Is Oprah A Business Woman?
A Heated Controversy Settled

Back in April 2004, two of our blog friends, Simmy Simran III and Mr Furry Brows, had a battle on these pages as to whether Oprah Winfrey is a businesswoman or a brand.

Oprah_in_white Harvard had paid homage to Opey as a business leader right after she had told Fortune Magazine that she could not read a balance sheet. And that's what fuelled the debate.

Now, I have the answer to this question. Last week I listened to an old interview of Britney Spears and Howard Stern.

Britney was already the key part of a huge business venture but, trust me, she ain't no businesswoman. And, I guess, therefore, that neither is Oprah.

Look at it this way: if you're selling bubble gum, is the bubble gum a business man? Case closed.

Now, "business leader", that might be another thing. I still say "no". But maybe we should ask David Kassie - after the judge decides what "recruiting" means.

See Oprah is A Breath Mint

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

"So, what made you decide to go into business for yourself?"

"It was something my last boss said."

"Really, what was that?"

"You're fired."

via Barry Moltz

Culture Klatch

Our blog-friend, Johanna Rothman, of Hiring Technical People is presenting a seminar about an interesting topic: interviewing for cultural fit.

Date: Thursday, Feb 10, 2005
Topic: Detecting and Resolving Cultural Fit Issues.

To be covered:
- 4 questions to ask candidates about their    cultural preferences
- 5 areas to probe for culture issues
- Context-free and contextual questions to    probe culture
- How to help clients ask questions that reveal    cultural fit
- 8 questions to verify job analysis and culture
- There's more culture than corporate culture

Donald Trump would love this seminar. So would Tom Brady.

Career Centers

Universities all have campus career centers. Should you choose your school based on their career center?

Interesting theory, Canadian Business in their annual MBA Guide has an article entitled:

Career centres: what to look for.

It's a small article so here is the gist of it:

    Besides some basic facts like the job placement rate and salary averages (at graduation and six months afterward), here are some questions you ought to ask when evaluating career centres.

    How many services are tailored to MBA students?
    Some business programs lump MBAs and commerce undergrads together. MBAs have more sophisticated needs and should be treated differently.

    How many relationship managers are there, and what are their backgrounds?
    Just like a faculty-to-student ratio, this is an indication of much individual attention you'll get.

    What kinds of corporate outreach activities does the career centre use to attract recruiters?
    There should be a close and frequent association with the business community that puts students in contact with it in several different ways, not just huge career fairs.

    What corporations does the career centre have ongoing contact with?
    The list ought to be long, with a variety of industries and company sizes. And if you're interested in meeting with a company not on the list, counselors should willingly offer to make contact.

These are all good questions however there is a slight problem with them. Remember that Universities compete for students so certainly they are going to put their best foot forward when it comes to attracting them. You would expect them to talk up their career center just as they often talk up their placement rates.

Here's a good way to evaluate university career centres. Talk to the employers themselves.

AS an MBA student (or let's face it any type of student) give some thought as to where you want to work after your degree. Let's say you aspire to a career in consulting. Why not call up the recruiting departments of the large consulting firms and tell them you are doing some research on university career centers and then ask them for their input. I guarantee you that you will get some very good information and as a bonus you will have done some networking with hiring authorities.

Wouldn't it be great to close a conversation with: "thanks for the information lets get together when you are on campus recruiting."


AS someone who has used the services of career centers on many occasions I can tell you that there is a definite difference in the level of service that they give to employers.

How do employers measure that service? Simple how easy does a career center make it for us to: advertise on campus, interview on campus, and make our company visible to the student body.

Most of the universities are very good but when I was doing the campus recruiting circuit there were some standouts.

Wilfred Laurier University - have a great career center and are excellent at setting up interviews for employers.

McMaster University - not only are they great at organizing interviews on campus but they have an excellent dining room in the University club and one of the career center folks will take you to lunch there.

Brock University - Brock being as smaller school really tries hard to develop relationships with employers. I always appreciated their follow up and regular contact. They also have a great dining room!

I wont go into specific universities that aren't so good but I will mention a couple of things that annoyed me as an employer.

One of the big things that annoyed me was when a lot of universities handed all job posting over to Workopolis. I think workopolis is a great site but this immediately shut out all employers who had contracts with Monster(as one of my clients did) and if employers can't advertise on campus then you aren't going to see those opportunities.

Another area where I think career centers fall down is not giving students an clear idea of their options in the business world. When I was recruiting for sales candidates on campus I was always disappointed when some schools didn't seem to have any idea that this was a career option for some of their students.

I once gave a talk at a university about job searching. The woman from the career center also spoke. It was clear from the reaction of the students that they were hearing information from me that they had never heard from their career center "advisors" namely how to be proactive in your job search.

I don't know that I would pick my b-school purely on the career center but I hope that this will give you some idea as to how to rate yours.

There's Something Funny About Mary

Marie Cordero: The Odd Man Out

Do you ever wonder about Marie Cordero?
She seems so out of place in The Genuity 9.

[a] She's the only woman in the group
[b] She's an IT person, not a deal maker
[c] She doesn't seem to have a big title

[d] She's the only one who has been publicly accused of actually
     stealing property as opposed to people

[e] And, in countering CIBC's charges, David Kassie has only
     come to Marie's defence in particular.

Maybe she's just a small fry who got caught up in a big net.

If you were a conspiracy theorist, however, might the word "patsy" come to mind? The odd man out who gets caught with the smoking gun?

I know that people are trying to find out who she is because we see Google searches on her name. But, it sure doesn't look like there is anything out there.

She's just not important enough to have made a big splash. So, in terms of this caper, her anonymity is the only clue to her identity.

What is she accused of? At CIBC World Markets, Marie maintained a database called Quantum. It contained all the info on corporate clients.

In late December, just before she went to Genuity , Marie tried to copy some data to CD. CIBC claims she was stealing from Quantum. Marie says she was just storing data for her successor.

Duddy_serious Genuity Kingpin, David Kassie, says that no one "at Genuity" took confidential info from CIBC.

He claims that Genuity sent a memo to ex-CIBC staff warning them not to grab any CIBC data and not to ask clients to follow them.

And, in an apparent reference to poor Marie, he cried out in frustration:

    "This is really in the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished category."
Why, she was merely compiling an invitation list for the upcoming 100th anniversary of CIBC Wood Gundy and was branded a criminal for doing CIBC a favour. That's cruel.

At the same time, and in spite of all this, Dave Kassiavelli? had nothing but praise for his sworn enemies:

Of John Hunkin, the CIBC CEO who fired him:
    'I have nothing but the highest regard of John.'
Of his successor at CIBC:
    'Gerry McCaughey is a fine individual who did a terrific job in leading the wealth management group' at CIBC'.
And finally:
    'I think CIBC conducts itself with the highest ethical standards.'
Just a week earlier, he'd said:
    "After I left, Gerry McCaughey was appointed CEO of World Markets. He had no prior experience in the wholesale business. The common complaint was that he lacked vision in the investment banking business and showed no leadership and had no interest in meeting with clients."
Sincere? You tell me.

