Want a promotion?

DickFuld's picture
Rank: The Pro | 26,161

So, there's an MD on my team who I think highly of and does good business. He's considered a good mentor and good leader/manager. I'm thinking of who I'm going to promote to a senior leadership position from the middle ranks and he was my top choice before tonight.

The only criticism of this person is that he potentially lacks a little bit of polish for a more senior leadership position. Because of his revenue and how much his team loves him, I was willing to overlook the polish issue. I know he may not be the best ambassador for a larger group, but he has tremendous promise and has shown great results. The people who work for him love him....honestly.

I took him out with his wife tonight to get to know them on a more social level. His wife is fat with Bon Jovi hair and giant fake nails and the attitude to match. I never met her before. Needless to say, I'm pushing him down the list of contenders. It basically confirms my worst fears. He was my top candidate and now I'm fucking pissed he didn't have the smarts to either marry someone better or hide her from me.

If anyone tells you stuff like this doesn't matter, don't believe their bullshit. This might have topped out this guys career.

Comments (134)

Aug 21, 2018

What's your position within the firm that you're above an MD? I'm guessing partner?

(Unless you're really your username?)

And I get that the guy's wife's attitude was off-putting, but c'mon with the physical insults lol.

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Aug 22, 2018
theaccountingmajor:

What's your position within the firm that you're above an MD? I'm guessing partner?

(Unless you're really your username?)

And I get that the guy's wife's attitude was off-putting, but c'mon with the physical insults lol.

MDs report to other MDs.

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Aug 22, 2018

Do you report to another MD, or are you at the top of the MDs?

Funniest
Aug 22, 2018
theaccountingmajor:

Do you report to another MD, or are you at the top of the MDs?

I also report to an MD. That's how this works.

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Aug 21, 2018

This forum is sometimes like Sci-Fi.

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Aug 23, 2018

This is like that scene from Moneyball where the scouts rate down a player because he has an ugly girlfriend. "Ugly girlfriend means no confidence. I mean, I'm just saying...This guy's girlfriend is a six at best."

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Aug 27, 2018

lmao..

Aug 22, 2018

has his lack of polish led to certain deals not being closed? I do think this kinda stuff matters, my wife is no cotillion snob, but her looks and manners have definitely been a positive, not a negative in any business dinner. you want to reach the top? carry yourself like you belong, and this means spouses and children as well.

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Aug 22, 2018
thebrofessor:

has his lack of polish led to certain deals not being closed? I do think this kinda stuff matters, my wife is no cotillion snob, but her looks and manners have definitely been a positive, not a negative in any business dinner. you want to reach the top? carry yourself like you belong, and this means spouses and children as well.

Not that I'm aware of, but maybe. It definitely matters and it's not because she was short and fat (although clearly that didn't help). It was sort of like she was dressed like one of the wives on Goodfellas along with the NJ/Long Island accent. Just sends off all the wrong vibes.

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Aug 22, 2018

totally get it. I'd take obese and classy versus smokin hot but boorish and rude. and completely agree on the accent. in my neck of the woods it's that deep southern drawl or that high pitched nascar fan that is like fucking nails on a chalkboard, more dukes of hazzard than goodfellas. you don't have to be completely non-regional, but you shouldn't sound like a caricature

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Aug 22, 2018

I think this makes sense. At some point in this business the big relationships extend beyond what gets done in the office. I travel with and spend time outside of work with some of my closest professional relationships, and that means that their wives are usually around for that time.

At some point your social network also leads to more business than office and professional relationships you pick up on a day to day basis. For example, one of my most successful deals was sourced through somebody I met as a fellow board member of a philanthropic group. While I am not married, I did meet his wife and to say that it would have been awkward if I had a trashy wife by my side is an understatement.

You are a package deal if you really want to get ahead.

Aug 22, 2018

I'm guessing in this situation, the guy has no idea he's being considered for a promotion, at least officially.

Question: I have no problem with this, as I tend to look at my potential gf/future wife through the lens of how it makes me look. But is it just a social thing that makes it important (i.e., want to be able to stand the person) or is it something more pragmatic about getting things done in terms of this other person's wife?

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Aug 22, 2018
iBankedUp:

I'm guessing in this situation, the guy has no idea he's being considered for a promotion, at least officially.

Question: I have no problem with this, as I tend to look at my potential gf/future wife through the lens of how it makes me look. But is it just a social thing that makes it important (i.e., want to be able to stand the person) or is it something more pragmatic about getting things done in terms of this other person's wife?

He definitely knows because he's lobbying hard for the position.

I think the issue is that it shows bad judgment. Who you marry is the biggest decision you will make and it's strange that this is how you would want to put yourself out as in the world. Certainly, there will be events where spouses are invited to client events and having her there does not portray us in the best light. The people who think I'm a dick for saying this are completely missing the entire point.....I'm telling you guys what people are thinking so you can avoid making bad decisions like his that impact your career/life later on. Unfortunately, it puts him into a bigger context and exacerbates what his weaknesses were already perceived to be....namely that he's not polished. Big hair, big nails, etc is just not the kind of look that screams success.....it screams Bada-bing, too much hair gel, and pinky rings.......even though he doesn't actually have those kind of things physically present on him now. You can just tell.

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Aug 22, 2018

Is this who you are referring to?

