Insider Finance - Business - Wall Street: The dealmakers strike back

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Good morning! Dan DeFrancesco trying to stay warm in NYC. I still haven't picked up my jaw from the floor after reading this story about someone willing to spend $27,000 to be 5 inches taller

On tap, we've got stories on why Aladdin is BlackRock's silver lining, a fintech that helps you invest in high-end wines and spirits, and why one of the best restaurants in the world is closing

But first, let's make a deal. 

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snow bull wall street charging bull

1. 2023 dealmaking is all about tough realizations.

When will dealmaking ramp up again?

It is Wall Street's million, or perhaps billion, dollar question.

Everyone seems to agree that the M&A drought can't last forever. And while many of the people saying as much (i.e. bankers) clearly have a vested interested in more deals occurring, that doesn't mean they're wrong. 

Markets typically act in cycles. In the same way that what goes up must come down, things that go down must eventually come up. 

So Insider's Carter Johnson spoke to six M&A bankers about what to expect this year. Carter got lots of interesting tidbits about what the so-called "new normal" of dealmaking will look like.

What I found most interesting from Carter's piece was the hard realization that many companies will have about their new valuations.

These types of conversations are ones that bankers always need to navigate — helping clients get the best possible price for their company while also reeling in their expectations — but this year's conversations will be particularly difficult.

And while it's true sellers could always try and wait out the market, there's no gurantee of when things can get better. When you're staring down the barrel of mountains of debts and diminishing revenues, that can make any amount of time spent waiting seem unbearable. 

So do you hold off, and risk not having the market rebound in time for you? Or do you pull the trigger on a deal you don't love?

I'm not sure there is a right answer in any of these situations. 

But one thing I am sure of: There are plenty of bankers willing to help you with the process... for a fee, of course. 

Click here to read more about what to keep an eye out for in the M&A market this year.

In other news:

wine country

2. A whole new world (for BlackRock's Aladdin). The investment manager's widely used risk and portfolio-management tool was one of the lone bright spots for BlackRock in 2022. But can it keep the good vibes going in 2023?

3. Booze that will give you something other than a hangover. Fintech Vint helps users invest in high-end wines and spirits even if they don't have a boatload of cash. How some Rioja can lead to returns.

4. A top Morgan Stanley exec is departing the bank. Jon Pruzan, a 28-year vet of the bank and its current COO, is leaving Morgan Stanley at the end of the month, Bloomberg reports. This is what we know about the man some once considered to be a potential successor to CEO James Gorman

5. A return to the public markets for Elon? Starlink, the satellite-internet business of Elon Musk's SpaceX, could go public this year, according to Chamath Palihapitiya. Here's why he thinks Musk might want to take the company public

6. Citadel puts its stamp on NYC with new office plans. Ken Griffin's hedge fund (Citadel) and market-making firm (Citadel Securities) will be housed under one roof in NYC, thanks to a new Midtown Manhattan tower, Bloomberg reports. What to expect from the skyscraper that will house two of the most powerful firms on the Street.  

7. Why it pays to get paid not to work. Crissie Hoskins makes the case for why paid sabbaticals are actually a good idea for companies looking to attract and retain talent for the longhaul. More on why some extended time off is a good thing for employees AND employers.

8. If you can easily spend $30,000 a year eating out, I have a job for you. The Infatuation, the restaurant review website owned by JPMorgan, is on the hunt for an editor and writer who will have a $30,000 annual allowance for dining out. If you think you've got the chops, and stomach, for the gig, read more about it here.  

9. Inside the turmoil at Cheddar News. The upstart media company was pitched as a CNBC for a younger audience. But new ownership and a revamped social-media strategy has put the startup in flux and led to significant departures. More on what has the newsroom divided. 

10. No more Noma. The Copenhagen restaurant, which has consistently been named one of the top restaurants in the world for its unique take on fine dining, is closing its doors at the end of 2024, The New York Times reports

Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London. 


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