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Schmooze Sticks

Wall Street�s old-boys network busts some heads.

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The Wall Street Lacrosse League’s championship game takes place on August 30, pitting the heavily favored Merrill Lynch Bulls—they’ve won all three prior tournaments—against Citigroup. Merrill, which is undefeated, outranking squads from firms including Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and Citigroup over the three-game season, draws players mostly from its U.S. equity sales and trading desk, including former Princeton goalie Scott Bacigalupo, Johns Hopkins goalie Nick Murtha, Princeton attackman Jon Hess, and Frank D’Agostino, from Operations, who puts the other guys’ trades through. For many of the players, the tourney is a chance to reunite with former teammates. “There are a ton of lacrosse guys on Wall Street. It’s like a little frat,” says Joe Boulukos of Lehman, a former all-American at Cornell. Tournament organizer Sandy Bernhardt, 35, of Citigroup, explains the continuity between collegiate lacrosse and the Street: “By virtue of the fact that a lot of those guys ended up on Wall Street, that sort of bred that group here. And then it is human nature to hire people like yourself.” Billy Kelly, 20, a student at Williams and a summer intern in Merrill’s Global Private Client group, logged an assist at Merrill’s August 9 game against brokerage house Tullett Prebon. He didn’t know any other players, but he networked with gusto, pulling beers from the keg of Keystone and trying to meet “whoever has job offers.” Kelly says, “I made a couple of good contacts, but we’ll see.” So even though the internship’s over, he’ll drive down for the championship.

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