If you've ever wondered about the inception of Hedgeye and how this all started...
Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough's memoir Diary Of A Hedge Fund Manager chronicles the life and business insights McCullough learned on his way "from the top, to the bottom, and back again."
BELOW IS AN EXCERPT
“Do you have a ball?"
The Lehman Brothers Executive met my question with a blank stare. He either didn’t expect a lowly member of the Class of 1999 to ask him a question- he was, after all, interviewing me- or he didn’t appreciated it, because the guy looked at me like I had just made a rude comment about his wife.
We were seated across from one another in a New York City hotel during the investment brokerage house’s spring “Super Saturday” recruiting event. Lehman had invited me and around two dozen other graduating, mostly Ivy League, seniors to compete for about six entry-level positions. Most of the banks put on a “Super Saturday” event, part junket, part steeplechase. I refused to be intimidated.
“A ball?” he asked. “What do you mean?”
“A ball,” I said, smiling, cocky. “That thing you throw. Tennis ball, soccer ball, any ball. Do you have one?”
“What’s your point?”
This whole exchange had started with him, somewhat condescendingly, asking me why I believed I was Lehman material. What set me apart?
I told him: “If you took every college recruit here, put us all in a room, and then shut the doors and turned off the lights, so it was pitch black, and then threw a ball in the room for us to chase around . . .
I can guarantee you . . . that I’d be the one coming out of there with that ball.”
The Lehmanite, trim, jockish, and in his early 30’s, flashed me a smile as the bewilderment vacated his eyes. Extending his arm in a handshake, he practically shouted: “That’s the best answer I have ever heard!”
Although the dot.com era was well underway, Wall Street still had its pick of the roughly one million or so college seniors who graduate every May. But they were more vigorously pursuing the best and brightest in 1999 now that they had to compete with Silicon Valley. I ended up getting an offer from Lehman, but wound up taking another job. I was going to work for Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB). It was the summer of 1999 and there was no hotter firm on Wall Street than CSFB.
You can order a copy of Keith's memoir Diary Of A Hedge Fund Manager here.