Forget the ads you see on television about how much brokerage firms care that your daughter goes to Juilliard or that your son goes to Yale.
What Wall Street really cares about isn’t college; it’s preschool.
At least, that’s the obsession of former Salomon Smith Barney analyst Jack Grubman, who rated AT&T stock better than warranted to help his boss, Citigroup chief Sanford “Sandy” Weill.
Weill needed the vote of AT&T’s chief, who sat on the Citigroup board, to win his leadership battle against another Citigroup executive, John Reed. Grubman needed help getting his kids into a highly selective Manhattan preschool.
So, Grubman upgraded his rating of AT&T, nicknamed “T” for its stock ticker symbol. And Weill pulled strings and donated $1 million to get Grubman’s kids into the school.
It’s all there in the Securities and Exchange Commission complaint against Grubman and the firm where he worked until last August e-mail by tawdry e-mail.
“I used Sandy to get my kids into 92nd St. Y preschool (which is harder than Harvard),” Grubman bragged to a friend via e-mail, “and Sandy needed (the AT&T chief’s) vote on our board to nuke Reed in a showdown.
“Once coast was clear for both of us (i.e. Sandy clear victor and my kids confirmed), I went back to my normal negative self on T. (AT&T’s chief) never knew that we both (Sandy and I) played him like a fiddle.”