Friday, November 19, 2010

Wall Street bigwigs have long used their golf club memberships to woo clients and help close deals. But a Connecticut hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, has taken that approach one step further, adding its own “golf pro” to the payroll. His name is Sam Evans, and he’s actually a 7-handicap amateur, but he plays the role of a pro for SAC, setting up dozens of golf outings for the firm’s traders and analysts at prestigious clubs in the Northeast, according to Reuters:

…There aren't many on Wall Street, much less at a hedge fund, like Evans, who gets paid to play golf three or four times a week with corporate executives and other rich people at historic courses like Merion Golf Club in suburban Philadelphia or Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Long Island.

…One person who knows Evans and has golfed with him calls him something of a "pioneer" in the $1.7 trillion hedge fund industry. Others, upon learning of Evans and his unusual post, expressed a sentiment similar to the one stated by the manager of another hedge fund: "How do I get a job like that?"
Sounds harmless enough, right? Not so fast…

…Securities lawyers said there is always a concern that in a casual setting like playing three hours of golf, a company executive may blurt out some confidential corporate information and the hedge fund later trades on it.

"The potential issues are fairly obvious because these are events where there is unlikely to be strong compliance control," said Donald Langevoort, a Georgetown professor. "Everybody knows in their head what the rules are. But when you go out in one of these settings it is easy to slip."
Remeber that next time somebody gives you an 8-footer and then asks you about those crop reports… Want to avoid airline fees? Don’t win the U.S. OpenAirlines charge extra for everything these days: meals, legroom, adding your name to the standby list. And, oh yeah, traveling with the U.S. Open trophy. Reigning U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell discovered that the hard way while checking in to a Cathay Pacific Airlines flight in Singapore earlier this week, reports the Irish Independent

The airline adjudged his luggage to be over the weight and demanded an excess fee of around €300. [Irish pro] Shane Lowry, checking in at the same time, had a similar amount of luggage, with the exception of the U.S. Open trophy, and paid no excess.

"All because I was carrying the U.S. Open trophy that I brought to Shanghai, Singapore and on to Hong Kong, so that people could admire it," said an angry McDowell.
Them’s the breaks, G-Mac. Try winning the Masters next year. There's no charge for flying with the green jacket ... not yet, anyway. And the hits keep coming: Ishikawa has 'no interest' in PGA TourTo the growing list of superstars who are in no rush to join the PGA Tour, add Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa. The 19-year-old sensation said this week that he’s comfortable right where he is: on Japan’s Dunlop Phoenix Tour:

"Everyone around me is getting excited [about my playing in the U.S.], but I haven't thought about it at all.

"I have no interest [in changing tours]. I want to do what I did this year."
Ishikawa has won three times in Japan in 2010, though he has been less successful overseas. He missed the cut at both the Masters and PGA and finished outside the top 20 at both the U.S. and British Opens. Still, he is one of the game’s hottest prospects—one of the so-called “three R’s” (along with Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy) who look primed to win tournaments in bunches over the next three decades. How many of those wins might come in the U.S. is less certain, especially in the short term. Fowler is the only player among the trio who will play the PGA Tour full time in 2011. World Series ring swiped from golf bagIf we’ve said it once at Press Tent, we’ve said it a thousand times: Don’t leave your World Series ring in your golf bag. The L.A. Times has the sad tale of former Dodgers catcher Jimmy Campanis…

Campanis, who earned three World Series rings (one as a player in 1965 and two as a member of the organization in 1981 and 1988), said his most recent ring was stolen as he warmed up on the Western Hills Golf Course driving range for a tournament organized by the Fullerton College baseball team.

Campanis said he placed the ring and watch inside a jewelry pouch in his golf bag. He said he left the bag on his golf cart and began to hit balls on the driving range about 10 yards away from his cart. When he returned minutes later, the ring and watch were gone, he said.

"You really feel naked," Campanis said. "I've worn a World Series ring on my hand since '65."
Chin up, Jimmy, at least it wasn't your wedding ring.

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