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THE AI IN INSURANCE REPORT: How forward-thinking insurers are using AI to slash costs and boost customer satisfaction as disruption looms

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 10:01pm  |  Clusterstock

The insurance sector has fallen behind the curve of financial services innovation — and that's left hundreds of billions in potential cost savings on the table. 

The most valuable area in which insurers can innovate is the use of artificial intelligence (AI): It's estimated that AI can drive cost savings of $390 billion across insurers' front, middle, and back offices by 2030, according to a report by Autonomous NEXT seen by Business Insider Intelligence. The front office is the most lucrative area to target for AI-driven cost savings, with $168 billion up for grabs by 2030.

There are three main aspects of the front office that stand to benefit most from AI. First, Chatbots and automated questionnaires can help insurers make customer service more efficient and improve customer satisfaction. Second, AI can help insurers offer more personalized policies for their customers. Finally, by streamlining the claims management process, insurers can increase their efficiency. 

In the AI in Insurance Report, Business Insider Intelligence will examine AI solutions across key areas of the front office — customer service, personalization, and claims management — to illustrate how the technology can significantly enhance the customer experience and cut costs along the value chain. We will look at companies that have accomplished these goals to illustrate what insurers should focus on when implementing AI, and offer recommendations on how to ensure successful AI adoption.

The companies mentioned in this report are: IBM, Lemonade, Lloyd's of London, Next Insurance, Planck, PolicyPal, Root, Tractable, and Zurich Insurance Group.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • The cost savings that insurers can capture from using AI in the front office will allow them to refocus capital and employees on more lucrative objectives, such as underwriting policies.
  • To ensure that AI in the front office is successful, insurers need to have a clear strategy for implementing the tech and use it as a solution for specific problems.
  • Insurers are still at different stages when it comes to implementing AI: a number of them need to find ways to appropriately build their strategies and enable transformation, while the others must identify how to move forward with their existing strategy.
  • Overall, incumbents should focus on a hybrid model between digital and human to ensure they're catering to all consumers.

 In full, the report:

  • Outlines the benefits of using AI in the insurance industry.
  • Explains the three main ways insurers can revamp their front office using the technology.
  • Highlights players that have successfully implemented AI solutions in their front office.
  • Discusses how insurers should move forward with AI and what routes are the most lucrative option for players of different sizes.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now
  2. Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you've given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of AI in insurance.

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From the @icipe - Science Institutes incubating Entrepreneurs - Young Women Trailblazing in #Ethiopia ’s Honey Economy - @MastercardFdn

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 2:02pm  |  Timbuktu Chronicles
From the MasterCard Foundation:
Wudie Aymero is a 26-year-old young woman from a rural village in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. While some of her friends in the community completed their schooling, Wudie was not able to pursue her education beyond grade ten, leaving her out-of-school and without decent job prospects. In 2016, Wudie learned about the Young Entrepreneurs in Silk and Honey (YESH) project, a partnership between the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) and the Mastercard Foundation. In Ethiopia, where more than 75 percent of the population is under 34 years old, YESH empowers unemployed youth to establish technologically modern enterprises and increase their access to financial services and formal markets. Excited about the opportunity to learn new skills and earn an income, Wudie enrolled in the YESH beekeeping program being offered in her community.

Beekeeping is a long-standing and widely practiced activity across Ethiopia. In recent years, there has been an increase in both local honey consumption and global demand for quality honey and honey by-products. The practice of beekeeping has remained constrained by a dependence on traditional harvesting techniques that are inefficient and unprofitable. Moreover, it has remained largely a male-dominated activity. Hives are traditionally hung on tall trees far away from the home and honey is harvested after dark since it is believed to minimize the aggressiveness of bees. These practices have historically made beekeeping and honey production inaccessible for many women and girls as it is considered unsafe and inappropriate for them to travel long distances at night.

The YESH program took this into consideration in their planning and became the first of its kind to engage large numbers of young women and girls in beekeeping value chains in Ethiopia. YESH plans to reach 10,000 young people over five years, with at least 30 percent being young women. During its first two years in operation, YESH recruited 2,900 young people to its apiculture sites of northwestern Ethiopia...[more]

The Payment Industry Ecosystem: The trend towards digital payments and key players moving markets

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 2:01pm  |  Clusterstock

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence. Current subscribers can read the report here.

The digitization of daily life is making phones and connected devices the preferred payment tools for consumers — preferences that are causing digital payment volume to blossom worldwide.

As noncash payment volume accelerates, the power dynamics of the payments industry are shifting further in favor of digital and omnichannel providers, attracting a wide swath of providers to the space and forcing firms to diversify, collaborate, or consolidate in order to capitalize on a growing revenue opportunity.

More and more, consumers want fast and simple payments — that's opening up opportunities for providers. Rising e- and m-commerce, surges in mobile P2P, and increasing willingness among customers in developed countries to try new transaction channels, like mobile in-store payments, voice and chatbot payments, or connected device payments are all increasing transaction touchpoints for providers.

This growing access is helping payments become seamless, in turn allowing firms to boost adoption, build and strengthen relationships, offer more services, and increase usage.

But payment ubiquity and invisibility also comes with challenges. Gains in volume come with increases in per-transaction fee payouts, which is pushing consumer and merchant clients alike to seek out inexpensive solutions — a shift that limits revenue that providers use to fund critical programs and squeezes margins.

Regulatory changes and geopolitical tensions are forcing players to reevaluate their approach to scale. And fraudsters are more aggressively exploiting vulnerabilities, making data breaches feel almost inevitable and pushing providers to improve their defenses and crisis response capabilities alike.

In the latest annual edition of The Payments Ecosystem Report, Business Insider Intelligence unpacks the current digital payments ecosystem, and explores how changes will impact the industry in both the short- and long-term. The report begins by tracing the path of an in-store card payment from processing to settlement to clarify the role of key stakeholders and assess how the landscape has shifted.

It also uses forecasts, case studies, and product developments from the past year to explain how digital transformation is impacting major industry segments and evaluate the pace of change. Finally, it highlights five trends that should shape payments in the year ahead, looking at how regulatory shifts, emerging technologies, and competition could impact the payments ecosystem.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Behind the scenes, payment processes and stakeholders remain similar. But providers are forced to make payments as frictionless as possible as online shopping surges: E-commerce is poised to exceed $1 trillion — nearly a fifth of total US retail — by 2023.
  • The channels and front-end methods that consumers use to make payments are evolving. Mobile in-store payments are huge in developing markets, but approaching an inflection point in developed regions where adoption has been laggy. And the ubiquity of mobile P2P services like Venmo and Square Cash will propel digital P2P to $574 billion by 2023.
  • The competitive landscape will shift as companies pursue joint ventures to grow abroad in response to geopolitical tensions, or consolidate to achieve rapid scale amid digitization.
  • Fees, bans, steering, or regulation could impact the way consumers pay, pushing them toward emerging methods that bypass card rails, and limit key revenue sources that providers use to fund rewards and marketing initiatives.
  • Tokenization will continue to mainstream as a key way providers are preventing and responding to the omnipresent data breach threat.

The companies mentioned in the report are: CCEL, Adyen, Affirm, Afterpay, Amazon, American Express, Ant Financial, Apple, AribaPay, Authorize.Net, Bank of America, Barclays, Beem It, Billtrust, Braintree, Capital One, Cardtronics, Chase Paymentech, Citi, Discover, First Data, Flywire, Fraedom, Gemalto, GM, Google, Green Dot, Huifu, Hyundai, Ingenico, Jaguar, JPMorgan Chase, Klarna, Kroger, LianLian, Lydia, Macy’s, Mastercard, MICROS, MoneyGram, Monzo, NCR, Netflix, P97, PayPal, Paytm, Poynt, QuickBooks, Sainsbury’s, Samsung, Santander, Shell, Square, Starbucks, Stripe, Synchrony Financial, Target, TransferWise, TSYS, UnionPay, Venmo, Verifone, Visa, Vocalink, Walmart, WeChat/Tencent, Weebly, Wells Fargo, Western Union, Worldpay, WorldRemit, Xevo, Zelle, Zesty, and ZipRecruiter, among others

In full, the report:

  • Explains the factors contributing to a swell in global noncash payments
  • Examines shifts in the roles of major industry stakeholders, including issuers, card networks, acquirer-processors, POS terminal vendors, and gateways
  • Presents forecasts and highlights major trends and industry events driving digital payments growth
  • Identifies five trends that will shape the payments ecosystem in the year ahead

SEE ALSO: These are the four transformations payments providers must undergo to survive digitization

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These are the hottest fintech startups and companies in the world

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 12:31pm  |  Clusterstock

It's a fascinating time for fintech.

What was once a disruptive force in the financial world has become standard practice for many industry leaders. 

Fintech industry funding has already reached new highs globally in 2018, with overall funding hitting $32.6 billion at the end of Q3.

Some new regions, including South America and Africa, are emerging on the scene.

And some fintech companies, including a number of insurtechs, have dipped into new markets to escape heightened competition.

Now that fintech has become mainstream, the next focus is on the rising stars in the industry. To that end, Business Insider Intelligence has put together the following list of 10 Up and Coming Fintechs for 2019.


Total raised: £1.9 million ($2.5 million)

What it does: Coconut is a UK-based current account and accounting platform for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Why it's hot in 2019: Next week, Coconut will launch its first subscription service, dubbed Grow, which will bundle unlimited invoicing and end of year tax reports, for £5 ($6.51) a month. This will make it a very attractive option for SMBs, that conventionally don't have a lot of time on their hands to handle their accounting.


Total raised: $282 million

What it does: Brex is a US-based corporate credit card provider, which initially focused on serving startups.

