Female Powerhouses: New York

There are many women in New York making a difference in the world, holding senior positions, researching into new medical areas, or making their mark in the traditionally  male-dominated business world.  Here we look at three: radiology dynamite Hedvig Hricak, educational maven Kathryn Wylde and political powerhouse Melissa DeRosa.

In 2010, Hedvig Hricak was appointed president of the Radiological Society of North America.  Of this appointment, Elias Zerhouni, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said:

“It is hard to find an individual with a more extraordinary character or career in our field, despite the richness and diversity of our profession and its many remarkable leaders.”

Hricak is chair of the Department of Radiology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC),  a professor of radiology at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College (New York, NY), and has spent many years researching the roles of MRI in genitourinary malignancies.

Kathryn Wylde began her career as a housing organizer in Brooklyn.  Today she is President and CEO of The Partnership for New York City, Inc. and the Chamber of Commerce Inc.  She has been instrumental in the establishment and supervision of affordable housing and economic development programs, with the development of many pioneering programs in this vein.  To get to where she is today she held various roles in educational and economic industries including being Urban Affairs Officer with Anchor Savings Banks and Deputy Chairperson of the Federal Reserve Bank. Today she is known around the world for her expertise in economic development, housing and urban policy.

Politically-speaking one cannot find a more senior unelected role in the New York State government than Melissa de Rosa’s one.  As the first female Secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo (appointed at age 34), she holds a tremendous amount of power.  Having been raised in a political home, breakfast discussions centered around local budgetary issues and de Rosa spoke her opinion on these from age 9.  At 16 she was an intern for the New York State A.F.L.-C.I.O’s political director.  Other political positions she held before arriving in Cuomo’s office include: Obama’s national political action organization, working with Eric T. Schneiderman. Of her expertise, Governor Bill Murrow said:

“She’s very savvy on the intersection of policy and politics. And she has a real granular feel for how to execute things.”

Schneiderman echoed this sentiment by referring to de Rosa a “quadruple threat.”

 

 

When Cheesecake Becomes “Everything”

If you’re looking for the best of the best in your New York cheesecake, apparently these days if you find yourself in NYC, then there is no place better than Manhattan’s Madison Avenue’s Eleven Madison Park.

At first,  it appears that you’ve ordered something not particularly out of the ordinary; simply a slice of classic NY cheesecake.  But forget the sweet; this is something entirely different as you will find as you first dig in. Which was perhaps what made the EMP (the name given to the restaurant by those “in the know”) its fine dining reputation.

Remember the firs time we indulged in the “everything” bagel?  How did we feel?  Well, take that to the next level and you may have the stirrings of understanding of the cheesecake from EMP.  Simply put, it is described here as:

“cream cheese contains pureed white asparagus, which renders it both complex and delicate. Atop the cheesecake are thinly sliced layers of smoked sturgeon – a mainstay in New York delicatessens – and a heaping of caviar. Then there are the condiments: pickled daikon radish and pickled white asparagus, each served in ornamental caviar tins. A mussel-and-sturgeon sauce offsets the richness of the course with a light saltiness.”

So it’s perhaps not surprising that when you Google it you’ll just find 4.5 star ratings from Trip Advisor and ExploreTock and that it has earned the Number 1 spot on the World’s 50th Best Restaurants!

M&A’s in New York

Lots of business movement in New York.  Here we look at AppNexus and Health Plus Management.

Having earned a reputation as “one of the hottest names in the ad tech industry” following its 2014 $1.2 billion VC valuation, it was hardly surprising that it was going to go to the next level of being sucked up by a major corporation or going public.  In this case it is AT&T which reaps the benefit in its alleged purchase deal worth approximately $1.6 billion.    The idea behind this purchase is AT&Ts bringing AppNexus into its newly created advertising and analytics business.  The move is also indicative of AT&Ts recognition of the importance of voluminous customer data to more effectively sell adds in various formats.

Moving to a completely different industry we learn of the recent plans by Health Plus Management LLC to purchase Advanced PMR Management.  According to CEO and founder of Health Plus, Stuart Blumberg:

“Advanced PMR epitomizes stellar services and consummate patient care. We are thrilled to take on management and support of APMR and we expect tremendous success in working together to develop APMR into a strong, multi-specialty, platform for best in class rehab care in NJ.”

This move will create the environment for Health Plus’s development of a presence in New Jersey, in a way that it has done since its establishment almost two-and-a-half decades ago.

 

Moving to Manhattan

While people often steer clear from New York City and its environs for business headquarters, that might be changing.  One example is Discovery Communications, a Maryland-based operation that will be moving to Manhattan in the latter part of 2019. Having just signed on a new transaction (the purchase of Scripps Networks Interactive for $12 billion) it is seemingly now taking its business to the next level by centralizing its headquarters.

