Tuesday, December 7

Wall Street rising stars — SPAC power players — KPMG layoffs

Special-purpose acquisition companies — aka “blank-check” companies — are having a moment on Wall Street. The investment vehicles have raised more than $40 billion already in 2020. Just this week, Playboy became the latest company to join the frenzy with plans to go public via a SPAC merger, and a new SPAC ETF started trading.

The development of the SPAC market over the past few years is often credited to the sponsors of the vehicles — the people who launch them in return for a stake in the merged company once the SPAC has found a willing seller. But there’s also an entire ecosystem of advisers, salespeople, and lawyers increasingly pitching blank-check companies to investment platforms and wealthy people. Dakin Campbell, Jack Newsham, and Alex Morrell took a look at the power players who are helping drive the SPAC craze.

You can read the full story here:

16 bankers, lawyers, and capital providers helping engineer a $40 billion blank-check craze that’s fast-tracking companies to public markets

More below including this year’s rising stars of Wall Street, our exclusive Goldman Sachs org chart, a deep-dive on Simon Property Group CEO David Simon, and details on layoffs at KPMG.

Meet 2020’s rising stars of Wall Street

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Grayscale Investments; Goldman Sachs; Bank of America; Deutsche Bank; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

From helping launch game-changing groups to having a hand in restructuring entertainment giants like AMC, BI’s rising stars stood out as the leaders for tomorrow.

In addition to being at the top of their class, these finalists are also trailblazing in new areas like data science and machine learning, executing on sustainability goals, and paving the way for a more diverse and equitable workforce by speaking out and taking part in recruiting efforts.

You can see our full list here. The rising stars also shared their best career advice —you can check that out here.

How real-estate titan David Simon is reshaping America’s malls

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Mireya Acierto/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Simon Property Group’s chief executive David Simon has for years reached beyond his core business, buying retailers that occupy his company’s mall spaces and branching out into other areas like e-commerce in an effort to embrace change.

Dan Geiger spoke with more than a dozen people who know and have worked with Simon to learn more about the press-shy mogul and his efforts to turn around a moribund retail industry.

Here’s how Simon is facing a make-or-break moment with a $2 billion bet on troubled JCPenney.

Goldman Sachs’ power structure

Goldman Sachs org chart 2x1

Cindy Ord/Getty; Paul Morigi/Getty; Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty; Jemal Countess/Getty; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

Goldman Sachs announced on Tuesday that it was shaking up its divisions and creating new units for consumer and wealth management as well as asset management. Those changes will take effect Jan. 1.

But even before that, Goldman CEO David Solomon had made significant changes to the company’s leadership team, including expanding the size of the management committee, moving a number of senior executives into chairman roles, and solidifying reporting structures.

Dakin Campbell mapped out more than 100 of the bank’s top execs. You can see the existing power structure here.

KPMG axes jobs across tax, audit, and advisory


Charles Platiau/Reuters

As Samantha Stokes reported this week, KPMG is the latest professional-services firm to lay off employees or cut pay as the coronavirus pandemic has affected the economy and caused clients to rein in spending.

We have all the details, including how KPMG is also cutting some tax workers’ pay.

JPMorgan inks a deal to let airlines and hotels tap loyalty programs for capital

business travel airport

Getty Images/John Rowley

As Dan DeFrancesco reported this week, one of the top investment banks in the world is partnering with a startup that helps companies use their loyalty programs to raise capital from institutional lenders.

Here’s why it’s a game-changer for cash-strapped companies.


  • Here’s how much investment-banking associates at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and other big banks are getting paid
  • Wall Street’s rising stars from firms like UBS, Fidelity, and Apollo share their best career advice
  • Inside this year’s private-equity drama: how one PE headhunter went rogue on a pact made by the industry’s power players to delay recruiting young talent


Real estate


Alt data

  • Wall Street’s interest in geolocation data has never been higher thanks to the pandemic. 7 alt-data experts explain how it’s used and what comes next.