Why it's hot in 2019: The startup gained unicorn status in 2018, only months after it launched its first product. Now, after receiving debt financing worth $100 million, Brex wants to target larger enterprises with its topic — opening it up to a whole new set of customers and helping bring the company to the next level.


Total raised: $11.8 million

What it does: UK-based TrueLayer provides financial services companies with application programming interfaces (APIs), and helps them make the most of new regulations including Open Banking.

Why it's hot in 2019: TrueLayer recently partnered with Plum to help it make the most of open banking, and expanded its API to Germany, where banks continue to struggle to comply with PSD2.


Total raised: $178 million

What it does: German savings and investment marketplace

Why it's hot in 2019: Raisin became a fintech unicorn after raising $114 million in January, and has since then formed partnerships with Commerzbank and ClearScore. Additionally, the startup partnered with Starling Bank in 2018 to launch bank accounts in the UK


Total raised: £9 million ($11.7 million)

What it does: UK-based insurtech Anorak provides advice on life insurance

Why it's hot in 2019: It graduated from Accenture's fintech innovation lab earlier this year, and is present on Starling's and Yolt's marketplace, where it will likely be able to gain more traction.


Total raised: $2 billion

What it does: US-based online personal money management startup

Why it's hot in 2019: While the company previously focused on loans, including student loans, in 2019 it has made some significant moves into the wealth management space, and launched both free ETFs and an investment product, dubbed SoFi Invest. As it becomes a more rounded financial product, SoFi will be worth watching in the next few years.

Lending Express

Total raised: $2.7 million

What it does: Lending Express is a US-based lending platform, which focuses on SMBs, and helps them gain access to more funding by providing them with advice.

Why it's hot in 2019: SMBs remain underserved globally, and while a number of alt lenders have cropped up that make capital more accessible, there are still plenty of startups that need guidance on what they have to do to be able to get access to funding.

Volt Bank

Total raised: $45 million

What it does: Volt is an Australia-based neobank

Why it's hot in 2019: In January, Volt became Australia's first fully licensed neobank. The challenger bank will first offer a suite of retail banking products, as well as budgeting and account aggregation tools, and plans to enter the SMB banking sector in 2020.


Total raised: $30 million

What it does: Hong Kong-based startup Bowtie provides consumers with life insurance.

Why it's hot in 2019: In December 2018, Bowtie became the first insurtech in Hong Kong to receive an online-only insurance license from Hong Kong's Insurance Authority (IA). Over 80% of customers in Hong Kong willing to use digital channels to interact with insurance providers, making future demand for Bowtie very likely.


Total raised: $158.5 million

What it does: German Wefox connects insurance companies to brokers that manage and consult their customers completely digital.

Why it's hot in 2019: The insurtech raised $125 million in March 2019, partnered with SBI Group earlier this year to launch in Asia. Given that Wefox partly works on a business-to-business model, it is likely that demand will be high from insurers that have to compete with a plethora of emerging insurtechs.

Want to learn more?

There's plenty more to learn about the future of fintech, payments, and the financial services industry. Business Insider Intelligence has outlined the road ahead in a FREE report called The Future of Payments. Click below to receive your copy of the report.

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2 privacy crises in one week prove Facebook still hasn't solved its privacy woes, even after a $5 billion fine (FB)

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 12:30pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Facebook just got hit with two privacy scandals in the last two weeks.
  • First, a trusted partner was caught harvesting the data of millions of Instagram users.
  • Then, the company acknowledged that it was sending audio from users' Messenger chats to human transcribers.
  • The double whammy shows Facebook still has a massive blind spot on privacy, even after two years of crises.

Facebook's privacy woes aren't over yet.

In July, the beleaguered California tech giant reached a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over alleged privacy violations. While critics groused that the penalty didn't do enough to change Facebook's fundamental business model, the company and the FTC touted the record-breaking fine and the mandated structural reforms that went with it as a major milestone — a chance for the company to turn over a new leaf.

But barely a month later, it's clear that Facebook's self-proclaimed "pivot to privacy" is not going to be a smooth transition. In just the last two weeks, the $524 billion company has become mired in two new privacy crises.

First, Business Insider discovered that Hyp3r, a buzzy marketing startup, had taken advantage of Facebook's lax oversight and a security issue in Instagram to harvest the personal data of millions of Instagram users. Hyp3r was able to track their locations and save their Stories. Facebook not only failed to notice the illicit behavior, it named the startup one of its official marketing partners — an exclusive category that's supposed to be reserved to marketing and advertising firms that it's vetted.

Read this: Your Instagram Stories may not actually be disappearing after 24 hours — at least one company has been quietly saving them

On the heels of that scandal, Bloomberg revealed that Facebook was paying contractors to transcribe audio clips from users' messages. Facebook did so without explicitly asking for users' consent or informing them that it would be using humans to listen to and transcribe their conversations.

The latest privacy problems have a common theme

The two issues are distinct and affect different parts of the company. One involves data security and oversight of partners by Instagram, while the other has to do with failures in implementing and explaining consumer-facing products at Messenger.

But there's a theme running through them: They illustrate how despite everything — two years of scandals, the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, the $5 billion fine — Facebook still has an extraordinary blind-spot when it comes to issues involving privacy and the safeguarding of user data.

Time and time again, the company builds products and systems that give short shrift to security and privacy. Inevitably, this myopia comes to light and blows up in Facebook's face. And just as inevitably, the result is user outrage at discovering how the company was handling their data.

Until Facebook addresses this blind spot, you shouldn't expect its privacy problems to go away.

Do you work at Facebook? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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Life insurance is one of the best tools for protecting your family's future — and the younger you are, the cheaper it is

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 12:15pm  |  Clusterstock

If your family relies on you for financial support, it's probably time to get life insurance.

In exchange for a monthly premium, a life insurance policy can replace income, help pay off debt, or provide a savings cushion for your dependents if you die prematurely. How much you'll pay for a policy depends on how much coverage you want, the type of policy you get, and how much risk you pose.

Generally, the younger and healthier you are when you buy life insurance, the cheaper it will be, regardless of the amount of coverage.

The average American can expect to pay between $300 to $400 a year for life insurance, according to insurance-comparison site Policygenius, but it really depends on your situation.

An analysis of 80,000 life insurance quotes by revealed that the best time to buy life insurance is in your 30s. Because age and health are two of the most important factors in determining rates, you'll get similar coverage at a lower monthly cost, writes Jonathan Holloway, a life insurance agent and the founder of From ages 30 to 40, the average cost of life insurance rises 63%, according to the analysis.

Policygenius can help compare coverage to find the right insurance for you, at the right price »

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is one of the best tools to protect your family's future. Many traditional employers offer life insurance coverage for employees, but it's usually a multiple of annual salary and not enough to replace income for a family. Group policies don't require a medical exam, though, and are often free and the money is guaranteed, so it's typically worth taking.

Some employers offer supplemental life insurance to make up the difference, but it's smart to compare rates for additional coverage through a third-party broker.

If you buy a private life insurance policy for extra coverage — or if you're self-employed — you can choose the exact coverage amount you need. Typically, the higher your income and the more expensive the city you live in, the more money your family will need in your absence.

Your health is a big factor in how much you pay for life insurance. In addition to considering your medical history, most insurers require a medical exam during the underwriting process to evaluate your current health, which isn't as intimidating as it sounds. The medical exam is used to identify any risk factors that may indicate you won't live to the end of your policy.

Are there different types of life insurance?

Life insurance is broken down into two main types: term and permanent. Term life insurance lasts for a fixed period of time, usually 10, 20, or 30 years, while permanent life insurance has no end date.

From the time the first monthly premium is paid, the beneficiary of the policy is entitled to the full amount of coverage if the policyholder dies. The death benefit, as it's called, is income tax free to the recipient.

For most people, experts recommend term life insurance because it's cheap and simple. The premium on a term life policy is fixed, meaning it remains the same until the policy period ends.

Those who want to lock in coverage for life may consider a permanent policy, but should also be prepared to pay six to 10 times more than they would for term life. Permanent life insurance comes in a few variations, the most popular being whole life insurance, which is a hybrid between an investment and an insurance policy.

Deciding whether whole life insurance is right for you boils down to two questions, according to insurance-comparison site Policygenius: Do you want to build cash value? And/or, do you want to leave money behind for your spouse, kids, or grandkids? If you answered "yes" to either of those questions, whole life insurance may be a good option for you.

Policygenius can help compare coverage to find the right insurance for you, at the right price » Related coverage from How to Do Everything: Money

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United Explorer Business card review: Generous airline perks for a $95 annual fee

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 11:30am  |  Clusterstock

  • The United Explorer Business Card goes a few steps beyond your average airline credit card.
  • In addition to offering standard airline co-branded card perks like priority boarding, a free checked bag, and 2x miles on United purchases, it offers bonus miles on at restaurants, gas stations, and office supplies. Cardholders also get two one-time United Club passes each year, and access to more low-level award space than non-cardholders.
  • The card's currently offering a sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 miles: 50,000 after you spend $5,000 in the first three months, and another 50,000 miles after you spend $25,000 total in the first six months.
  • This is an elevated sign-up bonus, and it's only available until October 10.

If you're in the market for a big credit card sign-up bonus, the United Explorer Business Card might pique your interest. The card has doubled its sign-up bonus to up to 100,000 bonus miles. The trade-off is that the $95 annual fee is no longer waived the first year, which is a small price to pay for the opportunity to earn an additional 50,000 miles.

If you can swing the large spending requirement, this card could be worth picking up. Below are the details of the bonus and how you might benefit from applying for this card.

Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.

When you're working to earn credit card rewards, it's important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card.

