Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Trader Monthly

Dow Jones Jon Housman, the former managing director of The Wall Street Journal Europe took a bite out of the magazine market last year. He started publishing the quarterly Style Journal, a luxurious free insert in the newspaper, and he made a deal with Doubledown Media to co-publish Trader Monthly in the UK. Trader Monthly is a beautiful glossy magazine coming out every 2 months. The most recent issue came out this week in the UK, keeping me and my team busy with the distribution and transportation set up from Belgium where it is being printed to London where it is being distributed.

Most startling article in this issue for mere mortals as myself is the astonishing list of what the best 100 Traders earned last year. The top earner in the UK is even from Belgium !! Pierre Lagrange, 44, works for GLG Partners. His estimated income: 295 -396 Million Euro.

(Pierre Langrange, Noam Gottesman and Jonathan Green joined Lehman Brothers in 1995. They ran multi-strategy hedge funds. A few years later they left Lehman to found their own company GLG (Gottesman, Lagrange, Green)(in which Lehman still holds a 20 % stake).

However this is nothing to what the number 1 Trader earned last year: John Arnold.
Arnold (33!!!!!) works for Centaurus Energy. His estimated income: 1.108 - 1.478 Million Euro.

Arnold created Centaurus in August 2002 with $8 million of his own money. That is 8 million dollar he earned at Enron which he joined in 1995 out of college. He was credited with booking $750 million in profits for Enron in 2001 by trading natural gas contracts (he was 26 at the time). His reward: an $8 million bonus, the largest bonus paid to any Enron employee in 2001.

Arnold started Centaurus with his bonus and three employees trading out of a single large room with a kitchen. Centaurus amassed $1.5 billion in assets since then. Today, the company employs 36 people, including a full-time meteorologist. It has been closed to new investments for two years now.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Russell Crowe Style Journal in The Wall Street Journal Europe

Friday the 13th

Again our quarterly glossy magazine, Style Journal, had to be inserted in The Wall Street Journal Europe newspaper. My team was dispersed over Europe to follow up on the nightly operations. It is a complex set up because the magazine is printed centrally in 1 printplant (in Belgium, Antwerp!). From there the magazines are shipped to our 10 printplants (all over Europe and Middle East) to be inserted. Leaving from the 10 printplants the copies finally will end up in 75 countries.

I was following the ops in the German printplant. A fantastic experience because the energy of hundreds of people comes together in one timeslot from 11PM till 2 AM. On top of that, our German printplant is in hands of an extremely professional Turkish Media Group. Although it is a modern sophisticated German company based in Frankfurt, the operation is 100 % Turkish. With their continuous investments in new machines and technology they almost always find a solution to our increasingly complex requests.

I am glad to say that in none of the 10 printplants a Friday the 13th scenario unraveled.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mission Statement - NASA

Short, bold, beautiful, a mission statement and a vision only NASA can carry. First Vision I come across that dares to say the company is an investment in the future of the home country.

NASA Mission Statement

  • To advance and communicate scientific knowledge and understanding of the earth, the solar system, and the universe.
  • To advance human exploration, use, and development of space.
  • To research, develop, verify, and transfer advanced aeronautics and space technologies.

NASA Vision
NASA is an investment in America's future. As explorers, pioneers, and innovators, we boldly expand frontiers in air and space to inspire and serve America and to benefit the quality of life on Earth.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Cambridge wins!

Cambridge won the 153rd Boat Race against Oxford today, in a time of 17:49. Experts had predicted a bigger margin for the crew with five returning Light Blues and two world champions on board. Oxford, though, started well and held off the Light Blues for the early part of the Race. Cambridge recovered, got into their rhythm and were a length ahead by Barnes Bridge.
Cambridge now lead the overall series by 79-73 (with one dead heat since 1829) and their win today prevented Oxford, winners in 2005 and 2006, from registering a hat-trick.
The 2008 Race will be on Saturday March 29th at 17.15.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Oxford versus Cambridge: Saturday April 7, 2007: 4.30PM

The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge have been battling against each other on the water since March 12, 1829. Two students, 1 studying at Cambridge, Charles Merival, and the other one, Charles Wordsworth (nephew of the poet William Wordsworth) studying at Oxford, challenged each other to row four-and-a-quarter miles on the river Thames. The race became known as the Henley Royal Regatta (although the students abandoned Henley for London for their second encounter).

Some highlights :
- Wins: Oxford : 73 wins - Cambridge : 78 wins - One dead heat in 1877
- Oxford has won four of the last five encounters
- Course record: 16.19 mins (Cambridge in 1998)
- Sinkings: Three (Cambridge in 1859 and 1978, Oxford in 1925)
- 1829: First race
- 1856: First annual race
- 1912: Both crews sank - a few weeks before the Titanic
- 1924-36: Cambridge win a record 13 in a row
- 1954: 100th Boat Race
- 1976-85: Oxford win 10 in a row
- 1984: Cambridge boat sinks after ramming a barge before even under starter's orders
- 1987-92: Oxford make it 16 wins in 17 years
  • Each year, the loser of the previous year's event challenges the winner to a new race.
  • In the early years of the Boat Race, the crews wore no distinguishing colours.
    However, in 1836 Oxford selected dark blue , the colour of their stroke-man's college (Christ Church), and Cambridge adopted the "duck egg blue" of Eton.
  • Seven million people in the UK are expected to watch the race on television, worldwide more than 500 million people will follow the race.
  • In 1981 Sue Brown became the first woman to participate in the Boat Race (cox).
  • Three time Olympic gold medal winner Matthew Pinsent rowed for Oxford in 1990, 1991 and 1993.
  • In the history of the race there has been one dead heat. "Honest John" Phelps, the judge on the finish, was asleep under a bush as the crews arrived. When awakened and asked the result, he said "Dead heat to Oxford by four feet"

Oxford won the 152nd Boat Race in 2006

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Difference Between Leaders and Managers (12)

Leadership is about a sense of direction. The word 'lead' comes from an Anglo-Saxon word, common to north European languages, which means a road, a way, the path of a ship at sea. It is knowing what the next step is… Managing is a different image. It is from the Latin 'Manus', a hand. It is handling a sword, a ship, a horse. It tends to be closely linked with the idea of machines. Managing had its origins in the 19th century with engineers and accountants coming in to run entrepreneurial outfits. They tended to think of them as systems.
But there are valuable ingredients in the concept of management that are not present in leadership. Managing is very strong on the idea of controlling, particularly financial control, and administration. Leaders are not necessarily good at administration or managing resources.
John Adair (Interview Director Magazine, November 1988)