Source info here and here.

See Also: GenuityGang Strikes Back -- CIBC Recruiting Scandal -- David Kassie, Kingpin -- David Kassie's Dream -- Dan Daviau -- Earl Rotman -- Kassie Defiant -- Phil Evershed -- Hirst, Morrison, Eggertson -- Marie Cordero -- Bad 4 Recruiters -- Sweet Marie -- The Kassie Cult -- Kassie Honoured -- Hunkin's Millions -- BlackBerry Got 'Em -- Kassie Family Hunted -- Blackberry Mystery Solved -- The Genuity Revolution -- Technorati Tag:

All Over The Blogosphere

A selection of bloggers comments about their encounters with headhunters.

The City Girl and the Pickle Factory

    The headhunter is still relentlessly trying to get me down to Tilsonburg for an interview. I'm just not that excited about it, and I can't imagine the manager down there is just biting his nails, hoping I can make it down so that he can offer me a $70,000 job and pay for me to move. Really. Tilsonburg.

From Random Ramblings
    On the job front.. headhunter #2 set up an interview for tomorrow downtown. Headhunter #1 finally called back and said she has a position for me. Unfortunately it's only a 2 month contract and after much discussion with ryan we'd rather wait until something at least 6-12 months or permanent comes along. 2 months won't do us any good in terms of buying a house and that's what we need right now. It would help with money and that's about it. I absolutely hated turning down any job that could get my foot in the door to Canadian employment but she needed an answer by 5, which gave me all of 40 minutes to get back to her. If I had accepted now not only would I not be able to accept any of her better job opportunities but I wouldn't even make it to tomorrow's interview. And she wanted somebody to start Wednesday which sucked. Not only did that not give me time to prepare (ie: buy work clothes and get things organized) but I really want to go home for a visit, even if just a short one before I started working. Oy.

From Only Here After Five
    I'll head back into work tomorrow, I talked to the boss today to inform him I was back in town. He's currently in San Jose promoting our product and I suppose the brochure I made is going over well enough. Next week he mentioned that they are going to sit down with me and ask me to come on full time. But FedEx and a headhunter are also knocking on my door. Life is interesting.

    FedEx would offer a huge company to work in and grow. The headhunter promises too-good-to-be-true wages working with RFID. But Cerex has a ground-floor start-up atmosphere that is kinda exciting but not too stable. I'm going to have to decide quickly.

Finally from Stablerampant
    Great! Just when I’m getting started with a BLOG, just when I have a job interview with a headhunter, just when my social life begins picking up, my brain goes all foggy on me this morning.

Canadian Blogger Abandons Business Beat

I'm sorry to see that journalist-blogger,
David Aken
, is changing his colours.

    I will join CTV's Ottawa bureau as a Parliamentary Reporter.

    I will be ending, after a long run, my coverage of technology and business issues.

a recent swipe Dave took at a big-mouthed know-it-all a famous man who over-reached.

    It was no less an expert than Michael Dell who forecast the demise of Apple Computer Inc.

    In 2001, the chairman and founder of the computer company that bears his name said Apple had sealed its fate by failing to build computers that used Intel Corp. microprocessors and software from Microsoft Corp.

    In sticking with its own proprietary technologies, Apple could not survive. "We know how the movie ends," Mr. Dell, now 39, said.
Update: Anthony comes to Dell's defence by arguing that Apple's recent success depends entirely on the iPod which is, essentially, a shift into a completely new business.

The Spiritual Journey of David Kassie

Mid-Life Crisis

After he got kicked out of CIBC last February David Kassie had time to think. Just to go fishin' and stare up at the sky and contemplate his life.

"Thanks," he thought to the guys who fired him. "You did me a favour. After all the hustle and bustle, now I have the time to discover what I really want."

Fezziwig And what did Davey want? Art classes? Meditation? An executive role in a charitable organization? No. He found himself remembering the good times at Old Fezziwig's Wood Gundy.

It was a just a brokerage house but it was owned by the people who worked there. He knew everyone by name and everyone shared in eachother's ups and downs, just like one happy family. Boy, that was fun.

And, so, he decided, he wanted back into his old business. But in a set-up that would renew the passion of his younger years.

Youth Restored

By a happy coincidence (?), his old colleagues Dan Daviau and Phil Evershed had recently left the CIBC and everyone needed something to do, so the guys set to planning a brand new firm. (Hey! We've got some old pc's back in the barn! Let's start a new company!)

The Hero's Travails

Now, The Kingpin, The Top and Dr Phil are not stupid men. They didn't want to bring down the wrath of the banking gods so they came up with a strategy for recruiting partners.

They would not approach anyone at CIBC directly. They would put the word out and let the people come to them. The old, "if you build it they will come" model.

If anyone took the bait, they would have to make it clear, in writing, that they were initiating the contact. Here's the exact wording of the statement.

    "....acknowledges that the undersigned was not solicited,
    but rather approached Genuity or its partners
    on the undersigned's own initiative
    to enquire about the prospect of joining the firm."
Still, even with this protection, Genuity made sure that everything was completely hush-hush.

    Don’t say a word about what we’re doin’
    Don’t say nothin’ my little honey bee.
    Don’t tell your momma,
    Don’t tell your sister
    And most of all,
    Don't tell CIBC.
    Tom Petty
Kassie says that there are great people at CIBC whom he couldn't get because they didn't come to him.

But one has to wonder: they had to get the word out somehow. Did they use intermediaries? An old boy's network which spread their story throughout the bank?

Perhaps they hung around the Starbucks on Bay Street hoping to bump into old pals who would ask them what was new?

Or, maybe, they did, in fact, approach people, directly or through friends, and asked them afterwards to sign the aforementioned agreement. Just like the Prime Minister never fires anyone; he just gets them to conveniently resign.

No recruiters have been mentioned though, Lord knows, Dr Phil certainly knows a few.

See Andy Willis, Globe & Mail

See Also: GenuityGang Strikes Back -- CIBC Recruiting Scandal -- David Kassie, Kingpin -- David Kassie's Dream -- Dan Daviau -- Earl Rotman -- Kassie Defiant -- Phil Evershed -- Hirst, Morrison, Eggertson -- Marie Cordero -- Bad 4 Recruiters -- Sweet Marie -- The Kassie Cult -- Kassie Honoured -- Hunkin's Millions -- BlackBerry Got 'Em -- Kassie Family Hunted -- Blackberry Mystery Solved -- The Genuity Revolution -- Technorati Tag:

Casual Friday’s

In my business it is very hard to coordinate schedules for interviews. So invariably you get a client and candidate that can only meet on a Friday.

Sometimes I get a call from a candidate the night before (or a couple of days before) with the following problem:

Its casual Friday where he works. The interview is scheduled for Friday. He doesn’t want to wear a suit to the office and let people know something is up. But at the same time he wants to look his best for the interview.

Ok no big problem.

First let me say that I don’t like casual Fridays. I think men who are too lazy to learn how to dress well thought them up. But that’s another story.