United Explorer Business Card details

Annual fee: $95

Sign-up bonus: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months, and another 50,000 miles after you $25,000 total on purchases in the first six months

Miles earning: 2x miles at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stories, and on United miles

Foreign transaction fee: None

Learn more: The best small business credit cards to open in 2019

Sign-up bonus

The sign-up bonus on the United Explorer Business Card is broken into two tiers:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Plus, an additional 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $25,000 total on purchases within the first six months of account opening

This sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 miles is only available until October 10, so don't wait.

That's a pretty hefty spending requirement, but if you can manage it, the payout is pretty nice. Since this is a business credit card, most applicants probably have significant monthly business expenses they can charge to the card to meet this spending requirement. If you fall into a lower spending camp, consider these ways to meet large spending requirements.

Redemption ideas

What can you do with 100,000 United miles? Quite a bit, depending on when you travel. Here are some examples of how far 100,000 United miles can go, using low-level saver awards:

  • Four round-trip economy-class tickets within the continental US (25,000 miles each)
  • Two round-trip economy-class tickets between the continental US and Hawaii (45,000 miles each)
  • One round-trip economy-class ticket between the US and the Middle East (85,000 miles)
  • One-way business-class ticket between the US and Europe (70,000 miles)

Keep in mind that United has implemented dynamic award pricing for flights booked on or after November 15, 2019. The number of miles required for a flight will depend on demand. This could render your United Explorer Business sign-up bonus more valuable or less, depending on when you're traveling and whether you can be flexible with your dates and your routing.

Category bonuses

The United Explorer Business Card offers bonus miles on several spending categories.

Cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar spent on United purchases, dining, gas and office supply stores. These are pretty common spending categories for most consumers, so being able to earn accelerated rewards is a nice perk. All other purchases earn 1 mile per dollar spent.

Travel perks

Whether you're a frequent or occasional United traveler, the United Explorer Business card offers some pretty useful benefits to make your travelers more comfortable. Cardholders receive priority boarding so they can board flights early and snag overhead space before it's gone.

The free checked bag benefit applies to the primary cardholder and a travel companion on the reservation. With United checked bag fees of $30, that's a potential saving of $120 per round-trip flight. To get the free checked bag benefit, you need to use the United Explorer Business card to pay for your flight.

Two annual one-time United Club lounge passes can go a long way in making layovers more bearable. United Explorer Business cardholders receive two of these passes when they open their new accounts as well as every card anniversary. Considering United charges $59 for a day pass, getting these passes completely offsets the card's $95 annual fee.

Perhaps the best benefit of the United Explorer Business card is expanded award availability. Have you ever tried to redeem your airline miles only to get blackout dates and limited availability? If you have the United Explorer Business Card, you will receive expanded award space on United-operated flights. No restrictions or blackout dates. That's an invaluable perk that no other airlines offer to their credit cardholders.

Final thoughts on the card

The United Explorer Business Card is a terrific card for those looking to give their United MileagePlus balances a boost. Credit cards with sign-up bonuses of up to 100,000 miles don't come around often and if you can manage the spending requirement, it's a great offer. Best of all, this card is a long-term keeper. Even beyond the large sign-up bonus, you'll continue to get value out of it via category bonuses, travel perks and expanded award availability. The latter part will be especially useful when it comes time to put the sign-up bonus to use.

Click here to learn more about the United Explorer Business Card from our partner The Points Guy.

SEE ALSO: Credit cards currently offering new-member bonuses of 100,000 points or more

SEE ALSO: American vs. Delta vs. United — we compared the 3 most popular airline credit cards

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Presidential candidates vastly prefer Uber over Lyft. Here's how much the 2020 Democratic hopefuls are spending on each of the ride-hailing services. (UBER, LYFT)

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 11:21am  |  Clusterstock

  • Uber and Lyft are raking in big money from the 2020 presidential candidates as they ramp up campaigns across the country. 
  • In total, 18 Democratic hopefuls spent more than $87,000 on rides and meals in the first half of 2019, according to regulatory filings. 
  • Sen. Kamala Harris of California easily spent the most on the apps, at $14,708, while others, like the former Texas state Rep. Beto O'Rourke and billionaire Tim Steyer, are not disclosing any expenses to the companies. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Candidates in the 2020 US Presidential election are racking up plenty of Uber and Lyft fares.

In the first six months of 2019, as the campaign season began to enter full swing, hopeful challengers of President Donald Trump racked up $87,631 worth of taxi-rides on the apps, according to campaign disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Of that massive total — still just a tiny sliver of Uber or Lyft's revenue in the first half of the year — about 60% went to Uber, while Lyft collected the remainder.

Most of those receipts were filed by Kamala Harris, whose campaign spent more than $14,000 on Uber and Lyft rides, filings show. Despite her familial connection to Uber's chief legal officer, her campaign didn't snub Lyft, with Uber only making up about 60% of that total.

Only one candidate — John Delaney — spent widely more on Lyft rides than Uber, while some, like Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, hardly spent anything on either platform.

Here's how all the candidates' spending breaks down:

SEE ALSO: POWER RANKING: Here's who has the best chance of becoming the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee

18. Steve Bullock

Uber: $204.00

Lyft: $87.00

Total: $291.00

17. Tulsi Gabbard

Uber: $240.00

Lyft: $489.00

Total: $ 729.00

16. Bernie Sanders

Uber: $0

Lyft: $921

Total: $921

15. Bill de Blasio

Uber: $431

Lyft: $663

Total: $1,094 


14. Tim Ryan

Uber: $1,183.00

Lyft: $0 

Total: $1,183.00

13. Marianne Williamson

Uber: $1,330.00

Lyft: $0

Total: $1,330.00

12. Joe Biden

Uber: $1,811

Lyft: $776

Total: $2,587 

11. Julián Castro

Uber: $1,003

Lyft: $1, 996 

Total: $2,999 

10. Seth Moulton

Uber: $3,610

Lyft: $139

Total: $3,749 

9. Amy Klobuchar

Uber: $2,334

Lyft: $1,967

Total: $4,301 

8. Cory Booker

Uber: $2,363

Lyft: $1,954

Total: $4,317 

7. John Delaney

Uber: $922

Lyft: $4,481

Total: $5,403 

6. John Hickenlooper

Uber: $3,550

Lyft: $4,507

Total: $8,057 

5. Kirsten Gillibrand

Uber: $5,230

Lyft: $2,971

Total: $8,201 

4. Pete Buttigieg

Uber: $8,092

Lyft: $1,060

Total: $9,152

3. Elizabeth Warren

Uber: $4,865

Lyft: $3,368

Total: $9,233 

2. Andrew Yang

Uber: $6,390

Lyft: $2,286

Total: $9,376 

1. Kamala Harris

Uber: $8,835

Lyft: $5,873

Total: $14,708 

7 signs you're building wealth faster than you think

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 11:15am  |  Clusterstock

  • If you're maxing out a retirement plan and being mindful of your investments, you may be on the fast track to building wealth.
  • To be sure, most people don't get rich overnight. But, if you avoid high-interest debt, are focused on increasing your income, and have clear goals and a plan to achieve them, you're doing better than you think.
  • Need help building wealth? SmartAsset's free tool can help find a financial planner near you»

You have to commit to building wealth — it rarely happens by accident.

But if you're mindful and deliberate about saving, investing, spending, and earning money, you may be building wealth faster than you think.

Below, seven signs you could be rich sooner than you realize.

1. You max out your retirement accounts every year

IRAs and 401(k)s are two of your greatest allies in setting yourself up for a comfortable retirement.

If you can afford to put the full $19,000 into your 401(k) this year — or you're moving closer to that limit — you're accomplishing a few things.

First, you multiply your earning potential in the market. Second, if your company offers to "match" your 401(k) contributions, you score that free money. And lastly, you shelter a sizable chunk of your income from income taxes (you'll pay those taxes later, but for now your money grows tax-free).

You can also contribute up to $6,000, or $7,000 if you're over age 50, to an IRA in 2019. The tax savings are set up differently than a 401(k), but the fundamental strategy is the same: The more money you put in the market now, the more you stand to earn.

2. You're thoughtful, but not obsessive, about your investment choices

If you've made thoughtful choices about where to invest the money you put into your 401(k), you're head and shoulders above the rest.

Too many people make the mistake of treating their 401(k) like a savings account and don't touch the money once it's in there, certified financial planner Eric Roberge previously told Business Insider.

Some 401(k) plans have a fine default investment selection, but you should always double-check to make sure it matches your own time horizon and risk tolerance, Roberge says.

You're in good shape so long as you choose investments that diversify your portfolio — i.e. a mix of stocks and bonds — and don't levy too many fees. Roberge recommends choosing either an all-in-one target date fund, which automatically rebalances itself, or building a portfolio of individual funds that provide appropriate diversification.

Checking on your asset allocation periodically to ensure it matches your overall risk tolerance is smart, but obsessing over the details could easily lead to emotion-fueled mistakes. 

3. You're focused on the 'big wins'

Spending less than you make may be the golden money rule — but it's not the only rule. 

Yes, it's important to cut your spending "mercilessly" on the things that don't add value to your life, says financial expert and bestselling author Ramit Sethi. But people who are good with money know that $2 here and $10 there won't make you rich, he says.

"There are a few Big Wins in life where — if you simply get them right — you almost never have to worry about the small things. If you can focus on the 5-10 Big Wins, rather than 50 little things, you can have an insurmountable edge in life," Sethi says.

For example, paying down debt, saving automatically, negotiating a higher salary, and investing early will have a much greater impact — and in a shorter timeframe — than forgoing your morning coffee or weekly brunches.


4. You don't keep too much cash

If you understand the power of compound interest, chances are you never keep more than you need in cash or sitting in a checking account. 

The best way to multiply your money is to invest it in the market, but that's not always an option. You can still grow the money you need in the short-term by storing it in a high-yield savings account or certificate of deposit (CD).

