Some people grow, other people swell. You’d better figure out who you are. — John Weinberg, Senior partner and chairman, Goldman Sachs, 1976 – 1990
Reading on a regular basis the Wall Street Journal on hedge fund managers, two themes emerge: They hate fame and they like to be feared.
That is not uncommon on Wall Street, where it’s better to be hated and rich than loved and famous.
That is, unfortunately, the hierarchy in the finance culture today: the more important you are, the less you need to be liked, and the less you need to be seen.
At the very top of the Wall Street pyramid are the billionaire hedge-fund managers, masters of the markets who are famous for not wanting fame. Their ability and desire to stay under the radar of the public is a signal of how really important they are. They flee from cameras, flee from being interviewed. Unflattering news, unflattering photos, are either bought with money or buried via legal action.
The distaste of fame often morphs into outright secrecy, especially amongst the hedge-fund set.