Meeting with daffey in london was a very different

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Meeting with Daffey in London was a very different thing from seeing him in New York at Soho House with a killer buzz under his belt. He was now the global head of Equity Sales, and the head of Securities Sales in London, meaning he managed both FICC and Equities. He had thousands of people ultimately reporting to him. He was now an official Very Important Partner, and a hard guy to see. You had to go through three levels of security, not to mention a strict English lady sitting guard at the desk outside his door, just to get in his office. At the appointed time, the English lady escorted me into Daffey’s impressively big and elegant office. The first thing that caught my eye, besides Daffey smiling and extending his hand, was a large framed lithograph on the wall, a single word in big black type on its white background. It read: PEOPLE . It was the old Daffey. I breathed a sigh of relief. “Dude, great to see you,” he said. The assistant closed the door, and Daffey gave me his undivided attention. “So why do you want to do this job?” he asked. I told him the truth: that even before I came over, I’d seen it as a potentially exciting opportunity, and that my meetings had all confirmed that idea. I said I thought I was the right guy to do the job, that I knew the business inside and out, and that I really wanted him to give me the chance to make it work. He was nodding, looking positive. Then, to his credit, he asked me the right question: “What are
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your concerns about moving over?” he said. “Any issues?” I spoke my heart, telling him openly and fully of my worries about my family. He and I had known each other a long time, and even though he was now the top guy, I trusted him more than anyone else. But since he was the boss, I also wanted him to know that I’d be making a big sacrifice by transferring to London. At the same time, I wanted to tell him that I genuinely did relish the idea of working for him again. I reminisced back to when we’d first met, in 2002. “I’ve always considered you to be one of the highest-integrity people around here,” I said. “It would be a special thing for me to work for you again and do you proud.” Daffey looked serious. “Buddy, you’ve always been working for me,” he said. Then, as I took that in, he smiled. “Dude, you’re done.” In the outside world, “you’re done” does not have good connotations. On Wall Street, however, it does. It means the trade is done; we’re in business. What Daffey was telling me was that the job was mine. “In fact,” he said, “I’m going to walk back with you to the trading floor.” This was a big deal. Daffey did not go onto the trading floor very often. As we walked in, suddenly the floor went quiet. The seas kind of parted a little bit—and this was hundreds of people. Daffey was talking with me, joking with me. It was the most powerful kind of endorsement. It said, “Greg’s my guy.” ——— Despite the glow of acceptance, I still had doubts. Goldman lore says that when the firm taps you on the shoulder to go overseas, you’re allowed to say no only once or twice. On the flip side, the lore
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