I once worked at a large consulting firm where on casual Friday I would still wear a suit but I would wear a yellow tie instead of my usual maroon or blue rep tie. When someone would point out that it was casual Friday’s I would respond: “I’m wearing a YELLOW tie!!!.

First of all let’s set something straight about casual Fridays. Casual Fridays aren’t a license for you to show up in shapeless baggy rumpled clothes. You should still strive for a crisp sharp look. That way you can look dressy enough that a few adjustments for an interview shouldn’t make a difference.

Start with pants. A pair of tan slacks or khakis’ is fine. In the summer an off-white pair will do fine. Make sure your socks aren’t black! And make sure your belt and shoes match. With tan pants you can wear brown shoes and brown belt safely.

Now for the shirt. Everyone should have a blue shirt in their wardrobe. You know the kind – light blue. So your office ensemble is – tan pants; tan socks, brown shoes, brown belt and light blue shirt.

This is what you will wear in the office.

For the interview you need to add two things: A blazer and a tie.

If you are a man and are working you should have a navy blazer. A navy blazer is one of the most versatile jackets you can own. You can combine it with a lot of shirts and pants and still look fresh. It is a classic wardrobe piece that no man should be without.

Put your blazer in your car. Don’t wear it into the office.

Same for the tie. A nice club stripe tie is perfect for this ensemble. If you aren’t sure you’ll have enough time tie a not in it that morning and then remove the tie (with the knot intact) and slip it back on when you head out to your interview.

The perfect crime!!

What’s that you say? You don’t have a car because you live in the city and take the subway?

Simple. Bring your jacket and tie in to work with some shirts on hangers so it looks like you are dropping them off at the cleaners (you do bring your shirts to the cleaners right?). This isn’t an uncommon sight at an office. Again – no one will notice.

Update: A good blue shirt striped tie combination here.

Classic navy blazer here Note the tan pants; combined with the shirt and tie above this would be perfect.

The Genuity Nine!

Genuity War Expands As CIBC Sues 3 More

7. David Morrison
8. Ted Hirst
9. Gunnar Eggertson

The Crime: Stealing info and people from CIBC for Genuity.
The Demand: Return your bonus, baby!

Morrison: Head, Institutional Equity Sales, CIBC World Markets
Teddy & The Egg: Vancouver-based Investment Banking team

The Zipper on Morrison

    From: Rotman, Earl
    To: arohringer at
    Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 12:22 AM
    Subject: Re: The saga goes on
    Interesting conversations tonight: Morrison and Ron Schwartz suggested that Kassie is being to piggish in the amount of equity he the founders) are keeping. They both implied they knew about me....
More to come. News item here.

See Also: Genuity Gang Strikes Back -- CIBC Recruiting Scandal -- David Kassie, Kingpin -- David Kassie's Dream -- Dan Daviau -- Earl Rotman -- Kassie Defiant -- Phil Evershed -- Hirst, Morrison, Eggertson -- Marie Cordero -- Bad 4 Recruiters -- Sweet Marie -- The Kassie Cult -- Kassie Honoured -- Hunkin's Millions -- BlackBerry Got 'Em -- Kassie Family Hunted -- Blackberry Mystery Solved -- The Genuity Revolution -- Technorati Tag:

The Genuity 9:

Dr Phil Evershed Knows How To Party

    Well, shake it up, baby now, (Shake it up baby)
    I'll make you twist and shout. (Twist and shout)
    A senior civil servant in the Mulroney government.
    Joined CIBC World Markets 1993.
    Led merger and acquisition team, 2001 to June 2004.

    Also co-head of the investment banking group.
    Had relationships with most of the bank's major clients

    Currently: Partner, Genuity Capital Markets
    Accused of crimes against CIBC

Banker by day. Political operative by night.

That's right. You may not know it but "Dr Phil" Evershed was Tom Long's bagman.

Who is Tom Long? Why he's a recruiter who entered politics. That's right, a headhunter.

Long worked behind the scenes for Mike Harris, the Progressive Conservative leader who became Premier of the Province of Ontario.

Then he ran for the leadership of the new Alliance Party.
And during that campaign Phil was one of his collectors.

    Phil Evershed, who leads CIBC World Markets' merger and acquisition team and is former chief of staff to former federal Tory finance minister Donald Mazankowski, said he plans to twist colleagues' arms to build the candidate's war chest.
Remember Rocky? Boxer by day, arm-twister by night?
Likewise with "Dr Phil" - also known as "The Twist".

Can't you just imagine his approach?

    You're voting Liberal!? Now what side of stupid do you not understand? Where do you live? I want to get you some psychiatric help. Listen, it's not you I'm worried about, you're all growed up; it's your little kids at home. Are they safe with you in the house?
More on Long Tom

    Ernie Eves, Ontario's former premier says he was unaware the province's hydro utility gave $5.6 million in untendered contracts to four top Conservatives...

    One of the contracts showed that Egon Zehnder International, a headhunting firm where senior Conservative strategist Tom Long is a top official, received $83,000 to recruit Deb Hutton, an adviser to Harris and the wife of a Tory cabinet minister, as a Hydro One vice president.

    "I'm not here to defend or attack," said Eves. "Obviously, management (of Hydro One) decided that they were looking for somebody to fill a particular niche, and it's appropriate to hire a headhunting firm to go and conduct that exercise for them."
Extra! The Evershed Golfers: Tony and Mark

See Also: Genuity Gang Strikes Back -- CIBC Recruiting Scandal -- David Kassie, Kingpin -- David Kassie's Dream -- Dan Daviau -- Earl Rotman -- Kassie Defiant -- Phil Evershed -- Hirst, Morrison, Eggertson -- Marie Cordero -- Bad 4 Recruiters -- Sweet Marie -- The Kassie Cult -- Kassie Honoured -- Hunkin's Millions -- BlackBerry Got 'Em -- Kassie Family Hunted -- Blackberry Mystery Solved -- The Genuity Revolution -- Technorati Tag:

Johnny Carson Dies

I know that you didn't have to come to this site to read that but I just wanted to pay a tribute to him. I haven't a clue what Johnny was like personally but his public image was very friendly and enjoyable and when someone is around a long time you tend to develop an attachment to him. So, I felt bad when I heard he died. I might delete this soon but here it is for now.

News account here.

Starbucks Chair Prank

We've been getting lots of hits lately from people looking for the Starbucks Chair prank. Why? Because I am a big fan, big fan of the Starbucks wing chair and wrote about them desperately when they were removed from my local Bucks.

So, I was prompted to look up the Prank myself and was rather surprised. This is it: some guy found two folding chairs in a dumpster and chained them to a pole on the street. To make them more attractive to sit in, he spray-painted the Starubucks logo on the backrest part of the chairs.

Wow, isn't that exciting! Oh yeah. And he dressed up his "documentation" of the project with a lot of mumbo jumbo. Doesn't this reek of Art College Performance Art? I mean, really, if only it was funny!

