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David Rauch, Hedge-Fund Manager

"It’s not like I’m superrich, but it’s a mentality. If you’re going to work, you should dress that way."

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What do you do?
I’m a money manager. I’ve been in the business thirteen years, and last year I started a small hedge fund.

Is there pressure to dress a certain way in finance?
I used to work at Bear Stearns, and you realize that you’re making a lot of money and spending tons of it on clothes. Guys would come over and snip your tie in half if it was ugly. There wasn’t anything written, but you definitely had a feeling of Holy shit, I better get some nice shoes. It was like the Marines—a pretty badass place. I loved it.

Any room for individuality?
We used to go and get Ferragamo shoes with two buckles. The old guys would be like, “What are you doing? Are those Capezios?” Ace Greenberg, the executive committee chairman of Bear Stearns, is in a bow tie, but in our division, it was more “Don’t get cute. No paisley.”

Did you bring that mood to your new office?
I went to Europe for the first time last year—my wife’s Swedish—and over there, you are in a suit and tie if you want to make money. In Manhattan, a billionaire could be in cutoffs. In Europe, you can tell who the rich people are. It’s not like I’m superrich, but it’s a mentality. If you’re going to work, you should dress that way.

Where do you get your suits?
I’m six nine, so things have to be custom-made. My ex-girlfriend worked at Polo, so she would tell them we were engaged and I’d get Purple Label suits—that’s what this one is. I still owe her for that. For shirts I go to Phil’s 1908 near Bloomingdale’s. And at Bear Stearns, they used to send pretty girls from Tom James around and they would measure you in the conference room. One of them became a good friend, and I still get shirts from her.

Do you always wear a jacket and tie?
Yeah, for now anyway. But I went to Hiro the other night and I got grief at the door. The girl said, “Maybe you should take off the tie.” I was expecting Eyes Wide Shut, but I got in and there were five guys in the corner wearing madras shirts.


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