Any savings account or CD with an interest rate above 2% is worth considering. At the very least, your money won't lose value to inflation. At best? You'll boost your savings by a few hundred dollars, with zero effort required.


5. Your income is higher than last year, but your spending hasn't changed

If you're bringing home more money than you did at this time last year, congrats! That's a huge sign of progress, particularly if you haven't increased your spending along with it.

Whether you scored a raise, landed a better-paying job, or created a second or third income stream, increasing your earnings is a form of leverage that can never be exhausted.

"If you can take the cap off of that and increase your income — it's not always easy to do that, which is probably why people don't pay attention to it — but if you can do that, it gives you a lot more room to both spend and save," Roberge said on an episode of his podcast, Beyond Finances.

6. You have no high-interest debt

Consumer debt is a proverbial wealth killer.

The stock market returns an average of 7% to 8% each year, adjusted for inflation. Meanwhile, the average credit card charges an APR of 17%. Carrying a balance at that rate would mean you have to invest twice as much money just to break even.

The bottom line: It's not worth it. When you avoid high-interest debt, you can optimize each and every dollar you have coming in.

As Robert Kiyosaki writes in the personal finance classic, "Rich Dad Poor Dad," "Most people fail to realize that in life, it's not how much money you make. It's how much money you keep."

7. You have financial goals and a plan to achieve them

There's no problem with aiming high.

But if you have a roadmap to getting there  — and you actually put it into action — your chances of achieving your goals increase greatly.

You don't have to seek professional help for managing your money or coming up with a plan, but it could be worth it if you're feeling stuck. According to a Northwestern Mutual report, people who work with a financial adviser are more likely to know how to balance spending now and saving for later; set specific goals and feel confident that they will achieve those goals; and have a plan in place to weather economic ups and downs.

Need help building wealth? SmartAsset's free tool can help find a financial planner near you»

The racial wealth gap in the US keeps getting bigger — and it could cost the economy as much as $1.5 trillion by 2028

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 10:37am  |  Clusterstock

The United States' wealth gap is hurting more than just the poorest Americans. It's stifling economic growth too, according to a new report by consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

The concentration of wealth among America's highest earners will cost the economy between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion between 2019 and 2028, McKinsey estimates.

The United States' wealth gap is steadily widening, especially along racial lines. In 1992, the median net worth of white families was $100,000 above that of black families, according to McKinsey. By 2016, the median white family was $152,000 wealthier than its black counterpart. During that period, the median wealth of white families grew over $50,000, McKinsey reports, but the median wealth of black families did not grow at all in real terms.

The gap reduces the buying power of black families and prevents investment in the housing and equities markets, according to McKinsey. If the gap between black and white families were closed, the US would add an additional 4% to 6% to its GDP by 2028.

Persistent discrimination and a lack of social connections that typically lead to new opportunities have kept black families poor, according to McKinsey. The amount of wealth held by black families fell 3.4% each year between 2004 and 2016.

The student debt crisis also hurts African Americans more than their white peers, Business Insider's Allana Akhtar and Hillary Hoffower previously reported. On average, black college graduates owe $7,400 more in student loans than their white peers. Black college graduates also earn less than white graduates on average, making it harder to pay back their loans.

Read more: Wealth tax explainer: Why Elizabeth Warren and billionaires like George Soros alike are calling for a specialized tax on the ultra-wealthy

Proposed solutions for closing wealth gaps in the US

The problem of economic inequality has received growing interest from presidential candidates and billionaires alike in recent months. A new tax that would require ultra-wealthy Americans pay the federal government a small percentage of their net worth each year has been proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, Business Insider previously reported. Warren estimates that the tax would generate $2.75 trillion in revenue in a decade that could be used to close the wealth gap by funding programs that benefit poor Americans.

An INSIDER poll shows that more than half of Americans support Warren's proposal. And they're not the only ones: In June, a group of 19 ultra-wealthy Americans including George Soros, Abigail Disney, and members of the Pritzker and Gund families published an open letter supporting a moderate wealth tax.

However, such a tax would face substantial legal challenges and would likely not raise as much revenue as its advocates expect, former Department of Justice tax attorney James Mann, who is now a tax partner at law firm Greenspoon Marder, told Business Insider.

SEE ALSO: The Disney heiress who slammed CEO Bob Iger's pay as 'insane' says she went undercover at Disneyland and was 'livid' when she saw how the company treats its employees

DON'T MISS: Billionaires from George Soros to Abigail Disney are begging to be taxed more

Join the conversation about this story »

FREE SLIDE DECK: The Future of Fintech

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 10:01am  |  Clusterstock

Digital disruption is affecting every aspect of the fintech industry. Over the past five years, fintech has established itself as a fundamental part of the global financial services ecosystem.

Fintech startups have raised, and continue to raise, billions of dollars annually. At the same time, incumbent financial institutions are getting in on the act, and using fintech to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving financial services landscape. So what's next?

Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has the answer in our brand new exclusive slide deck The Future of Fintech. In this deck, we explore what's next for fintech, how it will reach new heights, and the developments that will help it get there.

Join the conversation about this story »

Here's how much money you'd make working at an American amusement park

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 10:00am  |  Clusterstock

America is in the middle of summer vacation season — and for many families, that means taking a trip to an amusement park. But how much do the workers who keep the roller coasters moving make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Statistics program offers data on employment and wages across different occupations and industries.

According to that report, the amusement parks and arcades industry employed about 206,820 people in May 2018, the most recent period for which data is available. Jobs in the industry tend to be lower-paying than average: The median annual wage in the amusement parks and arcades industry was $23,640, far below the median across all industries of $38,640.

Here are all the occupations with at least 1,000 employees in the amusement parks and arcades industry, ranked from lowest to highest median annual wage, along with the number of people employed in each.

SEE ALSO: 22 high-paying tech jobs for people who love being glued to their computer screens

22. Waiters and waitresses make an annual salary of $19,900.

Total employed in the US: 2,140

What they do, according to O*NET: Waiters and waitresses take orders from customers and serve food and drinks at restaurants or cafes.

21. Lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers make an annual salary of $20,130.

Total employed in the US: 8,020

What they do, according to O*NET: Lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers make sure people are safe in amusement parks, whether they're in the pool or on the slopes.

20. Combined food preparation and serving workers make an annual salary of $20,390.

Total employed in the US: 13,070

What they do, according to O*NET: Combined food preparation and serving workers both prepare and serve food to customers. 

19. Recreation workers make an annual salary of $21,250.

Total employed in the US: 1,900

What they do, according to O*NET: Recreation workers organize and promote activities, including arts and crafts, sports, games, music, and other social activities.

18. Amusement and recreation attendants make an annual salary of $21,640.

Total employed in the US: 51,490

What they do, according to O*NET: Amusement and recreation attendants operate amusement concessions, kiosks, or rides, and maintain amusement park supplies and equipment.

17. Cashiers make an annual salary of $22,390.

Total employed in the US: 10,560

What they do, according to O*NET: Cashiers handle customers' money using cash registers or scanners. 

16. Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers make an annual salary of $22,630.

Total employed in the US: 2,430

What they do, according to O*NET: Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers help customers attending events or lining up for rides. 

15. Cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop counter attendants make an annual salary of $22,850.

Total employed in the US: 5,410

What they do, according to O*NET: Counter attendants serve food to customers from counters or steam tables. This job category includes cafe servers, cafeteria workers, and snack bar attendants.

14. Janitors and cleaners make an annual salary of $22,890.

Total employed in the US: 7,010

What they do, according to O*NET: Janitors and cleaners keep buildings clean and orderly using equipment ranging from brooms and mops to carpet cleaners and floor waxers.

13. Tour and travel guides make an annual salary of $22,960.

Total employed in the US: 1,010

What they do, according to O*NET: Tour and travel guides escort people on sightseeing tours, giving facts and explaining their significance. 

12. Retail salespersons make an annual salary of $23,550.

Total employed in the US: 7,080

What they do, according to O*NET: Retail salespersons sell merchandise at kiosks, stalls, or shops.

11. Actors make an annual salary of $24,024.*

Total employed in the US: 1,020

What they do, according to O*NET: Actors in amusement parks dress up as various characters and do impersonations, usually for the amusement of children.

*BLS doesn't include annual figures for this occupation; this annual median was estimated by Business Insider using the hourly median wage provided by BLS.

10. Customer service representatives make an annual salary of $26,100.

Total employed in the US: 2,720

What they do, according to O*NET: Customer service representatives assist customers with questions or complaints, either in person or over the phone.

9. Security guards make an annual salary of $26,800.

Total employed in the US: 5,380

What they do, according to O*NET: Security guards monitor premises to prevent people from breaking the rules.

8. Landscaping and groundskeeping workers make an annual salary of $26,890.

Total employed in the US: 1,560

What they do, according to O*NET: Landscaping and groundskeeping workers take care of lawns, plants, and trees. Their duties include sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting, and watering, along with keeping the area free of general trash and debris.

7. Laborers and freight movers make an annual salary of $27,510.

Total employed in the US: 1,350

What they do, according to O*NET: Laborers perform any sort of general labor, including moving freight or boxes.

6. Stock clerks and order fillers make an annual salary of $29,080.

Total employed in the US: 1,010

What they do, according to O*NET: Stock clerks organize shelves and tables of merchandise in stores and stockrooms.

5. First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers make an annual salary of $33,170.

Total employed in the US: 1,650

What they do, according to O*NET: First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers coordinate workers to ensure efficient customer service.

4. Maintenance and repair workers make an annual salary of $33,600.

Total employed in the US: 2,720

What they do, according to O*NET: Maintenance and repair workers make sure mechanical equipment is running smoothly. This includes pipe fitting, boiler repairs, welding, carpentry, and other general building repairs.