Speaking of which, I remember with fondness one of the earliest reports of performance art I ever read. First there was that guy with the gun. He set up a carnival-type shooting booth at an art show. But the rifle was real and the target was him. I always found that stupid.

But the one I'm referring to was a guy who had a tape of his ex-girlfriend, Kathy, scolding him. He would play it on stage and in the spaces between her remarks he would answer her, explaining himself and pleading, I believe, for a second chance.

All The President's Men.....

.... are hired by this woman.

As President Bush puts the finishing touches on his second-term team, one of the most powerful – and purposely least known – White House figures in that effort is a 31-year-old Egyptian-born woman who is the administration’s chief headhunter and recruiter.

When I recruit people I say, ‘You don’t want to be on the sidelines when the president accomplishes the agenda he was re-elected on,’ ” she said. “And I tell them, ‘When that’s happening, you want to be on his team.’ 

Powell, the youngest person ever to hold her job, is an immigrant and the highest-ranking Mideastern American in the White House.

She admits that the hours are long and that she sometimes rushes home to have dinner with her family before returning to the White House to finish the day’s work. Few of the 4,000 presidential appointees left the administration during Bush’s first term, but some are leaving now, requiring successors. Even as the vacancies are filled, she is aware that more will soon be leaving, a never-ending conveyor belt of personnel changes.

Observers who have spent their lives watching the presidential personnel process give her high marks for running a professional headhunting operation and for being conscientious about reflecting the president’s preferences.

“She has gone about this in a very business-like way, drawing on the best practices that top search firms use,” said Patricia McGinnis, president and CEO of the Council for Excellence in Government, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group of former government executives. “I have been impressed.”

The Candidates Speak

From: Welcome To Cipralex

Day 35
First day back at work and what was it like? S__tful, that's what it was like. Deadening, bereft of any humanity, just as I remembered it.

Got a call from a headhunter who claimed to have been directed my way. Think he is looking for more board director level people but we'll see. Another welcome boost anyway...
Day 36
Headhunter called again, it was clear that my CV was not at all what he expected but also that he was intrigued somehow, think our conversation yesterday swung it, he commented several times on my communications skills.

So I was pleased, well flattered I guess, by that even if as I suspect nothing comes of it....
Day 43
Think the Cipralex is inhibiting my humour, don't laugh much right now, part of the way everything is flattened I guess.

Long meeting with Ruby the headhunter tonight. Interesting, normally they fire questions at you but she just talked, wanted to tell me all about the client.

Got the impression she is dead keen to get me in there and she is organising a meeting. Sounds good, sounds like an outfit with a healthy culture.

I'm drinking again most nights. After work I just want a drink to come down a bit. And one leads to another and I end up covertly drinking the best part of a bottle of wine a night again.

H and I both have lots of tiny itchy bumps, like bites. Fleas?

CEO's Don't Deserve Pensions

Franklin Raines leaves Fannie Mae after an accounting scandal which may force the company to restate as much as $9 billion in past earnings.

So he leaves in disgrace right? Surely he must figure out a way to live on the savings from his years of multi-million dollar compensation right? NOT!!

How does $1.3 million per year for life with health and life insurance sound? This figure does not include his deferred salary or stock.

I cannot figure out why someone who has been compensated north of $1 million in yearly compensation needs an annual pension at all.

I've thought about it from the perspective of shareholder value, organizational theory, motivation theory, human capital recruiting... I can't find a single justification.

Many CEOs of publicly traded companies have negotiated similar arrangements in the event that they are forced out or retire.

These arrangements are outlined in the proxy statements you receive before the annual meeting. The agreements are easy to find and a good way to get a sense of the thinking of the Board of Directors.

Monty's Bluff

What Not To Wear

Have a gander at this photo which Michael linked to in this post he did yesterday.

Now Messrs. Rotman and Waks are obviously successful men. They probably make a lot of money, much more than I. However let me point out something for anyone who is looking for tips on dressing for interviews or any other business type of meeting.

First of all the man on the left is wearing a tie that does not match well with that suit. The suit has a grey-brown look to it while the tie is blue. Now it would be hard to recommend exactly what tie would work with this suit because it is a unique tone but I would go with a pale yellow or off white shirt to start out and then perhaps a maroon tie with a some gold in it. Trust me it would look better.

Second the gentleman on the right has a pocket square and tie that clash. My suit guy at Harry Rosen once told me that the tie and pocket square don't have to match in pattern but they should match in colour. Therefore - maroon tie = maroon pocket square, gold tie = gold pocket square. But not gold tie with red pocket square. See how the pocket square dominates the whole suit?

It is amazing how many men make basic mistakes when putting a suit/shirt/tie combination together. But it isn't hard. First you should get to know someone at your local men's clothier. Second you should stop taking your wife or girlfriend to buy suits or ties for you. Not that they can't pick out some good things but you should learn to do this on your own.

Next start browzing mens magazines like GQ or Esquire. A lot of the fashions wont be applicable to business however there are some good tips on dressing for success in general and sometimes the odd photo of a suit/tie/shirt combination that will just jump out at you as being perfect.

Quite a few years ago I pulled a picture out of an issue of GQ with some model wearing a navy double breasted suit and a very sharp blue and white tie. I looked all over for a tie like that. It was in the late 80's I think and striped ties weren't that common at the time. But I did find one and still have it today.

Quite a few years later I happened upon that picture while going through some old papers. I recognized the tie but also immediately recognized the man who was wearing the ensemble. He had gone on to great fame and fortune playing Fox Mulder on a show called The X Files.

That's right. It was David Duchovny!

I Did Not Recruit That Woman!

Leadership & Defiance

Hari Kari

Back in the day, if you were in a leadership role and you goofed up in a big way, someone would leave a gun in your room so you could make a painless exit.

Even in Margaret Thatcher's time we saw the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, resign after Argentina invaded the Falklands. He wrote:

    It was not a sense of culpability that led me to resign . . . the country felt angry and humiliated. I felt the same myself . . . the disgrace must be purged . . . the person to purge it must be me.”
Bill Clinton

There is, however, another way to handle error and that's by defiance. When Bill Clinton was caught with his pants down he refused to shrivel up and die.

I'll never forget his video-taped testimony about the Lewinsky affair. Like him or not, this guy had fighter written all over him.

Davey Kassie

Likewise, David Kassie, the founder of Genuity Capital Investments. His senior executives have been accused of stealing people and information from CIBC.

The case was cracked by probing the suspects' electronic communications. Their email has Genuity's DNA splashed all over it. But Kassie is defiant.

    Sources close to Genuity said Mr. Kassie was infuriated that CIBC "ambushed" the upstart firm when it served it with its lawsuit. He was shocked that the bank had included personal e-mails from departed bank executives.

    He "flatly denied that anyone at Genuity took confidential information from CIBC".

    Asked if he was surprised by the bank's legal tactics, Mr. Kassie flushed, bowed his head and tersely replied "It has been disappointing."
Is Davey going to get away with it?

Here's The Globe & Mail:

    Genuity and its founders have been embroiled in a nasty lawsuit with CIBC...the crush of media attention arising from the battle has legitimized Genuity as a credible threat on Bay Street long before it's even done its first deal....