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Most Helpful
Aug 22, 2018

I take a bit of issue with this. I understand where you are coming from - the world is full of latent prejudice and you want to avoid it impacting your business. But to say that who he married shows "bad judgment" seems a bit much.

Can you really say you know the circumstances of his decision to marry? What if this was a childhood sweetheart from a time before he knew his own professional ambitions and before she was what she became? What if she's not the same woman he married, but has changed for the worse over the years and he has some good reason not to end it? I could go on, but you can imagine for yourself a whole list of circumstances other than "I want to be a prestige-obsessed banker but I am purposely picking a wife that doesn't match".

I don't know how much time you have to make a decision or how much latitude you have to make suggestions. But I think the fair thing (and the most beneficial to you, if this guy was truly your best candidate) is to pull him aside and explain your misgivings. You can leave out the gratuitous shit about his wife's weight - not really cool, dude. But i think there is a diplomatic way to say "Look guy, I like you for these reasons. These are the things holding you back. What, if anything, can we do to fix this?"

Fact of the matter is that the upper echelons of society are filled with people who are either first generation or second generation peasants that arrived in their station through a mixture of hard work and luck. The hallmarks of "good breeding" aren't inborn, they are learned. The real question is whether it is worth your time to make this guy into the image you want to project, and whether he is receptive to the endeavor.

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Aug 24, 2018
DickFuld:
iBankedUp:

I'm guessing in this situation, the guy has no idea he's being considered for a promotion, at least officially.

Question: I have no problem with this, as I tend to look at my potential gf/future wife through the lens of how it makes me look. But is it just a social thing that makes it important (i.e., want to be able to stand the person) or is it something more pragmatic about getting things done in terms of this other person's wife?

He definitely knows because he's lobbying hard for the position.

I think the issue is that it shows bad judgment. Who you marry is the biggest decision you will make and it's strange that this is how you would want to put yourself out as in the world. Certainly, there will be events where spouses are invited to client events and having her there does not portray us in the best light. The people who think I'm a dick for saying this are completely missing the entire point.....I'm telling you guys what people are thinking so you can avoid making bad decisions like his that impact your career/life later on. Unfortunately, it puts him into a bigger context and exacerbates what his weaknesses were already perceived to be....namely that he's not polished. Big hair, big nails, etc is just not the kind of look that screams success.....it screams Bada-bing, too much hair gel, and pinky rings.......even though he doesn't actually have those kind of things physically present on him now. You can just tell.

Yeah, I get it. The cynic in me would think it's a quiet coup or he's got a mean coke & prostitute habit to cope.

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Aug 27, 2018
DickFuld:
iBankedUp:

I'm guessing in this situation, the guy has no idea he's being considered for a promotion, at least officially.

Question: I have no problem with this, as I tend to look at my potential gf/future wife through the lens of how it makes me look. But is it just a social thing that makes it important (i.e., want to be able to stand the person) or is it something more pragmatic about getting things done in terms of this other person's wife?

He definitely knows because he's lobbying hard for the position.

I think the issue is that it shows bad judgment. Who you marry is the biggest decision you will make and it's strange that this is how you would want to put yourself out as in the world. Certainly, there will be events where spouses are invited to client events and having her there does not portray us in the best light. The people who think I'm a dick for saying this are completely missing the entire point.....I'm telling you guys what people are thinking so you can avoid making bad decisions like his that impact your career/life later on. Unfortunately, it puts him into a bigger context and exacerbates what his weaknesses were already perceived to be....namely that he's not polished. Big hair, big nails, etc is just not the kind of look that screams success.....it screams Bada-bing, too much hair gel, and pinky rings.......even though he doesn't actually have those kind of things physically present on him now. You can just tell.

I'm not sure I understand. What exactly is his wife going to hold him back from? He already brings in good business, so you shouldn't have an issue with his ability to make money for the firm. If you weren't sure of his ability to produce, then I can see where his spouse might be an issue, but by your own admission it's not a problem. So aside from your personal taste in women, it doesn't sound like there is much of a leg for you to stand on, here. For all you know his positive qualities may be nurtured and increased because of his wife, accent notwithstanding.

Aug 22, 2018
iBankedUp:

I'm guessing in this situation, the guy has no idea he's being considered for a promotion, at least officially.

Question: I have no problem with this, as I tend to look at my potential gf/future wife through the lens of how it makes me look. But is it just a social thing that makes it important (i.e., want to be able to stand the person) or is it something more pragmatic about getting things done in terms of this other person's wife?

PS -- In case it's not obvious....everyone knows the drill when you invite them out as couples. It's social testing. If he didn't know that this was the case, that's the actual problem. It's not his first rodeo.

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Aug 23, 2018

On a side note, I would not promote the type of person who married their spouse because they're a good career match. Who would want to work with a douche bag like that?

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Aug 22, 2018

This is gold. +all the SBs

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Aug 22, 2018

This post legit made me LOL at my desk.

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Aug 22, 2018

IS the guy in questions good looking? Maybe she was the best he could get?

Aug 22, 2018

he's a MD

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Aug 23, 2018
STS9:

he's a MD

They're like buses when you have money

Aug 26, 2018

I know billionaires who can't get laid with famous last names. An md is a relative peasant.