3. First-line supervisors of personal service workers make an annual salary of $35,110.

Total employed in the US: 4,360

What they do, according to O*NET: First-line supervisors of personal service workers coordinate personal service workers like make-up artists, caddies, or maids.

2. All other managers not otherwise categorized make an annual salary of $72,240.

Total employed in the US: 1,240

What they do, according to O*NET: Managers supervise amusement park employees in general.

1. General and Operations Managers make an annual salary of $76,310.

Total employed in the US: 1,540

What they do, according to O*NET: General and operations managers oversee other workers in a variety of tasks, whether they're administrative tasks or manual labor.

10 of the most bizarre details people have reported finding in Jeffrey Epstein's NYC mansion, from a painting of Bill Clinton in a dress to prosthetic breasts mounted on a bathroom wall

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 9:38am  |  Clusterstock

The late Jeffrey Epstein made headlines in July after he was arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking minors in his Manhattan and Florida homes from 2002 to 2005. On August 10, he was found dead in a Manhattan jail cell in an apparent suicide.

While he had a sprawling real estate portfolio that included properties in the Caribbean and New Mexico, his Manhattan townhouse, in particular, has gained worldwide attention for the bizarre things that visitors have reported seeing inside it.

Read more: The FBI raided one of Jeffrey Epstein's private islands in the Caribbean, which locals call 'Orgy Island' and where airport workers say they saw him traveling with underage girls. Here's an inside look at the properties.

From framed eyeballs to a beach-themed dining room, Business Insider has compiled a list of the strangest ways Epstein reportedly decorated the home.

Framed eyeballs

In 2003, Jeffrey Epstein allowed a reporter from Vanity Fair to visit the home. Reporter Vicky Ward described the interior as a "high-walled, eclectic, imperious fantasy that seems to have no boundaries."

The entrance hallway, as noted by Ward, featured "row upon row of individually framed eyeballs." Epstein reportedly told Ward that they were made for injured soldiers and imported from England. 

A giant sculpture of a naked African warrior

After she made her way through the entrance hallway, Ward described seeing a "twice-life-size sculpture of a naked African warrior."

A stuffed black poodle on top of a piano

Ward also described seeing a stuffed black poodle on top of a piano. 

"No decorator would ever tell you to do that," Epstein told Ward. "But I want people to think what it means to stuff a dog." 

Prosthetic breasts in the master bathroom

One of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims, Jennifer Araoz, recently sued Epstein's estate, The New York Times reported.

The lawsuit states, as reported by The New York Times, that prosthetic breasts were mounted on a wall in the master bathroom, and that Epstein could look at or play with them while in the bathtub. 

A "trophy room" with a stuffed giraffe

Araoz's lawsuit against Epstein also describes a "trophy room" filled with stuffed exotic animals, including a giraffe.

A painted mural of himself in prison

An array of paintings reportedly hung around the Manhattan home.

But one painting in particular, which hung on the second floor, portrayed Epstein behind barbed wire and between a guard station and a corrections officer, public relations specialist R. Couri Hay told The New York Times.  

According to Hay, Epstein said that he had it painted because "there is always the possibility that could be me again."

R. Couri Hay viewed the mural after being invited to the home by Epstein around four months ago, according to The New York Times.

A life-size doll that hung from a chandelier

As visitors came and went over the years, Epstein's peculiar taste in interior decor was hard to ignore.

Inside the mansion, there was reportedly a life-size female doll that hung from a chandelier, according to The New York Times.

A chessboard with each piece modeled after one of his staffers

One visitor told The New York Times that inside the mansion, at the end of the stairwell, there was a chessboard with custom figures. Each piece was reportedly modeled after one of his staffers.

Pictures of powerful people

Following Epstein's death, The New York Times reporter James B. Stewart described a 2018 "on background" interview he had conducted with Epstein in the financier's Upper East Side mansion.

As he made his way through the home, he recalled seeing photos of Epstein with powerful people including former President Bill Clinton and director Woody Allen.

"Displaying photos of celebrities who had been caught up in sex scandals of their own also struck me as odd," wrote Stewart.

Epstein also had a picture of Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, according to Stewart.

A painting of Bill Clinton in a blue dress and heels

Law enforcement sources told the New York Post that Epstein had an oil painting of Bill Clinton in a blue dress hanging in the mansion.

In the painting, according to the Post, Bill Clinton is lounging on a chair in the oval office. He is also wearing red heels.

SEE ALSO: If Jeffrey Epstein's NYC mansion hits the market, its value will likely have 2 driving forces against it: A slow luxury market, and its tainted history

DON'T MISS: A look inside Jeffrey Epstein's real-estate portfolio, where sex trafficking reportedly took place and a private island in the Caribbean was raided by the FBI

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What El Chapo is really like, according to the wife of one his closest henchman

UBS sent its bankers an email listing books like 'Charlotte's Web' to help them deal with change as it reportedly mulls job cuts. Read the internal email here.

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 9:00am  |  Clusterstock

  • UBS Investment Bank recently emailed out its second annual reading list to its bankers.
  • This year's list revolved around the theme of "change," and includes books ranging from "Charlotte's Web" to a history of a 19th-century naval battle.
  • UBS Investment Bank is reportedly considering laying off hundreds of employees, as its heads consider how to deal with a rough first half of 2019.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

UBS Investment Bank recently sent its employees in the Americas a summer reading list, which it then shared with Business Insider. This year's theme is growth through change.

Sam Kendall, head of corporate client solutions for the Americas at UBS and the list's author, said the original compilation was a long list of reads he wanted workers to keep handy when they needed to reflect on changes or transitions. He pared down the list to 10 books, and sent it on August 6.

"When we sent out the list we encouraged people to take their own journey either via other books or venues where they may learn from others about dealing and preparing themselves for change," Kendall told Business Insider.

The list kicks off with a quote often attributed to Charles Darwin: "It's not the strongest or most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change." The University of Cambridge traces the quote to a Louisiana State professor paraphrasing the scientist in 1963.

Self-growth through adaptation is, of course, a timeless theme applicable to any organization. And it's a natural progression from last year's UBS book list, which was focused on leadership, and included libertarians' favorite novel, "Atlas Shrugged." (That list began with a quote attributed to the author and women's rights pioneer Margaret Fuller, "Today a reader; tomorrow a leader," though that one is of dubious origin.)

This year's theme comes at a time when investment banks are struggling with the slowing economy and trade war, leading UBS's peers to announce as many as 30,000 job cuts. Bloomberg reported that UBS's co-heads of investment banking, Piero Novelli and Rob Karofsky, are mulling an overhaul of the business and also considering cutting hundreds of jobs.

Regardless of internal and external changes, Kendall has been big on reading since assuming his role early last year, going so far as to establish a small lending library outside his office. The exec has sought ways to encourage his bankers to embrace innovation and extolled the virtues of being well rounded.

The bookshelves at UBS have three or four copies of each of the books featured in Kendall's email, which we've included in full below.

SEE ALSO: 15 books billionaire Ray Dalio says you should read to understand today's world — and have a fulfilling life


As I mentioned at the recent townhall, it is vital that we continue to challenge the status quo and drive agility in our thinking and structure. Being open to change and managing towards it is not only an important driver of successful businesses; it can also create opportunities we hadn't even imagined. 

As Darwin said, being able to manage change is the key to survival, but this journey is not one that we take alone or unprepared. Hence, the 2019 CCS Americas Suggested Readings are aimed at helping everyone prepare themselves for the changes ahead, whether they are within our industry or the industries that our clients operate in.  

Change, be it disruption or innovation, isn't a new problem for our age, nor one of technology. As showcased in some of these books, it is something that we as a society have been grappling with for many generations. Many of these titles directly touch on change and several were selected to give you some insight into tools that may be useful in navigating it.

While I hope that many of you will be able to enjoy one of these selections during your summer vacation, reading these books should not be limited to the summer. Learning is a constant journey.

In addition to our suggested readings, I encourage everyone to use the additional resources at your disposal (i.e., TED Talks or simply researching the topic of change on the internet) to continue to explore how to best deal with change, satiate your intellectual curiosity and prepare yourselves for the future - whatever it may be.

Please let me know your feedback and feel free to pass along any additions that should make their way onto our library shelf.

Happy reading!


"Breathe In, Cash Out"

By Madeleine Henry

What it's about: This is a story about a Wall Street banking analyst, who plans to quit her job the minute her bonus hits the bank account to follow her real passion of becoming a yoga instructor. Think The Devil Wears Prada meets banking…

Why it's applicable: While it is fiction, it drives us to recognize parts of ourselves and awareness about our industry. The author is much like her protagonist. She too worked at an investment bank and left to follow her dream. The lesson here is to do something you are passionate about.

"Charlotte's Web"

By E.B. White

What it's about: This is a classic children's story about a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a spider named Charlotte.

Why it's applicable: One of the themes of the book is change: the turning of the seasons, the process of transitioning from childhood to adulthood. Rather than accepting these things as an inevitability, the characters go beyond the limits of change. Even fiction intended for children can teach us valuable lessons around change. Relive your childhood and get a new perspective on change by revisiting this old favorite.

"Duveen: The Story of the Most Spectacular Art Dealer of All Time"

By S.N. Behrman

What it's about: This is the story of Joseph Duveen, considered by many to be one of the most influential art dealers of all time. His successful career was rooted in the simple idea that "Europe has a great deal of art, and America has a great deal of money." Duveen shipped works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Turner, among other great artists. Many remain as the core collections of the United States' most famous museums.

Why it's applicable: Duveen created a whole new marketplace by matching those that had money with those that needed it. His ability to be unconstrained by the rules of the day and to stay close to his clients in America enabled him to build his reputation as the preeminent fine-art dealer. The book illustrates the power of following the money to identify a new market.