    ....industry sources speculate the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Board will be a significant investor in the firm's funds.

    "Genuity is probably the most talented group of people ever to [form] a startup in my opinion," said Peter Brown, chairman and CEO of Canaccord Capital Corp...

    "I think the biggest challenge is recruiting great people, and these guys have put together the best startup team in the history of Canada."

See Also: Genuity Gang Strikes Back -- CIBC Recruiting Scandal -- David Kassie, Kingpin -- David Kassie's Dream -- Dan Daviau -- Earl Rotman -- Kassie Defiant -- Phil Evershed -- Hirst, Morrison, Eggertson -- Marie Cordero -- Bad 4 Recruiters -- Sweet Marie -- The Kassie Cult -- Kassie Honoured -- Hunkin's Millions -- BlackBerry Got 'Em -- Kassie Family Hunted -- Blackberry Mystery Solved -- The Genuity Revolution -- Technorati Tag:
Meet The Genuity Six:

Earl 'Zipper-Lip' Rotman

Rap Sheet:

    A former corporate lawyer. Ex-Gordon Capital.

    Joined CIBC World Markets in 2001.
    Left New Year's Eve 2004.

    Ran the "diversified industries" group as the dealer's vice-chairman, which meant roles in many deals.

    Spearheaded the attempt to export income trusts into the US market.

    Genuity promises to be a player in the income trust market. Former CIBC vice-chair Earl Rotman, a significant Genuity partner, was a driving force behind the bank's income trust business.
The Public Man (Photo) . The Zipper is on the left.

The Zipper Don't Squeal

    Brian Shaw, the recently appointed head of CIBC World Markets, said in his sworn affidavit that Mr. Rotman "lied" to him and said he had not been contacted by Genuity.

    Mr. Shaw alleges that Mr. Rotman's failure to tell CIBC World Markets about the planned defections was a "very serious breach" of his obligations as an executive. (Source)

    In its court filing, CIBC said Kassie began planning with Evershed, Daviau and former CIBC vice-chairman Earl Rotman "immediately" after leaving the bank to set up a competitor staffed with the bank's top people. (Source)
And here is some evidence.

    From: Daniel Daviau
    To: Phil Evershed - Home ; David Kassie . CC: Rotman, Earl
    Sent: Sun Oct 24 20:38:07 2004
    Subject: employee spread sheet

    Attached is a list of employees who have at least verbally confirmed to date and their economic deal.

    I appreciate there are a number of others we are in discussion on but not yet locked up.

    Let me know if you have any comments - please specifically sign off on the employee start date, benefit start date and salary start date.
    Thanks, Dan

    From: Earl Rotman
    To: Daniel J. Daviau
    Sent: Nov. 25, 2004 12:04 PM
    Subject: Merkur getting together with kassie and I.
    He's done. Don't f--- it up.

See Also: Genuity Gang Strikes Back -- CIBC Recruiting Scandal -- David Kassie, Kingpin -- David Kassie's Dream -- Dan Daviau -- Earl Rotman -- Kassie Defiant -- Phil Evershed -- Hirst, Morrison, Eggertson -- Marie Cordero -- Bad 4 Recruiters -- Sweet Marie -- The Kassie Cult -- Kassie Honoured -- Hunkin's Millions -- BlackBerry Got 'Em -- Kassie Family Hunted -- Blackberry Mystery Solved -- The Genuity Revolution -- Technorati Tag:

Your First Day

Starting a new job -especially a management job can be intimidating. IF you are a manager you know that people are looking to you for results. FORTUNE Magazine has a helpful book excerpt in this week's issue that while geared toward CEO's has some good advice. The full article is behind a subscription wall so go and buy the issue on the newstands ya' cheap bastards.

Or read the helpful excerpt here:

"Eight Rules An agenda for your first 100 days."

"1 Listen. "
    Ask open-ended questions of employees, board members, suppliers and force yourself to listen, really listen, to what they say. That means not talking."
"2 Resist the savior syndrome."
    "This is not the time to announce a bold new strategy or 'vision.'"
"3 Keep it simple."
    When people are deluged with long lists of priorities and action plans, their eyes glaze over and inaction reigns. But when they are given a couple of concrete priorities wrapped inside a clear and simple theme, they can move ahead with purpose, leaving room for individual imagination and experience to fill in the details."
"4 Hit pause."
    When posed with a good question, wait a beat. If you don't have the answer, promise to get back to them, and then do so."

"5 Look for quick wins."
    If you can find a few things that were serious flaws in the organization and fix them quickly, you can establish your credibility as a leader very fast,' says Lew Platt, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard."

"6 Spell it out".
    Use your early management meetings to do more than meet and greet; this is the time to establish what you expect of them, to communicate your management philosophy, and to set the tone it'll be hard to reset it later."

"7 Don't dis your predecessor."
    'People forget that just about everyone who is there when the new CEO arrives has worked for the old CEO and probably has some loyalty to him or her,' notes Platt."

"8 Give feedback."
    By synthesizing what you learn and communicating it to the organization, you give your workers an ownership stake in the new agenda and improve your chances for broad-based support."

Microsoft Rocked By Moon Gal's Departure

    Saying goodbye is never easy. That said, I am leaving Microsoft and this is my last blog post. Please, don't try to follow.
    Technical Recruiter, Zoe Goldring, Leaves Microsoft
Goldring had become famous for encouraging lonely but ambitious nerds who dreamed of working at the software mecca. And some of her fans are taking her departure pretty hard.

Check out the comments on her blog. For some reason, they seem addicted to song parodies.

    #6. When I find myself in times of trouble, Gretch and Zoe speak to me, now that Zoe's leaving, life is bleak.

    #23. Well, when I heard the news, my world came tumbling down, my dreams were scattered all over the ground. I hugged the screen tight, I gave her our last kiss, I knew this was one blogger, I'd miss.

    #16. I need you Zoe to walk beside me! I need you Zoe to help and guide me! Well, you said I might be a Microsoft trainee, Oh, Zoe, help me reach my destiny! Zoe, Zoe, Zoe!

    #33. Now it's time to say good-bye to our Moon Gal, Zoe. Z, O, E. E, it won't be easy. G, O, L. Hell it's going to be. D, R, I, N, Geee-ee!
Goodbye, Old Girl!

Genuity Scandal Bad For Recruiters

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce alleges that six former executives improperly recruited bank employees and took confidential data to their new company, Genuity Capital Markets.

How did they nail the culprits? By hiring two forensic firms to snoop through their email.

Is this bad for recruiters? Yes.

It's going to scare the pants off some of the people we deal with. They won't want us to talk to us and they won't want us to send them messages.

But, Iet's take a look at this investigation. What prompted it? This wasn't an ordinary recruiting situation. It was the exodus of a large part of the upper layers of the firm! That's going to attract a lot of attention. The average joe won't.

If you, Joe Blow, Mr Ordinary Guy, talk to me, the Canadian Headhunter, no one on earth is going to be looking over your shoulder or rifling through your email to find out.