Array
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Aug 22, 2018

I think this is a bit extreme if his wife never goes out with his clients or potential clients. She may fit his personality, or she may have changed since he presumably married her many years ago. I think someone's wife shouldn't enter the picture unless 1) she occasionally meets potential clients, and/or 2) their marriage is falling apart and it's negatively affecting his ability to do his job. Now if it's super close between him and another candidate and his wife does happen to meet potential clients a fair bit, it's reasonable. But at the end of the day you want a person who produces/brings in business and is able to motivate his employees - sounds like this guy does that.

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Aug 22, 2018

You have any background of how his wife and him met?

Maybe a great story for all you know. Think with some depth here, it's not all surface.

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Aug 22, 2018
Butterbean:

You have any background of how his wife and him met?

Maybe a great story for all you know. Think with some depth here, it's not all surface.

I'm not his therapist, just his boss. I have no idea how they met, I'm not here to solve his personal problems.

.....PS -- If you 18-27 year olds think you won't become an asshole in the future....you will, at least a little bit. I think I'm a pretty approachable guy and I invite the under 30 crowd to come talk to me in my office multiple times per week. However, I'm a pretty funny guy in real life and I crack sarcastic jokes all the time. They work well on anyone who is an SVP and above.......analysts and associates generally look at me and nod and say 'that makes sense', when I am completely fucking around with a serious face. This is how I know I'm not as approachable as I think I am. The young ones are (usually) too afraid to acknowledge a joke, just in case I might be serious.

Or, maybe they aren't experienced enough to be a sycophant yet.....

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Aug 24, 2018
DickFuld:
Butterbean:

You have any background of how his wife and him met?

Maybe a great story for all you know. Think with some depth here, it's not all surface.

I'm not his therapist, just his boss. I have no idea how they met, I'm not here to solve his personal problems.

.....PS -- If you 18-27 year olds think you won't become an asshole in the future....you will, at least a little bit. I think I'm a pretty approachable guy and I invite the under 30 crowd to come talk to me in my office multiple times per week. However, I'm a pretty funny guy in real life and I crack sarcastic jokes all the time. They work well on anyone who is an SVP and above.......analysts and associates generally look at me and nod and say 'that makes sense', when I am completely fucking around with a serious face. This is how I know I'm not as approachable as I think I am. The young ones are (usually) too afraid to acknowledge a joke, just in case I might be serious.

Or, maybe they aren't experienced enough to be a sycophant yet.....

Kids in my age group are sensitive. If you want to win them over, bully someone weaker (but call it 'just playing') or use silly voice inflections. They're like small children or kittens.

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Aug 22, 2018

You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. Perhaps she was once attractive, but given your description, I find that unlikely. More importantly, if you're in NYC and still rocking 80s hairdos, you're just odd. Those sort of anachronisms don't generally survive long in big cities, so she must be some sort of special case.

There is a part of me that almost wants to applaud his lack of interest in her appearance. There is definitely a school of thought that would like the idea that he loves her regardless. And I wish I were that sort of person. I'm not, but I wish I were (sometimes). I'd probably be happier. Of course, that's generally true of anyone with low standards. It's easy to be satisfied when you don't expect much. The problem comes from the knock-on effects of not expecting much. At some point, that way of thinking will result in a mindset that settles for less. And while that may make you happier in your personal life, it reflects badly in your professional one.

It's the same reason that being fat is generally frowned upon. There is almost never a good reason for it (as I write this, I could stand to lose 20 pounds, but I like cheeseburgers and whiskey more than I care about vanity muscles, so I skip the gym more often than I should). Appearances matter. They signal health, wealth, vitality, social status, and upbringing. If someone has fucked up teeth, they were raised poor. If they speak poorly, they lack education or intellect. If they associate themselves with a bunch of goons, they're probably a bit of a goon themselves. And in the case of this MD, he probably married young when they were both poor and she never evolved while he kept climbing the ranks.

That said, at least you know he's loyal to a fault (and in this case, it's a fault). His team at work probably loves him for that very reason. It's a great quality for a leader. If his only issue is a lack of polish (and a wife in need of a makeover qualifies as 'lack of polish'), maybe give him a second look. You can pay for a life coach to have the awkward conversations with him and his wife that you can't have without incurring the wrath of HR. It's a lot easier (and cheaper) than inspiring loyalty in another candidate or having them inspire loyalty in their underlings.

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Aug 22, 2018

Lane Kiffin, is that you!?

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Aug 23, 2018

So Russian brides are out? Trump got away with it a few times... maybe RE was the right decision for me after all.

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Aug 27, 2018

Russian brides are IN.

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Aug 23, 2018

Always enjoy your posts @DickFuld . +1 SB.

Can't blame you on this one. Damn. I am in my early 30s and the dating game can be just as tough. Everything matters, especially appearances/looks.

I think it would help a lot if you can elaborate why these things "do" matter, I see a lot of replies of people defending your candidate (providing a second look).

You thought about this long and hard, didn't you?

No pain no game.

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Aug 23, 2018
H13x:

Always enjoy your posts @DickFuld . +1 SB.

Can't blame you on this one. Damn. I am in my early 30s and the dating game can be just as tough. Everything matters, especially appearances/looks.

I think it would help a lot if you can elaborate why these things "do" matter, I see a lot of replies of people defending your candidate (providing a second look).

You thought about this long and hard, didn't you?

