesses they acquire [17:00] Advice for people trying to get into private equity [18:25] Discussion of technology as a substitute for critical thinking [21:40] Characteristics he looks at when hiring prospective job candidates and the importance of the first minute of an interview [22:35] How the industry has changed over the years [24:30] What he has learned about managing people [25:50] The importance of preparing for meetings [27:40] The advice he received from Steven Schwarzman [30:50] Simon’s view on mentorship [32:50] Simon’s career advice to young professionals [36:10] For more information and to subscribe to our newsletter please visit:  
12/1/201641 minutes, 32 seconds
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Episode #00 The Wall Street Lab - 2016 Trailer

  Welcome to The Wall Street Lab!!! That’s it! After months of preparation, including getting used to listening to the recording of our own voices, The Wall Street Lab is finally live! Luke and I are really excited about starting this journey with all of you. We really believe we have put together something special that will hopefully add some value to your careers in finance. So what are we all about? We started The Wall Street Lab to provide you with exclusive insights into the world of finance. We strive to offer you access to practical information that cannot be found in books or articles. In order to do that, we interview top finance experts in the areas of hedge funds, private equity, investment banking, asset management, management consulting, to name a few. To give you a taste of what is to come, we put together a “Trailer” of Season One. We hope you enjoy it and stick around for future episodes!  Feel free to give us some feedback in the comments below! And last but not least, make sure to rate us on iTunes and subscribe to our newsletter on our website!
12/1/20164 minutes, 16 seconds