But try to tell that to the average recruit? Headhunters, get ready to get the cold shoulder as your self-important recruit starts to see himself as a Phil Evershed or Dan Daviau. As Archie Bunker said: Good night, Noyce!

POSTSCRIPT: I have to admit that Anthony disagrees with me. He doesn't say that simply communicating with a recruiter at work is going to hurt you.

He does say that if your employer wants to fire you, for whatever reason, she can go through your email files looking for communications she can use against you.

One solution: Give all job search-related emails innocuous Subject Lines and give any attached documents non-descript file names (even just letters and numbers).

See Also: Genuity Gang Strikes Back -- CIBC Recruiting Scandal -- David Kassie, Kingpin -- David Kassie's Dream -- Dan Daviau -- Earl Rotman -- Kassie Defiant -- Phil Evershed -- Hirst, Morrison, Eggertson -- Marie Cordero -- Bad 4 Recruiters -- Sweet Marie -- The Kassie Cult -- Kassie Honoured -- Hunkin's Millions -- BlackBerry Got 'Em -- Kassie Family Hunted -- Blackberry Mystery Solved -- The Genuity Revolution -- Technorati Tag:

The Genuity 9: Meet Danny The Top

Eighteen high-level employees left the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for Genuity Capital Markets on Dec 16, the day the bank paid its annual bonuses. (Merry Christmas!)

The CIBC is now suing 6 ex-employees for recruiting former colleagues.

One of the six is Daniel Joseph Daviau aka Danny The Top.

Why the moniker? Well, Danny hasn't always been on the wrong side of the law. In 2003, he made it to the Globe & Mail's Top 40 under 40.

    The honorees come from many fields, and from across the country. They include Bay Street hotshots such as CIBC investment banker Danny-Joe Daviau...[blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah]...All have inspiring stories.
Here's what they say about him on York University's website:

    Dan Daviau, 39 (MBA/LLB '89)

    Co-Head, Investment Banking and Head, Technology, Media and Telecom Investment Banking, CIBC World Markets.

    "The Top" has two degrees from York - an MBA and an LLB. He also has two important jobs at CIBC.

    As co-head of the investment banking group, he manages 180 people at CIBC World Markets, the leader in equity underwritings (responsible for 35% of all such deals in Canada last year - twice as many as CIBC's nearest competitor). This is his biggest job.

    His fun job, as described by The Report on Business, is running the 20-member technology, media and telecom group where "he's part of a fast-paced world where companies grow quickly and really count on good advice from his banker."
See Also: Genuity Gang Strikes Back -- CIBC Recruiting Scandal -- David Kassie, Kingpin -- David Kassie's Dream -- Dan Daviau -- Earl Rotman -- Kassie Defiant -- Phil Evershed -- Hirst, Morrison, Eggertson -- Marie Cordero -- Bad 4 Recruiters -- Sweet Marie -- The Kassie Cult -- Kassie Honoured -- Hunkin's Millions -- BlackBerry Got 'Em -- Kassie Family Hunted -- Blackberry Mystery Solved -- The Genuity Revolution -- Technorati Tag:

The Business of Blogging.

With more and more attention from big media being directed towards blogs it is not surprising that the business press is starting to take notice.

Fortune's last issue (probably still on the stands) featured bloggers on the cover and a fairly lengthy article on the subject called: Technology - Why There's No Escaping the Blog. This could be the year that blogs become established from a money making perspective and from a business perspective. I have summarized most of the article here because I am not sure if it will go behind their subscription wall soon.

Why should business take notice?

    "According to blog search-engine and measurement firm Technorati, 23,000 new weblogs are created every day—or about one every three seconds. Each blog adds to an inescapable trend fueled by the Internet: the democratization of power and opinion. Blogs are just the latest tool that makes it harder for corporations and other institutions to control and dictate their message. An amateur media is springing up, and the smart are adapting. Says Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman Public Relations: "Now you've got to pitch the bloggers too. You can't just pitch to conventional media."

    Says Jeff Jarvis, author of the blog BuzzMachine, and president and creative director of newspaper publisher Advance Publications' Internet division: "There should be someone at every company whose job is to put into Google and blog search engines the name of the company or the brand, followed by the word 'sucks,' just to see what customers are saying." "

Don't try and fool your audience...

    "Mazda, hoping to reach its Gen Y buyers, crafted a blog supposedly run by someone named Kid Halloween, a 22-year-old hipster who posted things like: "Tonight I am going to see Ministry and My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult.... This will be a retro industrial flashback." He also posted a link to three videos he said a friend recorded off public-access TV. One showed a Mazda3 attempting to break dance, and another had it driving off a ramp like a skateboard, leading in both cases to frightening crashes. Other bloggers sensed a phony in their midst—the expensively produced videos were tip-offs—and began talking about it. Suddenly Mazda wasn't being hailed; it was being reviled on widely read blogs."

Product evangelists wanted

    "obsessive blogs can mean obsessive customers. The witty blogger behind Manolo's Shoe Blog may bash Birkenstocks and Uggs, but he drools over Coach, Prada, and, of course, Manolo Blahniks. Before blogs, finding someone like him—a person who probably helps others make buying decisions—would have been difficult and costly. Now it's just a matter of Googling or searching on any of the blog-specific search engines like Technorati or Feedster. For those who want to go deeper, firms like Intelliseek and BuzzMetrics use sophisticated software to analyze the blog universe for corporate clients. They use this growing online database of constantly updated consumer opinion for marketing and product-development ideas"

Good news for smaller players

    "Entrepreneurs like Shayne McQuade have learned that bloggers can be an easy—and free—marketing arm, if used right. McQuade, [...]invented a backpack with built-in solar panels that enables hikers and Eurotrippers to keep their gadgets charged. He spent $15,000 getting the company up and running, [...] The only thing left for him was getting the word out: He ended up outsourcing that to bloggers.

    In late September, just after McQuade received an early sample of the Voltaic Backpack, he asked a friend, Graham Hill—who runs a "green design" weblog called Treehugger—if he'd mention the product. Start up the swarm! Within a few hours of Voltaic's hitting Treehugger, the popular CoolHunting blog mentioned McQuade's product, which got it seen by Joel Johnson, editor of Engadget competitor Gizmodo. Each step up in the blogging ecosystem brought Voltaic to a broader audience. (Yes, for all its democratic trappings, there are hierarchies of influence in the blogging world.)

    In came a flurry of orders. Ironically, McQuade—who had helped research Net Gain, a seminal book on how the Internet would change business—was unprepared. "Overnight what was supposed to be laying a little groundwork became my launch," he says. "This is the ultimate word-of-mouth marketing channel." "

Big Money?

    " arms race is building behind the scenes. Venture capitalists last year invested a still tiny $33 million into blog-related companies, but that was up from $8 million the year before..."

Sounds great. Now where's my cut??