"High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg"

By Niall Ferguson

What it's about: This is a biography of Siegmund Warburg, a member of the prominent Warburg banking family. Along with Henry Grunfeld, he was the co-founder of S.G. Warburg. S.G. Warburg was later acquired by Swiss Banking Corporation in 1995 and ultimately became a part of UBS.

Why it's applicable: Learning about our history, the good and the bad, is an important part of understanding how we got to where we are today. This book doesn't just talk about Warburg the man; it shines a light on how he began his career as an outsider and went on to pioneer mergers and takeover tactics in the UK, as well as to develop the Eurobond Market.

"Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty and Nelson's Battle of Trafalgar"

By Adam Nicolson

What it's about: It is the story of the Battle of Trafalgar and of Admiral Nelson, who led the British Royal Navy to victory over the Franco-Spanish fleets. The book details not just the battle, it also poses questions about the beliefs, ambitions, and relational dynamics between commanders and their men.

Why it's applicable: Nelson died in the middle of this battle, and yet the Royal Navy went on to defeat the Franco-Spanish fleets. Using the relatively new tactic of sending his ships to divide the enemy rather than line up parallel to them, his orders to the fleet positioned their ships where they would do most harm. He empowered his commanders to conquer. This book conveys how empowerment and innovation can enable great strategy.

"Serious Creativity: Using the Power of Lateral Thinking to Create New Ideas"

By Edward de Bono 

What it's about: The author Edward de Bono coined the term, "Lateral Thinking." His book describes the process of how the brain works and how you can train your brain to be more creative. 

Why it's applicable: One of the main purposes of creative thinking is to find better ways of doing things. Creative ideas are logical in hindsight, but that doesn't mean that they could have been reached by logic in foresight. Creative thinking doesn't  necessarily mean increased risk - it does mean new insight and new perceptions that require us to open our minds.

"The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World"

By Anne-Marie Slaughter

What it's about: The world is full of complexity, particularly within foreign policy and business. For example, of the world's 175 largest nation-states and private companies, 112 are corporations. This book asks whether we should move from chessboard-style relationships to looking at the links between individuals. It suggests that we must learn to understand, shape and build on those connections.

Why it's applicable: While this book focuses on foreign policy to evidence the thesis of network theory, it is just as applicable to the business world, as the power of networks is vital to the management of complexity and change.

"The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations"

By Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom

What it's about: The title refers to the biological difference between starfish and spiders. Cut the head off of a spider and it dies. Cut the legs off of a starfish, and the starfish not only survives - it regenerates. So it is with organizations: traditional organizations (spiders) have a rigid hierarchy and top-down leadership. Revolutionary organizations (starfish) rely on the power of relationships.

Why it's applicable: When we think about the change that our clients are experiencing as they move across sectors or are disrupted, we have to be open to new structures - ones that are horizontal or virtual - rather than the traditional vertical org charts.

"The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things (IoT), the Collaborative Commons and the Eclipse of Capitalism"

By Jeremy Rifkin

What it's about: Rifkin describes how the "Internet of Things" is propelling us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global "Collaborative Commons" and the eclipse of capitalism.

Why it's applicable: The advent of the third industrial revolution, as outlined in the book, points to a world far different from the one we inhabit today. While we can't accurately predict the future, it is possible to at least open our minds to the possibilities of the future.

"Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts"

By Samuel Beckett

What it's about: Based on Beckett's translation of the French play En Attendant Godot, the play begins with one of two strange souls who sit under a tree and...wait. They are waiting for Godot. They don't know when he will arrive or what they will do when he gets there, but still they wait. Each day, they say they will stop waiting, but wait they do...

Why it's applicable: Piero Novelli often references this book. It is a great story of two passive observers who are waiting for something to come to them rather than taking action. Spoiler alert: nothing happens. Piero sees much value in this book, and I think you will too. Not only can you read this, you can also see the play!

This New York tech founder's startup raised $52 million to save small businesses from nightmare Yelp reviews. Here's his pitch deck. (CRM, GOOGL, YELP, FB)

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 8:30am  |  Clusterstock

  • Signpost offers marketing tools for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Stuart Wall, the startup's founder and CEO, got the idea for it after having a bad experience trying to market his sister's pottery business on Google.
  • Signpost helps clients easily build a database of their customers and helps them interact with and solicit reviews from them.
  • The company recently raised $52 million in venture funding using the pitch deck below.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

While Stuart Wall was a student at Harvard Business School, he thought he'd help his older sister promote her pottery studio back home in Indiana by buying ads on Google.

The result, he told Business Insider in an interview this week, was a disaster.

"It was super-complicated and a total waste of money," Wall said.

But the marketing effort wasn't a complete loss, at least not for Wall. The experience helped give him an idea for a startup that would help small businesses like his sister's studio with marketing. So he formed Signpost to help such companies find new customers and retain the ones they already have.

While big corporations often have sizeable sales and marketing departments, such tasks often fall to the business owner — or to no one at all — in small companies. Many such companies simply don't have the people or resources to keep close track of or market to their customers, Wall said. Nor have there been a lot of marketing or customer retention tools designed for such companies; Salesforce and services like it generally target much larger corporations.

That's where Signpost fits in. Its service is designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. The New York company has crafted its system so that new clients can join easily — within five minutes, Wall said. Signpost creates a database of their customers from existing contact information the companies already have on file, from the phone and email interactions they have with customers, and from transaction data. It then uses that information to send messages to those customers, soliciting feedback from them after purchases and asking them to post reviews or refer the companies to their friends.

Signpost focuses on helping customers improve their ratings

A big part of Signpost's offering is designed to help small businesses improve their ratings on sites such as Yelp, Google, and Facebook, said Wall, the startup's founder and CEO.

People don't often leave reviews of businesses unless they're particularly motivated to do so — they had awful or extraordinarily good experience; they're family members or friends with the owner; or they own a rival business. In part, that's because it can be difficult. The customer has to seek out a review site and then find the business on the site. But Signpost has found that consumers are much more likely to leave a review if it makes the process easier for them.

The company starts by soliciting feedback from consumers soon after their purchases or interactions with its small business clients. If they've had a good experience, it sends them a link to a review site that allows them, when they click on it, to immediately post their comments. 

If the process of leaving a review is made that simple, "it's remarkable .... how many people will take the time to leave that feedback," Wall said.

On the flip side, Signpost tries to head off customers from leaving negative reviews on such sites. When customers respond to the initial feedback email by saying they've had bad experiences, Signpost directs them back to the companies with which they interacted, so that the business owners can try to address what went wrong in private before the consumers post negative reviews.

"It's our belief that in a lot of cases when someone has a bad experience, they want someone to hear them, they want their voice to be heard," Wall said. "We'll detect negativity before it manifests itself online," he continued, "and we give the business owner an opportunity to fix it and improve their business."

Ratings offer a better return than Google ads, Wall said

Signpost has focused on ratings and reviews, because it's found that small businesses see a much better return on their investment in terms of attracting and retaining customers when they make an effort to improve them instead of investing in ads on Google, he said. In fact, improving such ratings helps make Google ads more effective, he said. Customers can get turned off if they search for a business and see that it has bad ratings.

Reviews and ratings and soliciting customer feedback is "table-stakes marketing," he said. "You need to have good reviews online," he continued. "That's becoming the dominant mechanism that people [use to] find you."

Founded in 2010, Signpost has accumulated a massive database of consumers — some 70 million. It doesn't allow clients to view or market to their competitors' customers, Wall said. But they can benefit from that huge trove in other ways. A business may only have a customer's name from a transaction. But if that person is in Signpost's database, the business might be able to gain access to the customer's email address or phone number and use that information to send the customer follow-up marketing messages or offers.

The company, which offers its service throughout the US, has found a ready audience. It now has more than 10,000 business clients overall and has found particular traction among services business, such as real-brokers, contractors, and fitness centers, Wall said.

Also read: This VC firm managing $500 million in assets tries to invest in as few companies as possible. And it only wants startups with management teams looking for help.

Signpost charges customers between $200 and $400 a month per location for its service, depending on the number of features they choose. In the first quarter, the company hit break even on a cash flow basis, and its core business was growing at a 43% annual rate, Wall said.

The company, which now has about 200 people, could get even bigger soon. Last month, it raised $52 million in a late-stage funding round led by High Bar Partners.

Wall plans to use the money to bulk up Signpost's sales team and to establish partnerships with companies such as newspaper publishers that will market its service to their small business customers. It also plans to add staff to its technology and product teams, he said. Wall doesn't think Signpost needs to add a lot of new features to its service, but he hopes to keep improving what it already does.

Attracting, tracking, and retaining customers "is a big problem for local businesses," he said. "I think there's going to be a billion-dollar company that solves that problem in the next five years, and obviously, I want it to be us."

Here's the pitch deck Signpost used to raise its recent funding round:

SEE ALSO: This pitch deck helped a 65-year-old company raise $50 million and show investors why its personality testing service was suddenly growing like a hot startup

Got a tip about venture capital or startups? Contact this reporter via email at, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

I was seriously considering buying a Tesla Model 3, but I ultimately decided against it — here's why (TSLA)

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 8:26am  |  Clusterstock

  • I recently bought a new car, but it wasn't a Tesla Model 3.
  • The Tesla Model 3 has wildly impressed me in the multiple times I've driven and tested it. But while I seriously considered buying one, I ultimately chose something closer to my old Toyota Prius.
  • I haven't ruled out future Tesla ownership, of course. There's a pretty good chance I'll own one on the next decade.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

For various reasons, I had to buy a car recently. The details aren't terribly important, but I ended up with a certified pre-owned Toyota RAV4 hybrid.

