Wall Street’s new coronavirus policies; alt-data’s unhedgeable risk; JPMorgan succession planning in the spotlight


Welcome to Wall Street Insider, where we take you behind the scenes of the finance team’s biggest scoops and deep dives from the past week. 

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Travel bans, rotating teams, and contingency planning as the coronavirus spreads

We’ve been breaking news all week about how Wall Street is responding to the global spread of coronavirus, including international travel restrictions from Morgan Stanley; Goldman Sachs switching a 400-person New York conference to a webcast at the last minute; UBS setting up rotating teams in Switzerland; and Bank of America dividing up its trading force and instructing some to work out of its Stamford, Connecticut, office. 

Simon Dawson/REUTERS; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

With markets in turmoil and dealmakers unable to globe-trot to see clients in person, we’re likely to see a big dent in business. Meghan Morris chatted with top tech bankers about how the outlook is evolving for M&A and IPO activity— as one put it: “it’s a ‘stop, look, and listen’ mentality: let’s let things stabilize, and then we’ll see.'”

Here’s our running list to help you keep track of the latest coronavirus-related policies on Wall Street.

Wild markets plus an emergency Fed rate cut

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

It’s been a wild ride for global markets. Stocks popped early in the week and then tumbled, and Treasury yields plunged to record lows. 

In the case of Robinhood, it hasn’t been smooth sailing. The buzzy stock-trading app that boasts more than 10 million user accounts went down on Monday, with outages continuing into Tuesday. Robinhood’s cofounders gave an explanation late on Tuesday, and as Dan DeFrancesco noted, the startup’s VP of product role is currently vacant. 

Meanwhile, banks had already been grappling with a surge in home loan and refi demand, and an emergency rate cut from the Federal Reserve sent things into overdrive. The rate cut overall isn’t great news for banks, given it will pile more pressure on net interest income, so keeping up on the mortgage side will be key to making the best of the situation. 

Read the full story here: 

Inside Wall Street’s mad dash to keep up with a surge in mortgage demand that’s one bright spot after an emergency Fed rate cut

Jamie Dimon’s health scare spotlights JPMorgan’s succession planning

Getty/Mark Wilson

Wall Street is paying even closer attention to who might succeed JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon after the bank said on Thursday that he underwent emergency heart surgery.

Dimon is currently recuperating, and Daniel Pinto and Gordon Smith, copresidents and co-COOs, are leading during his absence. But that doesn’t mean either are the heir apparent: we took a look at the 6 execs who could be in line to replace Dimon. And to understand the sprawling power structure of JPMorgan, take look at our org chart mapping it all out. 

Read the full story here: 

Here’s our exclusive org chart of the 70 most powerful people at JPMorgan. 

Alt-data’s unhedgeable risk

Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Recent congressional inquiries into Envestnet’s Yodlee and Avast’s Jumpshot have highlighted risks for alt-data aggregators and their hedge-fund clients, given they rely on datasets that could disappear overnight. Dan DeFrancesco and Bradley Saacks talked to insiders to understand more. 

Read the full story here: 

Alt data’s Wild West days may be ending as Congress and privacy advocates zero in on the industry. Nearly a dozen insiders tell us how data streams going dark is an ‘unhedgeable’ risk.

JPMorgan sidelines traders


Alex Morrell and Dakin Campbell broke the news that JPMorgan Chase has sidelined more fixed-income traders while it reviews employee communications. The bank in recent weeks removed the employees, two executive directors in the US and one in London, from their trading duties and shut off their Bloomberg terminals while it examined their behavior for compliance breaches.

Read the full story here: 

JPMorgan has pulled at least 3 bond traders off the trading floor as part of its 2nd investigation this year into chat messages

What’s a nano-warehouse? 

Alex Nicoll/Business Insider

Bond, a logistics startup, has opened six “nano-warehouses” across New York City, turning vacant retail spots into warehouses and making deliveries for direct-to-consumer brands.

As Alex Nicoll reports, it’s teamed up with with four real-estate partners to fill vacant space for a flexible amount of time, and is also working with SoftBank-backed parking-network Reef Technology to repurpose parking spaces. 

Read the full story here: 

Bond, which has raised $15 million from investors including Lightspeed, wants to become the Shopify of logistics. Here’s its game-plan.

On the move

Wells Fargo’s consumer banking business has created a new “chief accountability officer” role and shifted a wealth management leader over to that post. Wells Fargo Advisors is currently searching for a replacement to fill its CFO position. The head of Point72’s Cubist unit is retiring and leaving the firm at mid-year, according to a memo from billionaire Steve Cohen sent on Monday morning. 

More highlights from the finance team:

  • Harvard students demand transparency on billionaire donor ties to Jeffrey Epstein
  • Wall Street giants are finally beginning to embrace fintech startups — here’s how they test the waters before committing to working with them
  • The cofounder of a $25 billion private-equity firm explains what he looks for in next-gen talent and why you don’t always need an MBA to be a successful investor
  • JPMorgan is warning novice private-credit investors what a downturn means in the lending game, and it shows how quickly coronavirus could upend debt investing
  • This startup has raised $190 million from investors like Andreessen Horowitz to help workers get paid in between paychecks. Its head of B2B explains why it’s introducing a ‘zero integration’ model.
  • Bank of America is chasing hundreds of millions in revenue in Latin America, and a new trading exec poached from Goldman will play a key role

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