Meet The Genuity Six: The Kingpin, Kassie

         The Ballad of David Kassie
    Davey grew the firm with boss, John Hunkin,
    Then he got the kiss-off when things went bad.
    Davey took Hunkin's guys to Genuity,
    Lonesome Johnny sued, now everybody's sad.
The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has had some bad luck in the new century

The Ambitious Boss

    "John Hunkin courted risk and vowed boldness...He rose through the ranks of CIBC's investment banking arm and, in 1999, won a fierce competition for the CEO post.

    At the time, he was still basking in the glory of the bank's blockbuster deal with Global Crossing...

    CIBC had invested US$41 million in the carrier, becoming banker and adviser to the firm, and parlayed that into a US$1.7-billion payday.

    Hunkin planned to use World Markets, the brokerage and investment bank he'd helped build, as a springboard into the U.S., led by his ace deal maker, David Kassie."
The Problems

    "The first major sign of trouble came in 2002, when Global Crossing collapsed amid allegations of improper accounting.

    Then Enron bankruptcy investigators alleged CIBC was one of several banks that helped structure some of the shady transactions which led to the energy dealer's death spiral.

    The bank paid $80 million to settle charges related to the Enron fraud and set aside another $300 million to deal with further legal claims.

    In 2002, CIBC reported its worst results in a decade. To atone, Hunkin and Kassie gave up their annual bonuses.

    The following of its bankers was accused of facilitating illegal trading in U.S. mutual funds." Steve Maich, Dec 20, 2004

    "CIBC is accused of lending $1-billion to the hedge funds which allegedly engaged in the illegal mutual fund trades.

    New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer says he has a memo from a CIBC executive which described to others at the bank how to break the law and engage in this illegal trading!"

    David Akin: February 27, 2004

    "Paul Flynn faces five felony charges, including grand larceny, under New York state law for his role in allegedly providing loans to hedge funds which used the money to finance illegal late trading. Flynn is accused of pocketing $1 million US." Feb. 3 2004
The Fall Guy

    "Almost unbelievably, Hunkin, in his speech to shareholders, suggested that the ethical breaches that led to these fines was a result of being "encouraged" by shareholders and the media to be aggressive.

    Hunkin said that, as CEO, he had to take responsibility for the harm to CIBC's reputation last year.

    What Hunkin actually took wasn't responsibility but a $3.3-million bonus, part of an overall pay packet worth $10.7-million.

    The guy who actually took responsibility was David Kassie, Hunkin's good friend. Hunkin fired him a few days after Flynn was charged".

    David Akin: Feb 27, 2004:

    "David Kassie, one of the most successful and best paid investment bankers in Canada, has suddenly resigned as head of CIBC World Markets 'to focus on other interests', CIBC announced Thursday.

    'David Kassie is a superb investment and merchant banker,' CIBC CEO John Hunkin said in a release.

    'I am sure he will find success in whatever endeavor he chooses to pursue and, on behalf of CIBC, I wish him all the best.'" Thurs Feb 5, 2004
The Return

    "In its court filing, CIBC said Kassie began planning with Evershed, Daviau and former CIBC vice-chairman Earl Rotman 'immediately' after leaving the bank to set up a competitor staffed with the bank's top people.

    In an Aug. 16 email, Evershed sent Kassie a detailed business plan for Genuity. It included a 'dealer depth' chart with the names of 55 people, including 39 CIBC bankers, that Genuity wanted to hire.

    Kassie broke his 'fiduciary and contractual' duties to CIBC, the bank said."

    "But Genuity has a key advantage. The bank-owned dealers pay big bonuses, but can't offer partnerships. Investment bankers are infused with the cult of equity, and Kassie has equity on offer.

    Nab stars and you inherit their relationships--their connections to CEOs who want to buy companies, sell divisions, raise equity or launch income trusts."

    Eric Reguly: Globe and Mail: Fri Dec 24, 2004
David Kassie : Resume

1979: MBA University of Western Ontario
1977: B.Comm (Honours) McGill University
- basketball player on varsity team.

1979-2004 CIBC
Last Position: Chairman CEO CIBC World Markets, Vice Chairman CIBC. Head of the U.S. region. Ex-Head of Global Investment and Corporate Banking. Responsible for integrating investment and corporate banking. Built CIBC World Markets' U.S. business.

Advisory Roles: on boards of Alliance Atlantis Communications, Roots Canada, Hospital for Sick Children, Women in Capital Markets, Ivey School of Business; Chairman University of Guelph Campaign

See Also: Genuity Gang Strikes Back -- CIBC Recruiting Scandal -- David Kassie, Kingpin -- David Kassie's Dream -- Dan Daviau -- Earl Rotman -- Kassie Defiant -- Phil Evershed -- Hirst, Morrison, Eggertson -- Marie Cordero -- Bad 4 Recruiters -- Sweet Marie -- The Kassie Cult -- Kassie Honoured -- Hunkin's Millions -- BlackBerry Got 'Em -- Kassie Family Hunted -- Blackberry Mystery Solved -- The Genuity Revolution -- Technorati Tag:

Him Gottem Good Blog

You know how there's a different award show on TV every other week. People's Choice, Daytime Emmys, Country Music Awards, Grammies, etc, etc, etc ad infinitum? Now it seems there's a blog award every other day. Or month.

But this time we've got someone worth voting for.

    Gautam, Gautam, he's our man,
    So say the boys from Canuckistan
Yes, friends, Gautum Ghosh On Management is up for a Bloggie as the Best Indie Blog of the year.

Go and vote here. Click on Votepad at the top of the page. Then click on Indie Blog of the Year. It will take a minute for the voting window to open. Then find Gautum in the drop down box.

Why aren't we promoting a local blog? Well, you know what we say when we outsource to India: "They may not be Canadian but "By Ghosh the price is right!"


“Now, restaurant fail. Children go to state college. Serious students powerless against drunken jockocracy. Baseball hats everywhere…..

One of my biggest recruiting projects (spanning six years) involved recruiting sales people for a Fortune 500 company.

The sales managers told me that people who had a sports background generally made good sales people. Some others in the company felt that the sales managers just liked to hire people they played hockey with.

I will admit that at first I was skeptical. I wasn’t a jock in school even though I liked sports and lets face it there is a certain anti-jock undercurrent in modern media. There are very few teen movies where the jocks aren’t depicted as more than loutish bullies and drunks. An interesting exception is “The Election” but I am straying from my point here.

I soon found out that the sales managers were more or less correct. People with exposure to organized sports particularly at the collegiate level and beyond seemed to do better than those who were more “bookish” during their school years. This wasn’t 100% true but it was true the majority of the time.

I made it a point to try and understand this and soon found out that former jocks possessed two key traits that helped them be successful in selling.

One was that they were very very competitive. In sales to be successful you have to be competitive. You have to want to win that deal and that competitive drive as a prime motivator is key to helping you achieve that. Of course you aren’t going to win every deal and that’s where the second trait comes in.

I found that people who had played competitive sports were also more equipped to deal with losing. There are very few athletes who reach the pinnacle of their sport or who even win a local championship and even if they do they don’t win every game. So they are exposed to losing. They have learned to take these defeats and learn from them and still come out for the next game (or sales call) fully prepared to give it their all and fight tooth and nail to win.