No, this was my gut reaction on my ride home from the event. I thought the initial gut reaction was probably more helpful than a more balanced and thought out post the next day/week.

As to the why....I touched on it in an earlier response. I'm not sure I can fully articulate it, but part of it is 'decision making' and part of it is just about being the full package and completely 'being' the part that being a leader entails.

Truth of the matter is, this guy is still a leading contender....before this event though, I thought he was a slam dunk.

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Aug 23, 2018

You might be being a bit harsh on the guy, but ofc this shit matters. For me a bad attitude would have actually been more off putting than the looks, but it all ties in. Thankfully my wife understands the game, and when we've gone out with colleagues we both understand that there is a certain presence that we want to project, and I appreciate her effort in that.

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Aug 23, 2018

Highest producer of the shortlist and most loved by his colleagues, but potential "decision making" flaws (in personal life anyways)?

Medium producer, kind of loved by his colleagues and more polished with a personal situation aligning your peers?

I suspect these are the profiles of the candidates for leadership.

I certainly respect and understand your position, but you'd be doing your firm a disservice if you were to choose the second candidate. Candidate 1's inadequate personal situation can be controlled, but you cannot suddenly make the second candidate loved by his colleagues and a certified closer.

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Aug 23, 2018

That's my point exactly in all of this - it doesn't even need a moralistic justification, there's a pragmatic rationale. As much as it might rub some people the wrong way, the truth of the matter is that it's probably easier to make a passable gentleman and lady out of the closer than it is to make a performer out of the pedigreed person.

Aug 23, 2018
ThatGuyBalls:

Highest producer of the shortlist and most loved by his colleagues, but potential "decision making" flaws (in personal life anyways)?

Medium producer, kind of loved by his colleagues and more polished with a personal situation aligning your peers?

I suspect these are the profiles of the candidates for leadership.

I certainly respect and understand your position, but you'd be doing your firm a disservice if you were to choose the second candidate. Candidate 1's inadequate personal situation can be controlled, but you cannot suddenly make the second candidate loved by his colleagues and a certified closer.

The other guy is actually even more liked by his team, has more experience overall, has similar client skills. However, his experience while lengthier, is a bit narrower, which I was preferring the other guy. Person #2 is sometimes a little set in his habits, but he is more polished, but not remotely uptight. Either person would do well and there are no bad choices.

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Aug 23, 2018

All I can say is that when this unpolished Jabroni loses out to @Prestigious Pete, he's probably gonna feel just like you did after Hanky P singled you out as the unsaved.

Ironic.

Aug 23, 2018

I think the overall discussion highlights one of the most valuable lessons. That is at some point all decisions and actions matter immensely.

Everything a person does tells a story and makes an impression. From the clothes, car, company, appearance, language, patterns, habits, mistakes and accomplishments.

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Aug 23, 2018

Ok. And what are you going to do with that information? Besides - I thought all educated adults knew that all decisions matter.

Aug 23, 2018

easy. buy a gun, charter a jet, and only drink french wine

Aug 23, 2018

Neat. Go promote a boring, generic guy with a boring, generic trophy wife instead.

Aug 23, 2018
fit419:

Neat. Go promote a boring, generic guy with a boring, generic trophy wife instead.

The other guy is actually a more interesting person to speak with and his wife is a very plain vanilla lady. Sorry to dismantle your stereotype.

The opposite of a Staten Island housewife is not a trophy wife.

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Aug 23, 2018

If that was meant to be a serious post, i absoluely disagree with the reasoning but well, every company is free to make their own rules/follow its own M.O. I mean, she is not going to represent the company in any way at all and question of the heart are always that or way more personal than one could imagine. Who knows what they struggled through together or what they lived through with their previous partners? I get the judging assessment but the synthesis seems not very logical re: the matter at hands - job qualifications, imho.

Aug 23, 2018
Thurrikan:

If that was meant to be a serious post, i absoluely disagree with the reasoning but well, every company is free to make their own rules/follow its own M.O. I mean, she is not going to represent the company in any way at all and question of the heart are always that or way more personal than one could imagine. Who knows what they struggled through together or what they lived through with their previous partners? I get the judging assessment but the synthesis seems not very logical re: the matter at hands - job qualifications, imho.

Have you ever been in a position to make this type of decision?

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Aug 23, 2018

Tangential question. What would your thoughts be if his wife was an absolute dime but also an airhead? I'm talking Russian model material. The stigma of unflattering visuals would be removed, but in front of clients there would be an equally dangerous alternative in which the wife would try to speak and make it awkward for everyone.

Aug 23, 2018
iggs99988:

Tangential question. What would your thoughts be if his wife was an absolute dime but also an airhead? I'm talking Russian model material. The stigma of unflattering visuals would be removed, but in front of clients there would be an equally dangerous alternative in which the wife would try to speak and make it awkward for everyone.

I somehow lost my response...anyway...

I would not be impressed. That would show a different type of poor judgment.

I think the fact that I pointed out that she was fat might have derailed my main point. Fat wasn't the problem. Gigantic fake nails, 1989 Bon Jovi haircut, thick Long Island accent. It's how she was put together that was the issue. Her personality was not exactly endearing either.

The male equivalent would be an electric blue pinstriped suit, enormous diamond studded pinky ring, slicked back hair, and an obnoxious fake tan. Nobody would approve of that on WSO. And for good reason. It lacks 'executive presence'.