Of course, the vehicle that's most influenced my thinking about cars in the past year or so has easily been the Tesla Model 3. I seriously considered ordering one, and for the record, I fully expect to own some sort of Tesla vehicle in the next 10 years.

I didn't go for it this time around, however. And I had my reasons! 

Here they are:

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1. The Model 3 is a bit too new in the market. I'm no early adopter. I prefer to wait until something new has taken a few spins around the block. The Model 3 is sufficiently different from the Model S and Model X that I'd rather wait a few years while the kinks are ironed out.

2. I don't have a charger at my house (yet). We don't test enough electric and plug-in vehicles at Business Insider to justify a Level 2 home charger, so I usually just charge off a wall outlet and run the cable into my front yard.

Tesla can set you up with home charging, but it is an additional initial expense. And were I to go for it, I'd be limited to charging only my Tesla, as the company's chargers aren't compatible with other EVs.

3. The Model 3 is still more expensive than what I like in a car.

I've sampled several different versions of the Model 3, and while the current Standard Range Plus, rear-wheel-drive (single motor) trim level is priced under $40,000, I prefer to spend around $25,000 (or less) for my family's basic transportation needs. 

Some of this is because of my job. I test at least one new car each week, so we don't require anything too fancy for getting around. Our "second car" can be fairly basic. We chose the RAV4 because I already had a relationship with a local dealer and because we figured a hybrid crossover with all-wheel-drive would would be a little bit better for us than the Prius we had been driving.

4. The Model 3 fits my lifestyle perfectly — but I still need an everyday gas-powered car.

I essentially use my car for local errands and ferrying my kids around, with an occasional longer trip thrown in.

On paper, I'm an ideal candidate for an EV. And in my estimation, if you're going to buy an EV, you might as well make it a Tesla. (You can always get something else if you're unhappy after a few years.)

A Model 3 would also be extremely cheap for me to operate, if somewhat more expensive to buy or lease. I'd end up recharging the cheapest Model 3, with its 240 miles of range, perhaps two or three times per month with my typical use pattern.

Still, having the ease of a gas-powered car remains something I need. It boils down to the longer trips and the need to avoid any sort of range anxiety, largely because we drive our car so infrequently that we gas up only about once a month. We forget about how much fuel is in the tank, and in that context, being able to fully refuel in five minutes makes a difference.

5. The sound system is magnificent.

The Model 3 is a darn good car, and even though I should buy one but haven't, I must note that the Tesla-designed sound systems is incredible — among the best I've ever experienced. Just throwing that in because I'm somebody who likes a great audio setup in his ride.

6. I like hatchbacks. The Model 3 has a groovy fastback roofline, but it terminates in a trunk, not a hatch (there's also a front trunk, or "frunk.")

Cargo capacity is good, and the frunk helps. But for me, a proper hatchback better suits my needs.

7. The Model 3's dashboard and touchscreen are cool — but I prefer knobs and buttons.

Testing the Model 3 in several configurations made me a believer in the ultra-minimalist dashboard, with the central touchscreen controlling almost all vehicle functions and providing crucial driving information, such as speed.

But in practice, I still prefer knobs and buttons. Being able to change the temperature, for example, is just easier with a knob. And truth be told, even though the Model 3's voice-command system is superb, having to interact with a tablet all the time isn't for me ideally. It's often distracting.

8. The Model 3 wouldn't be my first choice for a road-trip-mobile.

I usually arrange for test vehicles when I take road trips, but at least half a dozen times each year, we need to use our personal vehicle to cover a few hundred miles. The Model 3 can be had in a trim level that delivers 310 miles of range on a full charge, but that's not quite enough to guarantee that you won't have to hit a Supercharger at some point in a journey.

Supercharging is great, and Tesla has a passel of destination-charging partners that offer slower, Level 2 charging. So the abundance of re-juicing options isn't the issue. 

Rather, it's the time required to recharge. While not at all slow when Supercharging, it's much more time-consuming than simply stopping for gas. This is OK if you're flying solo, but when I've taken Teslas on roads trips, the recharging stops have been met with protest from my family.

My kids made me promise to never line up a Tesla for a road trip ever again, in fact, after a jaunt to Maryland from New Jersey.

Faster charging times should eventually solve this problem, but for now, I need a car that fits into the old gas-and-go tradition.

A new report offers fresh evidence that Trump's trade-war tariffs are hurting the US — even though he says they're not

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 8:05am  |  Clusterstock

  • President Trump has long said that China is far more affected by the tariffs he's imposed than the US.
  • Industry watchers have voiced disagreement, saying US consumers and companies are taking large hits as well.
  • An August study from the New York Federal Reserve showed that tariffs and trade policies are seen pushing up prices and reducing profits for manufacturing and service businesses in the tri-state area.
  • Read more on Markets Insider. 

President Donald Trump said Friday that "the longer the trade war goes on, the weaker China gets and the stronger we get."

But a new report published Friday from the New York Federal Reserve shows that may not be the case for businesses in New York, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut.

In the supplemental questions to the Empire State Manufacturing and Business Leaders Survey, more manufacturers and business leaders said that tariffs and trade-war policy have pushed up prices and reduced profits compared to 12 months ago.

"The data illustrate a considerably more widespread effect of higher input costs among service firms than in last year's survey," the NY Fed wrote in the report. This is an issue because it can weigh on profits, be passed along to the consumer, or both. 

President Trump has long said that China is paying the price for the increased tariffs, and that they're not hurting US consumers, workers, companies. But economists and analysts disagree.

US consumers are paying more for products either imported from China or made with parts imported from there. Meanwhile, companies have said they would have to raise prices, and that downward pressure on earnings could lead to serious declines in stock prices. Some corporations are also hiring less amid escalating trade tensions, hurting US workers. 

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According to the survey, 79% of manufacturers and 60% of service firms said that recent increases in tariffs have raised input costs at least slightly. An additional 14% of manufacturers and 12% of service firms said that the increases were substantial. All numbers represented a marked increase from the August 2018 survey. 

Going forward, the survey showed that businesses expect to pay higher prices for goods they purchase and expect that prices on goods they sell will also go up. Manufacturers and service firms expect that tariffs and trade policies will continue to have a negative impact of just under 40% for both 2019 and 2020. 

Further, data Friday showed that while US consumer confidence is generally healthy, it is also showing signs of deteriorating. That was according to the University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment index, which posted a larger drop than expected, falling to its second-lowest level of Trump's presidency.

The underlying reason why is the elephant in the room Trump and his administration are reluctant to acknowledge: a possible economic recession.

"Consumers concluded, following the Fed's lead, that they may need to reduce spending in anticipation of a potential recession," Richard Curtin, the chief economist of the Michigan survey, said in a statement.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Animated map shows where American accents came from

VCs have poured over $1.6 billion into cannabis startups this year alone as investor interest in the burgeoning industry explodes

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 8:00am  |  Clusterstock

Venture capital firms are seeing green in cannabis startups in more ways than one.

VCs have poured close to $1.6 billion into cannabis industry startups as of the end of July, up from under $1.2 billion in all of 2018, according to a recent report the data provider PitchBook. 

It's also a huge jump from the $16 million invested in 2013, as Colorado became the first state to open its doors to the commercial cannabis industry.

For an industry that didn't exist — legally speaking — prior to 2012, that's astonishing growth.

"I think we've had a real advantage being one of the first institutional VC firms that have gotten involved in cannabis," said Andrea Hippeau, a principal at New York City-based venture capital firm Lerer Hippeau. "We really saw a once-in-a-decade or more opportunity where a whole new billion-dollar-plus market was being created."

Lerer Hippeau has so far invested in Leaflink,  a tech platform for cannabis dispensaries, Vangst, a recruiting platform, and Herb, a cannabis media company, among other deals.

Read more: Buzzy cannabis-delivery startup Eaze is looking to raise a new round that could value it at $400 million

And Lerer Hippeau isn't alone among top VC firms in looking at cannabis deals. DCM Ventures invested in in pot delivery startup Eaze's $65 million Series C round last November, and held a CannaTech conference in May. 

Greycroft, the firm led by venerable VC Alan Patricof, participated in the CBD company Prima's $3.3 million seed round earlier this year. Prima was founded by Christopher Gavigan, who started the Honest Company with actress Jessica Alba in 2012.

Tiger Global Management's venture capital side has invested in a number of cannabis-tech startups, including vape company Pax's whopping $420 million fundraising round — which valued the company at $1.7 billion in April — as well as Green Bits' Series A last year

Though many VCs are interested in cannabis, most traditional Silicon Valley funds have so far shied away from investing directly into companies that sell and distribute THC since it is federally prohibited.

But cannabis tech, or the software startups that support the burgeoning industry, is fair game.

"I've always been a person who likes to deal with the picks and shovels of a new industry," Patricof said. "If I had been around in the gold mining days, I probably would have been selling picks and shovels."

Check out how VC spending in cannabis startups has increased since 2013:

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is the shortest route for a road trip across the US to see 50 national landmarks

KKR has quietly started hiring college seniors— we have the details, and what it says about how private equity is battling banks to fill six-figure jobs

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 8:00am  |  Clusterstock

  • For the first time ever, private equity giant KKR is rolling out a formal analyst program that it will fill with college graduates. 
  • Many private equity firms traditionally only hired people after they spent a couple years honing their skills at investment banks. Hiring out of college puts PE head-to-head with banking. 
  • PE has been pushing to recruit earlier and earlier to battle fierce competition for young talent, both within the financial sector and from hot areas like tech. 

KKR has jumped into the undergrad recruiting game, joining some other big private equity firms in a race to lock down the best young candidates before they graduate.