These two traits I believe really help people with those experiences do very well in sales.

This morning however I realized that there was a third trait that they possessed that was crucial as well. I was listening to a sports talk show and one of the commentators was talking about professional athletes and how they have the ability to take criticism. He said that most of the time even if you are doing well your coaches are focusing on what you are doing wrong. So you have to get used to hearing a barrage of criticism on a daily basis.

I believe that the ability to take criticism in all forms and use it to your advantage is a key factor in success (I wont admit to having this trait in any great amount). The higher up you go in the corporate world the more criticism you may have to face. Even if you achieve the pinnacle of success and become CEO of a large publicly traded company you will still face the slings and arrows of the board, shareholders and of course the press.

Which is why I think that parents should encourage their kids to get involved in organized sports. It doesn’t matter if they never make it to the big leagues. They will still inherit some valuable skills that will help them wherever they go in life.

Canada Rocked By Recruiting Scandal

CIBC sues Genuity for recruiting its employees.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is suing 6 ex-employees for recruiting colleagues.

The Charges:
1) they recruited colleagues for a new venture
2) they violated non-solicitation agreements in doing so
3) they took confidential info when they left

The Genuity Six:
1. David Kassie: ex-CEO CIBC World Markets
2. Danny Daviau: ex Co-Head of Investment Banking
3. Phil Evershed: ran CIBC's mergers and acquisitions
4. Earl Rotman: vice-chair of CIBC World Markets
5. Johnny Esteireiro: CIBC's head trader
6. Marie Cordero: a CIBC IT Specialist

Everyone went to Genuity Capital Markets, Davey Kassie's new firm. And Genuity claims to be surprised by the suit!

Kassie comes out swingin'
David "Kingfish" Kassie, the alleged ringleader of the plot denies that Genuity stole people. And, besides, he says, he wasn't bound by any restrictions anyway. And Genuity didn't take any client files either! So there.

The Main Event
Kassie got the boot from CIBC last February - after 25 years with the firm. Apparently, he was the fall-guy for an Enron-related banking scandal. And, supposedly, this is a grudge match between him and ex-boss, "Handsome" Johnny Hunkin.

Known for aggressive tactics, these two bruisers made CIBC World Markets the most powerful investment firm in Canada.

Kassie says CIBC has been bleeding people because they couldn't stand his replacement. Inotherwords: they were nothin' without me.

After I left, Gerry McCaughey was appointed CEO of World Markets. He had no prior experience in the wholesale business.

The common complaint was that he lacked vision in the investment banking business and showed no leadership and had no interest in meeting with clients.

Big Money
When he was terminated by CIBC in February, Kassie got:
1) a $4.5-million severance package
2) deferred compensation worth over $50-million.

The Recruiting Scandal
Danny Daviau left CIBC in May 2004.
Phil Evershed left in June.
They both got over $3-million in salary and severance
And they were both on the payroll until Oct. 31.

CIBC says they agreed not to “directly or indirectly solicit” their former colleagues for 21 months. But their email shows they were recruiting for Genuity during the summer of 2004!

The Smoking Guns
The case was cracked by probing emails which show the perps trying to hide sensitive information.

1) Evershed to Daviau: “Dan--delete this email address.”
2) Evershed to his secretary: “pls delete everything.”
3) Daviau to Evershed: “Threatened him with his life if he says anything.”

Rotman Didn't Squeal
Brian Shaw, the new head of CIBC World Markets, is gunning for Earl Rotman. He swears that Earl lied when he said he wasn't talking to Genuity. And he claims Rotman's failure to fink on defectors was a breach of his executive obligations.

Did Cordero Copy Files?
CIBC claims Marie Cordero copied client info to a CD and took it to Genuity. Cordero says it isn't so. She says she tried to copy an email list but was unable to do so successfully. And, besides it was only for a subordinate, not Genuity.

CIBC Wants:
1) $10-million in damages, plus costs
2) any compensation paid while employees were planning Genuity
3) all of Genuity's ill-gotten gains revenue
4) the right to inspect the IT equipment of ex-employees

The defendants agreed to divulge the contents of their computer devices to a court-appointed lawyer who will safeguard the data.

See Also: Genuity Gang Strikes Back -- CIBC Recruiting Scandal -- David Kassie, Kingpin -- David Kassie's Dream -- Dan Daviau -- Earl Rotman -- Kassie Defiant -- Phil Evershed -- Hirst, Morrison, Eggertson -- Marie Cordero -- Bad 4 Recruiters -- Sweet Marie -- The Kassie Cult -- Kassie Honoured -- Hunkin's Millions -- BlackBerry Got 'Em -- Kassie Family Hunted -- Blackberry Mystery Solved -- The Genuity Revolution -- Technorati Tag:
The Harder They Fall....

Losing your job is tough no matter who you are or what you do. However we tend to assume that CEO's are in such high demand that they find another position fairly easily. Leaving aside the fact that these jobs are much rarer than other positions (there is only one CEO per company remember). The stigma that gets attached to a CEO that gets fired is also a strong factor.

Local headhunter Michael Stern has a very good article in Canadian Business talking about CEO's who have lost their jobs and the challenges they face. It's a very interesting read and here are some money quotes:

As an executive search consultant, I have interviewed hundreds of CEOs and senior executives across Canada. In my experience, few people ever consider life after CEO. Those who are in the top spot now, or those gunning for it, tend to think of chief executive as an earned title they will bear until the day they retire. They never expect to have another job where they are not in charge.

When setbacks happen, some fortunate CEOs move right into another top job, never surrendering their title or prestige. For most, however, it's a tough climb back. Some ex-CEOs avoid dealing with this by jumping off the fast track altogether. They become self-employed consultants, providing valuable advice for a fee to former industry colleagues and, often, competitors. Best of all, they are still the person in charge--even if they work only 10 hours a week and their office is in the rec room.

In my opinion, it takes more guts to [..] stay active in the business arena.

If you wait for the perfect job to come along, you may be sitting at home (or paying for your own tickets to industry conferences) for a long time. At some point you have to get off the fence and decide which is more important: regaining the title and prestige you lost, or getting on with your life and career.

Everyone has a best-before date. It varies from industry to industry, and of course everyone knows that CEO jobs don't come open every day. Still, as a recruiter, I can vouch that any senior job-seeker who has been on the shelf for half a year is starting to get stale

Execs who wish to stay in the game should have realistic goals. Even if your objective is to be CEO again, I find it's best to define your success in stages. You may not get your title back for a while. Maybe success for you, at first, will be to get your phone calls returned. Maybe success will be making it through to the second or third interview. If you stay focused on the process, gaining confidence from your incremental "wins," you may just have the inner strength, wisdom and vision to climb all the way back to the top.

Of course, the best way to avoid setbacks is to manage your career properly while you are safely employed. Some people join their industry associations only after they lose their jobs. The smart people join early and devote a set amount of time to associations, committees, industry conferences and other activities that increase the size of their networks.