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Aug 23, 2018

Sometimes I think being a banker wouldn't be the worst thing, then I read shit like this and GET ON MY KNEES TO THANK GOD that I do not have to work with such judgmental classist assholes.

The kinds of sentiments expressed here are literally everyone's worst stereotype of a finance person.

p.s. I'm atheist, so knees = really thankful

Aug 23, 2018
dazedmonk:

Sometimes I think being a banker wouldn't be the worst thing, then I read shit like this and GET ON MY KNEES TO THANK GOD that I do not have to work with such judgmental classist assholes.

The kinds of sentiments expressed here are literally everyone's worst stereotype of a finance person.

p.s. I'm atheist, so knees = really thankful

I've admitted to being an asshole hundreds of time on this site. I've just accepted it at this point. Most people are kind of judgmental assholes but just keep their mouth shut.

However, if you think this only happens in finance, you are delusional about how decisions get made for senior level positions in most industries.

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Aug 23, 2018

I know I know.

Its just that sometimes I think I should quit hedgefunds b/c the industry is full of petty assholes. Thanks for reminding me that on the client facing side of finance (or anything else) things are so much worse. I probably couldn't make it to VP - level if people judged me on polish

Aug 23, 2018

Well...to add on with your point @AHole" , this happens virtually in all industries, including engineering.

Love the name change by the way, what inspired it?

No pain no game.

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Aug 23, 2018

At the risk of exposing your colleagues or yourself, does this promotion come with a sizable compensation increase? Anything you can offer in the way of percentages? Not sure if you're a coverage or product banker, but it sounds like you're at least group-head level, or higher.

The reason I ask is I've always been curious about the compensation dynamics after one is a reasonably successful, reasonably tenured MD, and what kind of incentives exist to continue climbing into more senior MD, leadership-like roles. Thanks!

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Aug 23, 2018

Any chance those guys actually read the forum?

Aug 24, 2018
luworigawe:

Any chance those guys actually read the forum?

Anything is possible.

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Aug 24, 2018

I hope this guys not on the forum given that this is an extremely descriptive account of a unique situation.

Aug 24, 2018
AttackSnail:

I hope this guys not on the forum given that this is an extremely descriptive account of a unique situation.

This is not "extremely descriptive" at all.....what makes you say that? I haven't mentioned what role is posted, what my role is, what industry this is in, etc. Whatever 'details' you imagined were the ones where you filled in all of those blanks. The only thing remotely descriptive was the big fingernails and Bon Jovi hair. These are pretty common things in Long Island, Staten Island, and NJ.

Also, the entire point of me writing this down was that this is actually a very common scenario.

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Aug 24, 2018

I say that because sure women like that are common in that area but those traits seem really uncommon in high finance, not to mention that fact that you said the exact date you were with him. There's probably an extremely small amount of investment bankers who have wives of that exact description that also happened to be at dinner with their boss on August 22, 2018. It just doesn't seem that difficult to put the pieces together.

Aug 24, 2018

[]

Aug 24, 2018
bule:

FWIW, a board member of a former employer, who was nominated to represent one of the top activist funds, was a gigantic Italian American with a penchant for hair gel and gold rollies with a thick NJ accent who married an exotic dancer.

Point being, it really depends on how people value performance vs. polish in the client settings this guy (+ wife) would be dropped in to. Does he create enough value to off-set his wife's nails?

As I've mentioned throughout this thread, he's not the only good candidate. So, the question is, "who would be better?" instead of, "is this guy good enough?"

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Aug 24, 2018

Do you still want to keep him as a part of the firm?

What is stopping him from leaving assuming he has strong relationships?

Aug 24, 2018
gator10:

Do you still want to keep him as a part of the firm?

What is stopping him from leaving assuming he has strong relationships?

Absolutely. He's a great guy and good at his job. Same with the other guy. If they weren't good, they wouldn't be in their current seat.

There's nothing really to prevent him from leaving, other than his existing team, comp, etc. He has a non solicit provision, but that can be worked around if he really wants to.

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Controversial
Aug 24, 2018

Oh no, fake Dick Fuld isn't going to pretend promote another fake MD because other fake MD has a fat fake wife. Cool story.

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Aug 24, 2018
Esuric:

Oh no, fake Dick Fuld isn't going to pretend promote another fake MD because other fake MD has a fat fake wife. Cool story.

No, she was actually fat....that is 100% certain.

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Aug 26, 2018

Dick you have insecurity issues bud, he's your colleague not your wingman. Coming from a family involved in the high fashion world, if I had your attitude you'd never get promoted. Your wife has nothing on my bottom bucket girlfriends. If I woke up a masochist and stuck long enough to become an MD in banking, I'd promote rainmakers that command respect... it appears you're looking for a guy to hold your hand to the boys bathroom.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Aug 27, 2018
Jamie_Diamond:

Dick you have insecurity issues bud, he's your colleague not your wingman. Coming from a family involved in the high fashion world, if I had your attitude you'd never get promoted. Your wife has nothing on my bottom bucket girlfriends. If I woke up a masochist and stuck long enough to become an MD in banking, I'd promote rainmakers that command respect... it appears you're looking for a guy to hold your hand to the boys bathroom.

