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Billionaire Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov visits team at training, teaches new tricks
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Russian businessman and owner of the Brooklyn Nets led a team training camp and gave the basketball players some tips on dexterity and coordination. Not all the players were able to keep up with the 50-year old billionaire’s moves, Finbuzz reports.</p> <p>He travelled to Duke to give the team a lesson in Tescao, a Tibetan martial arts.</p> <p>“I think my preference was to come personally and to say hello to the players and to the coaches. I think it’s very important for the new team to have a special team building, and, of course, the commitment of ownership as part of the team,” he said.</p> <p>The NBA team posted a video of the tall and lean Prokhorov simultaneously drilling and bouncing balls of different size and shape, and the professionals can barely keep up. The Brooklyn Nets owner has been practicing Tescao for the last five and a half years.</p> <p>His visit reassured both investors and players that he’ll be around for at least another season.</p> <p>Prokhorov, who owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets and 45 percent of the Barclays arena in Brooklyn, has an estimated net worth of $10.8 billion, according to Bloomberg’s billionaire index. It is his sixth consecutive season as the owner of the Nets. He bought the team in 2010 along with Jay-Z, who has since sold a majority of his stakes. As of this fall, he holds a one-fifteenth of a one percent of the Nets, and one-fifth of one percent of the $1 billion Barclays Center.</p> <p>Though it was reported in January of 2015 that Prokhorov was planning on selling the team and the arena, the deal never went through, and now his next move may be buying up the pieces of the team and arena he doesn’t already own.</p> <p>“I’m not planning to sell the Brooklyn Nets. The situation is that we’re in discussion with our partners at Forest City, who own 20% of the club and 55% of the arena, to buy them out,” he told TASS.</p> <p>This story originally appeared in Finbuzz.</p>
Bonus idea #56: Lodge next to Ken Griffin at the Four Seasons Hualalai
<p>Looking for a place to spend your next family holiday? Why not park your brood next to Ken Griffin’s majestic Hawaiian pad?</p> <p>The Citadel chief, who’s been so pissed with his wife that he bought an unfinished apartment for $200 million, has been keeping a 5,600 square foot, Balinese-style retreat at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai the past four years – an unsurprising move, given how luxurious the place is.</p> <p>Set on Hawaii’s exclusive Kona-Kohala coast; the five-star resort boasts more awards than Meryl Streep, and is apparently a celebrity favorite, especially for honeymooners.</p> <p>Unfortunately, Griffin’s pad itself is not for rent, what you can do though is book the resort’s beautiful, oceanfront Presidential Villa, which boasts epic views of the Pacific Ocean and enough room for five. Check it out.</p> <p>Photo: stacibeck</p>
"We’re not trying to change the world with a rock song": Peter Cook talks to Finbuzz about Rock in the City
<p>The music group Rock in the City writes songs about monetary policy, stocks, and banking, and is made up of finance professionals as well as career musicians. A mix between Led Zeppelin and Neil Young, the group performs in London and most recently, is collaborating with Richard Branson, writes FinBuzz.</p> <p>Sentance, the former Monetary Policy Committee Member for The Bank of England, formed the band with Peter Cook, an MBA tutor, founder of the Academy of Rock and author of business leadership books. On the group’s music page, they state their mission as “Humanising the City of London through Music”.</p> <p>The band includes Haydn Jones, Client Managing Director at Fujitsu, and three other musicians: singer Zee Fincham, a professional session musician, Rick Benbow, and drummer Pete Stephens. The combination of finance professionals and rock music has brought some amazing results. The band has just released two songs: The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and New Normal with lyrics dedicated to fiscal policy, quantitative easing. The group says they are influenced by Led Zeppelin and Neil Yong.</p> <p>FinBuzz spoke with the band’s musical director Peter Cook.</p> <p>Peter, how did this begin? </p> <p>Rock In The City started in 2011 as an accident really when a CEO friend of mine recommended I connect with Andrew after he had been inspired by one of Andrew’s talks. I found Andrew on the internet and sent him an email. Quite surprisingly he wrote back asking me to come for coffee. So it wasn’t a rock’n’roll style beginning either – we didn’t go bombing Jack Daniels! We met at PwC and talked about business and rock music. He liked the idea of getting a band together with people who have high-flying jobs in the City. I advertised for musicians on Twitter and soon Rock In The City was born.</p> <p>How did you persuade Andrew to write songs about economics?</p> <p>Two years ago I was asked by the BBC to write a song called Fiscal Cliff – a hard rock song for hard times. I offered the job of lead singer to an ex MBA student of mine – a City banker from Canary Wharf who worked for Credit Suisse. It turned out that he also wrote poems about management, business and banking in his spare time. This inspired Andrew and he said: “Let’s write an album of songs about macroeconomics and money.”