Saving tips from a hedge fund manager’s wife

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Almost 10 years ago we wrote what was then a very popular article entitled “Twenty Money Saving Tips From Bankers and Their Wives”. It included observations such as “stop skiing,” “take less cash with you,” “cook your own food,” “start ironing,” and “get a Prius.” A decade later, it seems advice still applies.

This time, however, the hot picks come from a single woman, and she’s married to a quantitative hedge fund manager who was previously Goldman Sachs’ vice president of quantitative trading.

Jessica Keplinger, 38, shared her observations with The Sunday Times. The Keplingers live in a four-bedroom house in Kingston on Thames, south-west London, and have recently been considering a £100,000 refurbishment and extension to the kitchen. You have a child and are not sure if you can afford a second one. Jessica works as an interior designer and is retraining to become a health coach. Her husband Werner is a partner at the hedge fund Alcova Asset Management.

“It’s becoming increasingly important that we prioritize what’s really important,” Jessica told the Times of the pressure on the cost of living. She added that sometimes she looks at her bank balance and thinks, “Shit, that’s a lot of money to spend money on frivolous things.”

What frivolous things? An ironing service seems to have been called upon, as Jessica now plans to do the ironing herself. There were takeaways from Hakkasan, the Michelin-starred restaurant long popular with financiers. There is an organic vegetable box, an Audi A3 that is used almost exclusively for the school run, and a supposed nanny for a child who is already attending a fee-paying school.

While it’s about a very traditional woman, it’s also a revealing snapshot of the lifestyle of a contemporary buy-side family facing 10% inflation. To avoid the pressure, Jessica says they’ll ditch the vegetable box and use Ocado, trade the A3 for a Tesla, possibly get an au pair instead of a nanny, stay away from the Hakkasan Deliveroos and that they’ll be off do the ironing now.

The revelations were met with disbelief. “Is that a parody?” someone asks in the comments below the article. “Can we organize a crowdfunding event for Jessica? I know times are tough but no one should feel compelled to downgrade their purchases to Ocado,” asks another.

This is likely to be the last time Jessica Keplinger speaks to a journalist, which is a shame as she obviously meant well. While no one is going to be that sympathetic, the Keplingers may actually be feeling a bit stuck in connection with other hedge fund types living in Richmond: The accounts for Alcova Asset Management, filed last year, show eight members of the administrative staff, who share £1million in salary, and two partners who appear to share nothing at all after the fund posted a £654,000 loss in 2021 after a £2.5million profit the previous year.

Regardless, one hedge fund manager with plenty of money to spend on Hakkasan takeaways is Steve Cohen, head of Point72, who has a net worth in excess of $10 billion.

Despite being so overly wealthy, Cohen doesn’t seem to eat Wagyu beef and noodles at every meal. Or if he is, he doesn’t mention it. Cohen’s chief of staff, Michael Sullivan, tells the Wall Street Journal that Steve works seven days a week. Earlier this year, Cohen said he has three jobs: “I run my firm, I run the Mets, and I trade a portfolio in my firm.”

Cohen isn’t the only one with multiple jobs at Point72. According to WSJ, it’s become the norm for Point72’s technology and data professionals to lend their expertise to the New York Mets, the baseball team Cohen bought about 18 months ago. Mark Brubaker, CTO of Point72, Steve Canna, Director of Taxes, Director of Human Resources and Director of Data Solutions and Engineering are either featured on the Mets website or have been seconded to specific projects.

This naturally leads to the question, “What does data and technology have to do with baseball?” The answer seems to be, “More than you might think.” The new data systems will reportedly be used, among other things, to make decisions about player acquisitions.

There are perks to Point72, too: Hedge fund employees work for the Mets and receive recognition from exposure to the exciting world of sports. However, some Point72 investors aren’t so sure that’s a good idea: The fund’s performance has lagged its peers, and the WSJ has encountered some investors who believe the Mets distraction is to blame.

In the meantime…

Goldman Sachs will no longer work with the SPACs it has listed and is pausing the issuance of new SPACs. It could potentially continue to advise some SPACs on rare and strategic occasions. The change of heart has been brought about by proposed SEC SPAC legislation, which will expose SPAC insurers to greater liability risk. Citi already suspended new SPAC IPOs last month. (Blumberg)

Bank of America discontinued Rahul Bhandari from JPMorgan as Head of Private Capital Markets in EMEA. (Blumberg)

Singapore wants companies there to hire more locals but says there may be opportunities for foreigners “Outward facing industries” such as Information & Communications and Financial Services. (Blumberg)

Another hedge fund moved to Florida: Aurelius Capital Management is now based in Palm Beach Gardens instead of in Manhattan. (Blumberg)

Coinbase shares fell 17% yesterday. (business insider)

Apple’s Director of Machine Learning is retiring due to returning to the office. “I firmly believe that more flexibility would have been the best strategy for my team.” (Twitter)

The average startup CEO makes $150,000. (tech crunch)

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