Hilarious,,,,the high fashion world is less superficial than the financial world. Good one!!!!

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Aug 26, 2018

I hope that WSO has more content like this in the future. Office politics, executive presence, interpersonal dynamics and situational awareness because means A LOT when you're trying to separate yourself at the higher-levels.

If I am meeting a ranking representative from a company with my girlfriend / fiance / wife and your M.D. rolls in with the woman you described and if she acted like what you described, I'm leaving that dinner saying, "What the fuck?", as it is our first encounter. If I was going off first impressions and choosing which firm I'd like to partner with moving forward, assuming all business technicals of each firm / individual equal, I'm going with the firm with which I had the more "comfortable" / "formal" encounter with, and that would be the one closer to "customary" for a first encounter.

The M.D. may be the best guy in the world, but I don't know that in our first encounter. As a preface, this is how I view the business world and when I play "society".

Given @DickFuld 's description, I would immediately dock the guy a few points in my mind just based off of his wife's appearance. I could extrapolate a thousand inferences of him right off the bat, but at the end of the day it conveys, "of lesser value". Imagine if I had a great chance encounter with a senator and his party at the same venue, and then I tend to my own at my table with my significant other and wait for the M.D. + Wife. The M.D. + Wife join our table, the senator and party all see the awaited twosome who joins our table, and then they eventually leave. Regardless of who the M.D. + Wife are as people, I've been superficially coupled by the senator as being "with them" when they left. I promise you I'm losing points there and it diminishes my initial encounter.

Second, if her personality matched her aesthetics, you could be in for a tiring night. That's a bold personality that you may have to accommodate or that may put you in strange social situations that aren't "pleasant". There's unspoken etiquette for first encounters that really mirror's the principles in, "How to Win Friends and Influence People". A "bold" personality usually won't conform and will wear on the senses overtime; especially so if she requires the "spotlight" the majority of the time.

On the ride home, I'm debriefing with my significant other and I'm lumping you, your spouse and all affiliations into one broad-sweeping experience feeling. When it comes to client-facing work, your job is to influence perception positively. Sounds like the dude's wife isn't doing him any favors.

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Aug 26, 2018

Well spoken @dedline . This extends to all business spectrum, regardless of the industry. As it has been said before, the company you keep around tells you a lot about yourself. Who you marry is a big commitment in part, too.

I am reading that book you mentioned, quite interesting.

No pain no game.

Aug 27, 2018
Dedline:

I hope that WSO has more content like this in the future. Office politics, executive presence, interpersonal dynamics and situational awareness because means A LOT when you're trying to separate yourself at the higher-levels.

If I am meeting a ranking representative from a company with my girlfriend / fiance / wife and your M.D. rolls in with the woman you described and if she acted like what you described, I'm leaving that dinner saying, "What the fuck?", as it is our first encounter. If I was going off first impressions and choosing which firm I'd like to partner with moving forward, assuming all business technicals of each firm / individual equal, I'm going with the firm with which I had the more "comfortable" / "formal" encounter with, and that would be the one closer to "customary" for a first encounter.

The M.D. may be the best guy in the world, but I don't know that in our first encounter. As a preface, this is how I view the business world and when I play "society".

Given @DickFuld 's description, I would immediately dock the guy a few points in my mind just based off of his wife's appearance. I could extrapolate a thousand inferences of him right off the bat, but at the end of the day it conveys, "of lesser value". Imagine if I had a great chance encounter with a senator and his party at the same venue, and then I tend to my own at my table with my significant other and wait for the M.D. + Wife. The M.D. + Wife join our table, the senator and party all see the awaited twosome who joins our table, and then they eventually leave. Regardless of who the M.D. + Wife are as people, I've been superficially coupled by the senator as being "with them" when they left. I promise you I'm losing points there and it diminishes my initial encounter.

Second, if her personality matched her aesthetics, you could be in for a tiring night. That's a bold personality that you may have to accommodate or that may put you in strange social situations that aren't "pleasant". There's unspoken etiquette for first encounters that really mirror's the principles in, "How to Win Friends and Influence People". A "bold" personality usually won't conform and will wear on the senses overtime; especially so if she requires the "spotlight" the majority of the time.

On the ride home, I'm debriefing with my significant other and I'm lumping you, your spouse and all affiliations into one broad-sweeping experience feeling. When it comes to client-facing work, your job is to influence perception positively. Sounds like the dude's wife isn't doing him any favors.

Someone gets it.

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Aug 27, 2018

We recently had to let go of a great CEO who was covering our TMT business. He is a Canadian - great guy - mellow, get things done, smart. Have i) a fat ugly wife- who - ii) constantly bash the local staff, iii) think that the accommodation isn't good enough - our group provides them with USD 2-3MM 3 bedrooms villa in an exclusive area, and iv) constantly misbehave in social setting - i.e. company dinner, formal event.

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Aug 27, 2018

Bad company image, right?

No pain no game.

Aug 27, 2018

I think his wife's behavior reflects poorly on him and also his staff started not to respect him as much. But that also allow a window of opportunity for another foreigner German MD who is looking to take over that business. That other MD's wife is local, much more presentable and get along with local staff so - that sort of ended that Canadian CEO's chances.

Aug 27, 2018

@DickFuld It sounds like you are coupling the physical appearance of someone with their unflattering personality.