The move is noteworthy — private equity firms have traditionally hired people after they spend a couple years honing their skills as analysts at investment banks. But the industry has been pushing to recruit earlier and earlier, and this opens up more select spots for the most talented undergrads to get hired into six-figure PE jobs.

KKR told Business Insider that it is hiring about a dozen full-time analysts straight out of college to start at the 1,200-person firm in 2020.

"We don't want to limit ourselves and that's why we feel it's important to identify multiple avenues to access talent," Bola Osakwe, director of human resources at KKR, told Business Insider. "We feel we are an apprenticeship business and an organization where you learn best on the job."

Overall competition for junior talent across industries is fierce, turbocharged by added competition from tech companies. And as private equity firms have grown into asset management giants, they also increasingly have the resources to build their own training programs and recruit analysts straight from college themselves.

KKR had tested out recruiting analysts straight from college in 2013 and made hires in 2014 and 2015, but it never had a formal program until now.

More than a dozen people Business Insider interviewed over the past month, ranging from hiring executives at private equity firms, to financial industry recruiters and career advisers at business schools, all reported more resources being put toward college recruiting by private equity firms.

That builds on a trend in recent years of private equity firms extending offers for associate-level positions to analysts at investment banks almost as soon as they start work after college, nearly two years ahead of their official start date, business school advisers said. Investment banks meanwhile have pushed back by making special efforts to retain talent, like promoting top analyst performers to the associate level earlier.

"It's really heated up," says Todd Carson, a career adviser at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. "They are identifying top students at Wharton undergrad, for example, and trying to recruit them right away, before letting them go to Goldman Sachs."

KKR said it has reached out to as many as 75 schools through a "variety of tools" to access candidates, though it did not specify how many schools it is visiting on-campus or which ones it has targeted. Starting next summer, analysts will get to work alongside KKR's lines of investment professionals in divisions they selected in their applications, spanning across credit, real estate, infrastructure and private equity. 

Despite the ramped-up college outreach, private equity firms that already were hiring undergrads have not significantly expanded the size of their analyst programs, making them incredibly competitive for applicants.

Blackstone, which has had an analyst program since at least as far back as when its president Jon Gray joined the firm in 1992, has been attracting more undergrad applicants for a small pool of jobs. There, of the 23,991 applications lodged in 2019, only 90 people started as first-year analysts.

Blackstone says applications for its analyst program surged 61 percent between 2018 and 2019, and interest in their analyst program at the college level show no signs of abating for this year's round.

"We are going earlier and wider," says Paige Anderson, head of Human Resources at Blackstone. "We fundamentally believe that if we attract people at a college age and train them, we can develop them into great investors and great leaders in the firm."

Blackstone in 2013 launched a program where women sophomores could spend a couple days at the firm during the academic year and get acquainted with its people. It started another program in 2016 for diversity hires.

Bain Capital, which staffs more than 1,000 people, first started college recruiting a little less than a decade ago — and this year is shaping up to be the busiest recruiting year yet, said Susan Levine, who oversees the firm's hiring in North America.

Bain has already received as many as 450 applications for Bain's 2020 analyst program, quadruple the number of applications as the first year it started college hiring.

By October, Levine and about 15 of Bain's investment professionals will decide who will work as an analyst in North America after graduating next summer.

Despite all the work, there will only be about five or six accepted. As for what it takes to stand out as a candidate?

"We are looking for people to be very well-rounded," Levine said. "We aren't just looking for people who receive perfect grades or 800s on their SATs. In addition to looking at academic achievement, we are looking for people who have been leaders, who have participated in clubs, whether it is dance, sports or other activities. We also gravitate toward people who have done well in their community."

To be sure, many firms in the industry are sticking with the more traditional approach.

The Carlyle Group, for instance, recruits college students only rarely as investment analysts, but does recruit analysts for Washington, D.C.-based fund management and accounting roles. 

For those roles, it holds meet and greets with students at a range of schools, including George Mason, Virginia Tech, Howard University and William & Mary.

The goal is to inform a broader population of people about a possible career in private equity and let them know about Carlyle, which employs more than 1,775 people overall.

"What [we're] trying to do is develop and engage relationships and let them know there is a potential here in the private equity, alternative asset management world," said James Cherubim, head of talent acquisition at the firm, about the D.C.-area outreach. “A world they don't perhaps know as well compared to the banks."

Smaller firms also appear on college campuses, though their approach is more targeted. For example, Two Six Capital, a firm that seeks co-investments alongside private equity firms, seeks students in data science and engineering clubs at Ivy League schools, as well as Stanford and Berkeley.

Whatever happens, Patrick Curtis, who runs the financial careers website Wall Street Oasis, said that he expects the early recruiting trend to continue to catch on.

"It should start moving more down market," he said.


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NOW WATCH: Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Slack and Flickr, says 2 beliefs have brought him the greatest success in life

WeWork mania, Citigroup winds down a secretive $1 billion business, real-estate data changing the game

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 7:45am  |  Clusterstock


Hey, everyone.

Love it or hate it, WeWork was no doubt the story of the week.

The $47 billion coworking company filed to go public Wednesday, providing the first in-depth look at its financials and starting the countdown to one of the most highly anticipated — and possibly most scrutinized — market debuts of the year.

In the filing, WeWork revealed billions in losses, a sprawling collection of leases, and plans to continue spending aggressively to go after a market that could be worth as much as $1.6 trillion.

If you aren't yet a subscriber to Wall Street Insider, you can sign up here.

At the center of WeWork's vision is CEO and cofounder Adam Neumann, the charismatic and controversial 40-year-old Israeli businessman who will control a majority stake of WeWork's voting power as a public company.

Here are some of the WeWork stories from the Business Insider team this week:

Separately, I'm excited to announce that in several weeks Business Insider will be hosting its first-ever cannabis webinar with marijuana-analytics company Headset.

Earlier this year, Headset raised $12 million and signed deals with market-research firm Nielsen and the accounting firm Deloitte.

You can join Headset CEO Cy Scott for a BI Prime webinar on September 5 at 2 p.m. ET as he takes readers through his pitch deck and explains how he convinced VCs, including early Juul investor Poseidon Asset Management, to buy in.

Poseidon partner Emily Paxhia will also weigh in on the unique challenges of investing in cannabis — and how she picks winners in a crowded market. You can sign up here.

Have a good weekend!


A top Citigroup executive is departing as the bank winds down a secretive $1 billion business amid competition from private equity

A little-known principal-investing team at Citigroup is being wound down, and the executive who led the group has left the firm, according to people familiar with the matter.

What remains of Citi Credit Opportunities, a vestige of pre-financial-crisis banking that had $1 billion in its balance sheet to make loans to small and midsize companies, is being absorbed into the bank's broader financing operation.

The boom in buy-side private-lending shops, combined with a prolonged run of low interest rates, has made this type of business more difficult and less lucrative for banks than in years past.


From an army of traders in Long Island to quants around the world: What's coming next for hedge-fund powerhouse Schonfeld Strategic Advisors

The billionaire Steven Schonfeld's hedge fund was quick to adopt algo-trading strategies and now has 75 portfolio managers around the world.

Schonfeld Strategic Advisors has been open to outside capital for just over three years and has bold aspirations. Its chief investment officer says the goal is to be the world's premier equities hedge fund.

The firm keeps to its roots, though, with 50 old-school traders still working in Long Island, about half of whom have been with the firm for more than 15 years.


KKR has quietly started hiring college seniors— we have the details, and what it says about how private equity is battling banks to fill six-figure jobs

For the first time ever, private equity giant KKR is rolling out a formal analyst program that it will fill with college graduates.

Many private equity firms traditionally only hired people after they spent a couple years honing their skills at investment banks. Hiring out of college puts PE head-to-head with banking.

PE has been pushing to recruit earlier and earlier to battle fierce competition for young talent, both within the financial sector and from hot areas like tech.


'We see everything that happens': Real-estate data is changing the game, and execs at Cresa, Niido, and other firms explain why

While other industries are jumping into machine learning and artificial intelligence, and data scientist has been dubbed the best job in America, real estate still has a reputation for handshake deals and decisions made on gut instinct.

But companies that revolve around real estate are quickly finding ways to adapt to a digital world. Documents that used to live in a file cabinet are being digitized. Zillow, Redfin, and other "i-buyers" are closing on homes within a week of the application. Venture-capital money is flooding into "proptech" startups that marry real estate and technology.

Business Insider spoke with executives at companies ranging from short-term-rental firms to commercial real-estate brokerages about the ways data will change how we work and live and the way that real-estate pros do their jobs.


Big Wall Street banks are quietly forming a group to explore the hidden risks in AI, and it shows how much the finance industry still has to learn about the technology

Wall Street is as competitive as it gets, but sometimes everyone benefits from working together. And when it comes to understanding the intricacies of artificial intelligence, some of Wall Street's largest financial firms have recognized the benefit of putting their heads together.

Citi and Morgan Stanley are among a group of large global banks banding together to create a working group examining the risks they may face when using artificial intelligence, according to three sources involved in the project.

While it's still early days, and specific goals for the group haven't been established, the hope is that by working together Wall Street will develop a better understanding of how best to use the innovative technology appropriately.


What it's like to launch a hedge fund when even the biggest managers are struggling and long-short equity is a 'dirty word'

Launching a hedge fund in 2019 hasn't been easy, and several people who are either raising capital or have recently launched gave us an inside look at the process.

More funds have been liquidated instead of launching, and even the biggest funds are struggling to keep assets right now.

"General long-short equity can kind of be almost a dirty word," one person told Business Insider, and new launches are better off with differentiated strategies that can help them stand out.


Wall Street move of the week:

Balyasny cut 10 people running a $2 billion book. The hedge fund axed the year-old team because of poor performance, sources say.

In markets:

In tech news:

Other good stories from around the newsroom:

Join the conversation about this story »

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