</p> <p>What was the purpose of creating the band?</p> <p>We wanted to use the band to support good causes and to lead others in the City to do the same. This inspiration comes from Andrew’s own charitable activities in the Church. Each member of the band has nominated a charity for the current release, ranging from The Stroke Association through a Children’s Hospice care to Build It International, a charity that helps people in Africa. We are also offering to perform concerts for City institutions with a donation to good causes, allowing City firms to realise their CSR ambitions whilst having a lot of fun.</p> <p>So the band was set up out of the pure enthusiasm?</p> <p>Yes indeed. Andrew has made economics a little bit more interesting and accessible by mixing it with music. He frequently appears on national TV and Radio and this gives him a more popular angle to this specialist subject which affects all of our lives.</p> <p>Where do you perform?</p> <p>We have done some charity performances to date. We will next augment the band with some major rock stars to offer corporate entertainment packages next. We deliver these events anyway via the Academy of Rock. You can see one of our “aftershows” at Henley Business School.</p> <p>What about Haydn Jones?</p> <p>Haydn is an amazing person. He is a top manager at Fujitsu, but he spends a lot of his time outside of work developing theatre productions. He’s written an entire theatrical play and he also likes writing poetry. He sent me a poem called The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and had expected me to throw it away because the words were incredibly complex and he did not think I’d be able to write a melody for them. When I looked at the poem I realised that the words were reminiscent of a Led
Video: Lexus builds origami-inspired electric car
<p>The UK arm of Lexus - the luxury car division of Japan's Toyota - has just built a working electric car almost entirely out of cardboard.</p> <p>Lexus employed a team of  designers who used 1,700 laser-cut  pieces of card - crafted from a digital model of the regular car - and stuck them all together with wood glue over a steel and aluminum frame. The impressive peice of art and craft took three months to build.</p> <p>The project is an ode to the revered craftsmen of the Lexus production lines — known as takumi. Lexus explains that a test of a takumi's manual dexterity is to have them fold an origami cat using only the non-dominant hand.</p> <p>Sadly, the car is not for sale. It's really just Lexus showing off. Even if it were available, the idea of having just a few layers of cardboard between you and the road would probably make for some very careful driving (and forget about wet conditions). Which perhaps explains the excruciatingly slow speed at which the engineer in the video below is driving.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Photo: Lexus UK</p>
Ex-asset manager and ex-consultant launch startup catering to Airbnb renters
<p>After graduating from London Business School, Zoe Vu and Alexander Lyakhotskiy, who previously worked in asset management and consulting, created a startup instead of returning back to the corporate ladder, writes FinBuzz. </p> <p>These days this cycle is becoming more and more popular, as professionals loosen their ties and swap business suits for a pair of jeans and sneakers.</p> <p>Two MBA graduates of London Business School, fresh from the class of 2015, Vu and Lyakhotskiy, quite successful in their corporate careers, have recently chosen this path as well.</p> <p>This May, they have launched Pass the Keys, a company that offers full Airbnb management services to help busy individuals manage their rental or spare flats. Since its inception in May, the startup has been growing by double digits each month, with new clients signing up every week.</p> <p>By June the company was serving its first clients and started making revenues. Now they are working with flat owners from the UK, Portugal, Singapore, Malaysia and Russia, increasing revenues by 50% each month. What’s more, they are working really hard, getting ready to raise £150,000 in funding this winter.</p> <p>Clearly, the business has huge potential, taking into account that currently there are 18,000 (up from 13,000 last year) Airbnb listings in London alone. There are also almost 300,000 second homes, 3 million rentals and £50 billion in rental income in central London. The US competitor, Pillow Homes, has already raised around $2.65 million in funding.</p> <p>Prior to their entrepreneurial path, Vu worked in asset management at AIG and was responsible for $7bn of investments.</p> <p>Lyakhotskiy spent three years in McKinsey, having completed various projects in the Russian banking industry, including strategy and headcount optimization. They met at London Business School when they both did the MBA program.</p> <p>“To me, entrepreneurship is the only great alternative to continuing careers in finance or consulting. Corporate careers do not provide as fast paced career growth as in finance. And I am moving at a really fast pace,” Lyakhotskiy replied when asked why he took the entrepreneurial route.</p> <p>The business is based on the idea of a shared economy (or collaborative consumption), a fairly recent economic phenomenon, in which individuals share access to products and services.