While it may be correlated, I bet most people objecting on this thread are triggered by you bucketing her physical body appearance (not even the nails and hairs...just the fat part) with why you won't promote your employee.

I 100% get your take when assessing her personality and behavior. I 100% object to your take when assessing her physical appearance.

I also don't care if you are an asshole or not, that's not an excuse for even suggesting that your employee's wife's weight has something to do with his promotion. Body image is a real deal, regardless of how self-destructive someone's health is ... keep that shit out of things ... that's basic human decency, not asshole stuff...

Aug 27, 2018
2trickpony:

@DickFuld It sounds like you are coupling the physical appearance of someone with their unflattering personality.

While it may be correlated, I bet most people objecting on this thread are triggered by you bucketing her physical body appearance (not even the nails and hairs...just the fat part) with why you won't promote your employee.

I 100% get your take when assessing her personality and behavior. I 100% object to your take when assessing her physical appearance.

I also don't care if you are an asshole or not, that's not an excuse for even suggesting that your employee's wife's weight has something to do with his promotion. Body image is a real deal, regardless of how self-destructive someone's health is ... keep that shit out of things ... that's basic human decency, not asshole stuff...

you are probably correct, at least partially. That being said, the fat issue was way down on the list. The general presentation (nails, hair, Lawn guy-land accent, etc.) are actual issues. Whether or not you want them to be is another question.

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Aug 28, 2018

Fair ... but its seemed to derail this thread. Sift out all of those posts (mine included) and this is a really interesting topic.

Aug 27, 2018

Not sure how 'legit' the OP is, but if indeed a Sr. MD level, obviously knows how it works in certain organizations. For those disagreeing or not comprehending, will likely have a lower chance of being promoted to that level, let alone a lower MD level in their high finance field (which is sociopathic in nature).

For simple reasons that politicians marry with them being a 'package' in mind, that's the brutal reality if you want to reach the stratosphere of power and influence where deals are cultivated in prestigious, closed settings. Up until a certain level, it's fine. It's the equivalent of taking that 'fat' wife, but then beware of their surroundings and therefore hiring the stylus and image consultants. Big women to a certain limit can indeed by desirable if presented accordingly.

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Aug 27, 2018
wallstreetgodzilla:

Not sure how 'legit' the OP is, but if indeed a Sr. MD level, obviously knows how it works in certain organizations. For those disagreeing or not comprehending, will likely have a lower chance of being promoted to that level, let alone a lower MD level in their high finance field (which is sociopathic in nature).

For simple reasons that politicians marry with them being a 'package' in mind, that's the brutal reality if you want to reach the stratosphere of power and influence where deals are cultivated in prestigious, closed settings. Up until a certain level, it's fine. It's the equivalent of taking that 'fat' wife, but then beware of their surroundings and therefore hiring the stylus and image consultants. Big women to a certain limit can indeed by desirable if presented accordingly.

For those of you who disagree with me....that's your right. That being said, let's change a couple of the facts here and see if you still maintain your viewpoint.

What if instead of bad hair/nails/accent, his wife had purple hair, a black leather outfit, and tattoos all over the place? Would you think that is the best way to rep the firm?

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Aug 27, 2018

Or imagine that she had a tattoo on her face....

Looks don't matter, right people?

Aug 27, 2018

I wonder if this is a wife that let herself go once she got married or if she was always a loser. The first might be a bit more excusable since it is the financial equivalent of fraudulent conveyance.

    • 1
Aug 27, 2018

Whether or not this is a real or fabricated situation, you make a good point that early-career people should take heed of: you will be judged professionally based on things that have nothing to do with your professional ability. Ugly wife? Points off. Bad haircut? Points off. Live in the Bronx? Points off.

Human beings are mostly irrational. If something minor about you puts another person off, it often doesn't matter what else you have to offer. They don't care, they just don't like you. They may attempt to rationalize how they feel ("His wife is ugly, so he must have low standards in every other facet of his life") but it still comes down to them just knee-jerk judging you.

It's probably not good advice to make every life decision based on what other people will think, but everyone should at least be aware that there will be unintended consequences for things that shouldn't really matter.

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Aug 27, 2018

I think a lot of the people commenting here derive way too much from the original post. In my head, this is a question of fit, as in, his wife does not fit with the industry/company culture. Executives and MDs regularly meet with +1's, and his wife is a liability in social settings with her attitude and misplaced looks. As his boss, I would want his spouse to be "neutral" or forgettable, at worst.

I suggest you either apply for his wife to go on "Extreme Makeover", or hire a life coach to have that weird conversation with him.

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Aug 27, 2018
QuiltEmerson:

I think a lot of the people commenting here derive way too much from the original post. In my head, this is a question of fit, as in, his wife does not fit with the industry/company culture. Executives and MDs regularly meet with +1's, and his wife is a liability in social settings with her attitude and misplaced looks. As his boss, I would want his spouse to be "neutral" or forgettable, at worst.

I suggest you either apply for his wife to go on "Extreme Makeover", or hire a life coach to have that weird conversation with him.

Looking at it that way too, imagine this. Sr. MDs with clients at a super high razzy function standing outside the venue chit-chatting, maybe it's a front patio with drinks. 'Jr.' MD pulls up to the valet with a Ford Escape or something with notable rust. What do you think the reaction will be?

