He had been generous and kind and always set a high

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for me. He had been generous and kind, and always set a high standard of integrity for me to follow. But I knew the move would be good for him, and I had a feeling he would keep looking out for me. I had been his right-hand man; with his departure, I became the main futures trader. This helped me build my profile on the fiftieth floor. When anyone, from partner down to analyst, needed to trade a future, they came to me and my associate. Seeing all this flow had another benefit: it helped me sharpen, and gain confidence in, my views on what the markets might do next. When Corey moved, I was given more resources—we got to hire a couple of new people, whom I trained. Still, the times continued to be hairy at the firm and more broadly on Wall Street: the firings continued; desks got cut down and merged. The Equities division started merging with FICC to form what would eventually become one giant, all-powerful (and sometimes all-knowing) Securities division. Along with this, my mini Equity Futures desk merged with the FICC Futures desk. One day in January 2005, Daffey sent me an e-mail: “Dude, I have an idea for you. Swing by my office.” I headed down to forty-nine. “I need your help,” he said as I walked in. He began his spiel by talking about Laura Mehta, a woman he had hired recently from Morgan Stanley to be an MD in Derivatives sales and his effective number two. A number of clients had urged Daffey to try to hire her—she was a brilliant Princeton grad, and highly regarded by some of the biggest sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, and asset managers on the Street. My initial
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perception of her was that she was a class act. In addition, she exuded a quality that was rare on trading floors: she was genuinely pleasant. When she arrived, Daffey had needed to pair her with someone, and he had assigned Tim Connors as her counterpart VP. I had known Connors—as with Daffey, no one ever called him by his first name—in passing since the summer of 2000, when we were interns together: I at the undergrad level, he at the MBA. Another former college athlete (crew), he stood six-five, had the luxuriant mane indicated by his onetime nickname (though, in reality, his hair looked nothing like a mullet), and could be quite charming when the situation demanded. He had the ability to stay out till all hours drinking and smoking, then make it through work the next day. I’d also noticed, in my early days on the Futures desk, that he could be impatient, irritable, and acerbic when frustrated. As he learned the business and became more comfortable in his role, though, he mellowed. And over time, we’d built a strong rapport; we shared a similar dry sense of humor. Connors had had a rocky start at Goldman, working for some really hard-nosed managers he didn’t get along with. They were immune to his charms and alert to his occasional tendency to make detail- related errors: mixing up multipliers, buying instead of selling. The rap on Connors was that while he was a great salesman, he didn’t entirely understand the theoretical principles of derivatives. (This is more common than you might imagine, even at high echelons in the financial world. Derivatives are
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