</p> <p>In 2014, Alex was on an exchange semester in HAAS, Berkeley, California and noticed the impact of the sharing economy, particularly platforms like Uber, Airbnb and Lyft. One of his friends was renting out his place on Airbnb and charging more than £300 pounds per night, netting more than £7000 per month. Quite a promising endeavor! However, managing Airbnb can take up to 40 hours of work per month.</p> <p>“This was an ‘aha!’ moment when we realized that many people can benefit from letting their places on Airbnb short-term but do not have time or possibility to do it themselves. When people are traveling abroad they don’t want to worry about guests in their place, whether the cleaner has come on time. They also don’t want to be woken up in the middle of the night by a call from guests saying that the boiler stopped working. Thus, I realized that a complete service package is required to make the process hassle-free,” said Lyakhotskiy.</p> <p>Pass the Keys helps its clients to list their places, price the property, organizes cleaning, laundry and guest meet &amp; greet. The company also provides extra concierge ser</p>
Rubenstein gives $25M to Duke
<p>Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein is giving $25 million for the art program at Duke University.</p> <p>Rubenstein, a Duke alum, has given almost $100 million to the school over the years, Art News. The latest gift will help fund a new 71,000-square-foot arts building. The $50 million building will include a dance studio, theater, and classrooms.</p> <p>Rubenstein recently gave $4.5 million to the National Zoo's giant panda research and conservation program as well.</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: See-ming Lee</p>
The City giving day: Lord Mayor checked what banks give back to society
<p>Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alan Yarrow, toured the streets of the City Sep 30th visiting a number of firms who applied for the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award and seeing first-hand what they do to give back to society, writes FinBuzz.</p> <p>Opening the procession at the Guildhall Yard he said to the representatives of various charities present: “Volunteering is an incredibly important part of all our background. Andrew Haldane [Chief Economist, Bank of England] did a survey into volunteering and it turned out that volunteers create each year economic value of at least £50 billion and potentially higher. When I started to work in the City, I was proud, really proud, to work in the City. And then you think about these poor kids who sit in a pub in Essex or Sussex or somewhere and they say: “What do you do?” I work in a City. And they are like: “Ugh!” That’s got to stop. If you look back at the work the City has done, it is phenomenal. And that’s the point: if we talk about it more, I think more people will do it. It is good for the City, it is good for charities, it is a win-win for everyone”.</p> <p>He then visited offices of Euroclear PLC, NatWest, Alium Partners, Societe Generale, City A.M, Barclays, Lloyds Register, Jardine Lloyd Thompson PLC, UBS Ltd to see first hand what they do to give back to society.</p> <p>Regional Director at NatWest (RBS) Jason Coles explained that about two years ago the City of London offered various companies to team up with the City and encourage employees to give back to the society. Nine months ago the board of directors of RBS has decided to divide England into regions and go out to find charitable organisations to choose ones to support over the next 12 months. They set up a Skills and Opportunities fund ( for charities, social enterprises, community groups, state-funded schools and colleges across the UK and Ireland. The fund supports disadvantaged communities by helping people learn new skills, get into the world of work or set up their own business. This year £2.5m is available through the fund. Representatives of the charities and businesses that NatWest helped through the fund were also present to showcase their work to the Lord Mayor.</p> <p>Among them: Ignition brewery that employs people with learning disabilities, Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) — fashion charity that helps people form disadvantaged backgrounds to learn skills needed to work in the fashion industry, City of London police that works with NatWest to understand fraud and teaches endangered communities how to deal with it.</p> <p>“The estimated amount fraud and internet crime costs every year is £52 bn and only 10% of it is reported” said Laura Harris, Community Protection Adviser of NatWest.</p> <p>Not only people were present, but a dog too. Hearing dog. NatWest is also helping to fund the training of a hearing dog Nelson. They raised £10 000, which is 25% of the cost to train a hearing dog who will then work with people with hearing problems.</p> <p>Jason Coles explained: “We at RBS are encouraging employees to use three volunteer days per year to go into the community and pick up with local organisations. Most people now are really conscious about the skills they have and what can they give back to the society, particularly through the charities that resonate with them. We have volunteer days that count as work time. We want to see our stuff out in the communities”.</p> <p>As part of their giving back to the community program NatWest is focusing on: giving skills to the young people and anyone in deprived areas who needs help to get into the workstream, sponsoring buildings across the UK where people can go and work free of charge. Another key th</p>