It's about the total presentation, and being 'in' with that certain world and club is the way I see it. Even being overweight is a sign of lack of discipline and less awareness of themselves and surroundings.

    • 2
Aug 27, 2018

Also, curious to know what those saying "looks don't matter" wear when meeting clients or in other professional settings? Honest question.

    • 1
Aug 27, 2018

What would you have thought had you been impressed by his wife and then found out 2 years from now about his real wife and that he brought a professional escort to dinner just to impress you?

Aug 27, 2018
jomito:

What would you have thought had you been impressed by his wife and then found out 2 years from now about his real wife and that he brought a professional escort to dinner just to impress you?

I highly doubt an escort would impress me.

Aug 27, 2018

The point remains. Any good escort worth her money would've been a better look for this guy than his actual wife.

Aug 27, 2018

A real, verified senior guy tells a universal truth about the industry and a bunch of college kids and juniors tell him he's wrong for telling how poltics work in finance. Classic.

When's the last time any of you have seen a fat C-suite exec or an overweight partner of a person of this corporate rank? Better question. How many of you have ever interacted with these people? I'll wait.

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Sep 1, 2018

There are quite a few fat C-suite execs, meaning 20 to 40 pounds overweight. Obese is another story.

Sep 21, 2018

I can think of a couple obese execs too...

https://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/lg/public/2016/01/06/michael-pearson.jpg

Aug 27, 2018

I remember when I was young. I always thought about how the world should work. Now, I mostly think about how it does work and adjust my actions accordingly.

    • 2
Aug 27, 2018

Everything is about pros and cons

Not playing the game properly by prepping his wife and making her appear more presentable certainly goes in the latter column, not to mention his apparently repulsive choice of partner in the first place. But not sure how this makes his net score shake out vs the next guy. All things considered I'd rather have a guy with poor taste in women than someone who doesn't produce

There's never going to be a contender with a perfect score

    • 1
Aug 27, 2018
Going Concern:

Everything is about pros and cons

Not playing the game properly by prepping his wife and making her appear more presentable certainly goes in the latter column, not to mention his apparently repulsive choice of partner in the first place. But not sure how this makes his net score shake out vs the next guy. All things considered I'd rather have a guy with poor taste in women than someone who doesn't produce

There's never going to be a contender with a perfect score

Very true. Unfortunately for the guy with the trashy wife, the other guy scores well in most columns. Still not exactly sure which way to go....thankfully, there's no urgently counting down game clock.

    • 1
Aug 27, 2018
DickFuld:
Going Concern:

Everything is about pros and cons

Not playing the game properly by prepping his wife and making her appear more presentable certainly goes in the latter column, not to mention his apparently repulsive choice of partner in the first place. But not sure how this makes his net score shake out vs the next guy. All things considered I'd rather have a guy with poor taste in women than someone who doesn't produce

There's never going to be a contender with a perfect score

Very true. Unfortunately for the guy with the trashy wife, the other guy scores well in most columns. Still not exactly sure which way to go....thankfully, there's no urgently counting down game clock.

To repeat your own idea, do a thought experiment where you take all their positives and negatives and exaggerate them to ridiculous levels, and imagine how they might play out in various situations. This might make it more clear which categories you feel should be given higher weight in making a decision, based on your reaction to the hypothetical. Big decisions are never easy. Good luck

    • 3
Aug 28, 2018

Is your wife any better?

Aug 28, 2018
Pitbull Class:

Is your wife any better?

Significantly, in every way.

Aug 28, 2018

Sounds like a nice guy.... nice guys finish last

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

    • 1
Aug 30, 2018

It used to be quite common for people to marry across social classes and education levels. That might have been less true at the highest rungs of the elite, but it was also more common at one time for someone to rise to management level without a college degree. In the 50s, American was much more of a monoculture and the professional class was much closer to everyone else in cultural and socioeconomic terms.

A lot has to do with culture of an industry and expectations. In my business, we deal with bankers on the one hand, who generally are very polished, an internal team who are cosmopolitan and seem to mostly come from privileged elite backgrounds, and managers/counterparties who are more blue collar, rust belt types made good. You need to be able to navigate all the constituencies. Going on with the latter group about how much you hate Trump or your new Bentley or whatever is as problematic as talking about your dipping habit and evangelical church with the former. A lot of this is just common sense. That being said, most of my extended family are working to middle class folks, and I get along with them just fine. Being able to bridge the gap and show well with any audience is a matter of tact or if you will, savoir faire.

Aug 31, 2018

To add on that point, a mentor once told me:

"A gentleman is someone who talk about bread in front of bakers, who talk about meat in front of butchers; and if both parties are in the room, he talk about making sandwiches."

    • 1
Aug 31, 2018

I would perform a decision analysis model. Unfortunately most people do not seem to know how to do this.

Basically build an NPV equation for each person you are thinking about promoting, and in your case you have to assess intangible values which can be difficult. I cannot share how to do this because my model is copy written by my professor. After you assess the NPV of each person pick the person who has the best value.

But you are smart people, I am sure you could figure it out.

This is how I would do it, but I am young and have lots to learn. I don't know if turning people into numbers and assessing them is ethical.

If you ask me; I think you already made your decision by posting this.

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Sep 1, 2018
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Sep 21, 2018
Sep 21, 2018