And it’s not just businesses.  Leisure is getting an upgrade too with the new Pier 17 in Lower Manhattan is looking to become one of the top summer destination spots for locals and visitors alike. The reason Executive Chef at Heinken Riverdeck David Kornell set up shop there was because he had an idea about all the people docking from the boats and ships and figured it would make a great choice for a global menu.

Right now the rest of Pier 17 remains under construction but it won’t be long until its graced with a variety of eateries and stores, including one by David Chang (founder of Momofuku) and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s food hall.

 

 

 

Environmental Enhancement

The clean energy movement in New York is buzzing.  The state is set to put $250 million toward increasing the amount of Electric Vehicles (EV) on the road. In collaboration with the New York Power Authority, EVolveNY will be the guiding force behind the dispensation of funds.  Governor Cuomo said:

“New York has an incredible opportunity to move the needle on greenhouse gas reduction and get more electronic vehicles on the road by building more charging stations to ensure New Yorkers can drive them from one end of the state to the other. With the NYPA EVolve NY initiative, we are making a significant move to make driving an electric car a viable choice and an affordable option that can make significant strides in cleaning the air for all New Yorkers.”

Electrification is being supported in other US states as well. For example, $1.3 billion is being spread over California, New Jersey and New York to invest into changing stations and other expenses connected to electrification.

Benefits of Running a Business in NYC

While Silicon Valley has for many years been the preferred choice of location for business development and operation, it seems that New York City is now being propelled as a great alternative.  According to a recent article in Business Insider by Zoë Bernard, here are some of the reasons why:

  1. One of the world centers for fashion and finance
  2. Fantastic pool of talent
  3. Venture capital environment with the likes of Hercules Capital, Insight Venture Partners and BetaWorks.
  4. Startup scene there has a real sense of community spirit with mentorship programs such as Oceans.
  5. Female founders have traditionally done well in NYC.
  6. Quite simply, because it is anywhere but Silicon Valley and that alone gives it an edge.

In addition, just looking at real estate transactions in the area over the last few years one can see the improvement in living and working conditions in NYC.  For example, a decade ago, it was not at all easy to get financing for mortgages due to the fiscal crisis.  But now, according to 3 World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, that has all changed.  With 40 percent occupancy already, he pointed out that “these buildings never stay empty for long.” And corporations will want to go there since they “need technology and you can only get technology in brand-new buildings.”

Furthermore, as Alexandros Washburn said, every time there’s a crisis with New York, it bounces back, concluding that: “Every time it’s comes back with a better balance, more richness in the types of buildings that are here, the types of open spaces.”

Hedge Fund Reality: Death or Revitalization?

Eighteen months ago, finance experts believed the hedge fund industry was losing power as a global player in the finance world.  So much so that according to Tabby Kinder, the Hedge Fund Standards Board was “debating a name change in an effort to distance itself from a term that [had] become increasingly contentious.”

But that was last year. A lot can change in 12 months and today the hedge fund industry is bouncing back.  Rob Copeland wrote in a WSJ article:

“The average hedge fund is up 5.4% … while stock-focused hedge funds have gained 8.31%, [and] Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 11.9% including dividends, while the traditional 60-40 split of stocks and bonds would have earned 8.9%.”

Looking more closely at the winners in this hedge fund revitalization we see New York hedge fund Brahman Capital.  Copeland explains the story of Brahman Capital Corp’s rise of its “big bet on hedge-fund favorite Valeant Pharmaceuticals” that initially plummeted, resulting in Brahman’s own fall with investors taking their money out.  But then Brahman came back, selling the stock “and with what is now $3.8 billion of remaining cash pivoted to new ideas…[Today], Brahman’s main fund is up 17%.”

Copeland’s conclusion that “the gloom that had beset hedge funds [a couple of years ago] is [now] lifting and even giving way to outright optimism.”  Indeed, according to Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co partner Alper Ince, “it just feels better” and if Brahman Capital’s example is anything to go by, Ince’s words lead us to believe that the reality of hedge funds today is closer to revitalization than a near demise.

 

Caribbean Week New York

New York City has a substantial Caribbean-American residency.  As such, the Caribbean Week New York that begins tomorrow is very well-received and attended.

Organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), this is a great bolster to the economy with the attraction of VIPs, diplomats and others to the city to enjoy the free Revival for the Caribbean affair.  It will take place in Manhattan’s Financial District at 225 Liberty Street in the Meredith Global Corp’s 5th floor auditorium.

Programs include: “Revival for the Caribbean,” “Rum & Rhythm Benefit and Auction,” “Celebrity Chef Program” and more.