Huallywood – the attempt to make a Chinese Hollywood
<p>Postcard from Huallywood via Mathews Asia </p> <p>One of the most notable features of China’s economy in recent years has been the gradual, but steady, migration toward services-led growth. In fact, in recent periods, consumption and services have become the largest parts of the Chinese economy (see recent Sinology). But how is that being accomplished at a micro level? On a recent trip to China’s Jiangsu province, I was able to witness firsthand, how a deserted iron and steel factory is being transformed into China’s premier site for movie production.</p> <p>Two years ago, local government officials in Wuxi began converting the area, dubbed “Hua”-llywood, into what it hopes will be a world-class film studio. The word “hua” is symbolic of China; words such as “hua ren” refer to Chinese people and “hua yu” refer to the Mandarin Chinese language. The focus on digital film production is interesting, and underscores the fact that to succeed in consumer-facing industries, quality has to be a priority. Chinese box office revenues have been growing fast but have increasingly been dominated by imported films. Among several factors, deficient quality in production has been a drag on interest in domestically produced movies in China. Studios like Wuxi that offer more digital and higher-technology capabilities are trying to provide improved facilities to bridge the gap.</p> <p>While Huallywood is still developing, college students and independent artists are arriving in Wuxi for publishing as well as pre- and post-production activities related to the movie industry. The experiment in Wuxi is reflective of other such efforts that may be underway in China. While it isn’t a foregone conclusion by any means, the long-term health of the Chinese economy depends on a successful transition toward more services, and consumption-led growth, such as the entertainment industry.</p> <p>This story first appeared in ValueWalk.<br /> Photo: Shaun Wong</p>
The richest US hedge fund managers
<p>This year 33 hedge fund managers made the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America, reports Business Insider. David Diegel and John Overdeck, co-founders of quant fund Two Sigma Investments, are new additions to the list, with each having a net worth of about $2.8 billion. Bill Ackman, David Tepper, and Steve Cohen all had nice boosts to their personal net worth in the last year. Number one hedge funder, by a $4 billion lead, is still George Soros.</p> <p>Here are the 10 richest U.S. hedge fund managers:</p> <p> George Soros, Soros Fund Management- $24.5 billion, Forbes rank: 16<br /> Carl Icahn, Icahn Capital Management- $20.5 billion, Forbes rank: 22<br /> Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates- $15.3 billion, Forbes rank: 29<br /> James Simons, Renaissance Technologies- $14 billion, Forbes rank: 32<br /> Steve Cohen, Point 72 Asset Management (formerly SAC Capital)- $12 billion, Forbes rank: 37<br /> David Tepper, Appaloosa Management- $11.6 billion, Forbes rank: 38<br /> John Paulson, Paulson &amp; Co- $11.4 billion, Forbes rank: 41<br /> Ken Griffin, Citadel- $7 billion, Forbes rank: 69<br /> Bruce Kovner, Caxton- $5.2 billion, Forbes rank: 93<br /> Israel Englander, Millennium Management- $4.8 billion, Forbes rank: 108</p> <p>Photo: International Monetary Fund<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Grad school: Steve Cohen style
<p>Graduate schools, while significantly more focused than undergrad programs, usually try to make their students well-rounded members of society. Not this one.<br /> “The program begins with classes in the fundamentals of finance and economics. Students study accounting, statistics, and economics.</p> <p>Around four months in, they graduate to more real-world pursuits: company research and modeling.</p> <p>For about 10 months, they then cover companies in various sectors under the guidance of the academy. Then they get to start rotating across porfolio-management teams.”<br /> Welcome to Point72 Academy, where the only thing that matters is grit.</p> <p>Launched by Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management earlier this year, the academy is a “highly-selective and rigorous 15-month training program” dedicated to grooming futures Stevies for Point72, and according to Business Insider, unlike every school on Earth, the academy pays you for the privilege - and not at a bad rate at that:<br /> “Neither Mulvihill nor Donlon would disclose what the academy is compensating them. But Mulvihill said that, next to his bank-analyst pay, the academy's is ‘definitely comparable.’”<br /> That said, it sure doesn’t look easy. Admittance into the program doesn’t guarantee a job at vaunted hedge fund, and given the caliber of the people you’ll be competing with, that’s quite a tall order.</p> <p>They aim to hire most of the students though, as academy director Jaimi Goodfriend told BI:<br /> “If we want you, we will find a way to retain you.”<br /> If you’re interested, be sure to grab some cold weather gear. Just like Point72’s trading floor, the academy’s digs are kept cold to keep everyone on their feet.</p> <p>Now if only PTJ had something like this…<br /> Photo: Yuki Matsukura</p>