Welcome to this weekly roundup of stories from Insider’s Business co-Editor in Chief Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.
What we’re going over today:
- Billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett pledged half their wealth to charity – but some are moving slow.
- Amazon is planning a new brand that offers at-home medical tests for COVID-19.
- The secret life of Ian Osborne, a shadowy SPAC cofounder who has built the ultimate black book of billionaires.
- One of the hedge-fund industry’s most interesting characters.
What’s trending this morning:
- Documents show how taxpayers are paying for Trump’s postpresidential office: Expenses include everything from printer toner to Stephen Miller’s salary.
- Law firms scramble for talent: Kirkland & Ellis has offered up to $250,000 signing bonuses to young lawyers amid nonstop M&A and capital-markets work.
- The 29 fastest-growing biotech companies: They hired hundreds of new workers in 2020 and grew by at least 50%.
- Jack Abraham is turning Wynwood into the heart of Miami’s tech scene: The VC founder planned a one-week Miami trip with a group of friends last June. He never left.
- ‘Bring your whole self to work’ may create more problems than it solves for employees. Here’s how companies can really promote inclusion.
Billionaires who pledged half their wealth to charity are moving slow – and still getting massive tax breaks.
Some of America’s richest families signed the Giving Pledge, a public promise initiated by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to give at least half of their wealth to charitable causes – but many have been slow to make good on their promise:
Death was the Giving Pledge deadline. You could give half your money away beforehand, or you could leave it to charity in your will. Mark Zuckerberg, who at age 26 was among the second group of Giving Pledge signers, made clear that he did not intend to wait nearly that long.
“People wait until late in their career to give back,” Zuckerberg said in a Giving Pledge press release. “But why wait when there is so much to be done?”
But waiting, it turns out, is precisely what Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan have done. During its first five years, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative handed out a total of $2.7 billion in grants – roughly 6% of their wealth at the time they made their pledge.
Zuckerberg is not the only signatory to take things slow. Elon Musk, who signed the pledge in 2012, has donated only $100 million so far – less one-tenth of 1% of his current net worth.
Read our full report here:
- Bill Gates and Warren Buffett got 211 billionaires to pledge half their wealth to charity. But some are moving slow – and still getting massive tax breaks.
- ‘I was screaming’: Top CEOs reflect on the shocking death of George Floyd one year ago and how it changed their perception of being a business leader.
- Security firms for the ultra-rich are staffing up with vaccinated bodyguards and brushing up on clients’ laundry list of demands as the wealthy fuel up their jets and superyachts
Amazon is considering the launch of a new line of business, called “Diagnostics,” that would offer an array of at-home medical tests and a third-party marketplace for general home-diagnostics services:
The company is in talks to launch its own COVID-19 testing kit in June, potentially around the start of its Prime Day annual shopping event, according to people directly involved in the matter.
Additionally, Amazon could expand to offer testing kits for infections that lead to respiratory and sexually transmitted diseases. Amazon’s long-term goal is to expand into other areas, such as clinical genomics, and launch a third-party marketplace that sells medical tests from other companies.
Plans for Amazon’s new home-testing products represent the retail giant’s first foray into the health-diagnostics space. They’re part of Amazon’s expansion into the broader healthcare industry.
Here’s a look at what we know so far:
- Amazon plans new ‘Diagnostics’ brand that offers at-home medical tests for COVID-19, sexually transmitted infections, and clinical genomics
- Experts explain why the mRNA tech that revolutionized COVID-19 vaccines could be the answer to incurable diseases, heart attacks, and even snake bites: ‘The possibilities are endless’
- JPMorgan is trying to disrupt healthcare again just 3 months after its previous attempt went up in smoke
British investor Ian Osborne has dazzled the tech and finance industries through Social Capital Hedosophia, his SPAC with Chamath Palihapitiya. We spoke to more than 30 of Osborne’s associates to learn more about the man at the forefront of the “blank check” investment frenzy:
An elusive power broker, Osborne does not like to be in the spotlight, though he’s frequently at the center of the action – SCH dazzled Wall Street with its first reverse merger with Virgin Galactic in 2019, igniting the current SPAC craze.
Part connector, part fixer-for-hire, the 38-year-old is an unlikely lord of high finance and tech. Through means that aren’t entirely clear to even some close acquaintances, he has finagled his way into the circuits and pocketbooks of the world’s most rich and famous, earning favor by doing favors, and parlaying his impressive black book into a lucrative, and sometimes mysterious, career.
“How he got to the level he did, I don’t know but it’s an art,” one longtime friend and business associate told Insider.
Take a look inside Osborne’s enigmatic life:
- The secret life of Ian Osborne, the shadowy 38-year-old cofounder of Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC who has built the ultimate black book of billionaires
Mala Gaonkar is one of three people running $30 billion Lone Pine Capital, alongside Kelly Granat and David Craver, taking over the firm from the billionaire founder Stephen Mandel Jr., who retired at the beginning of 2019. We looked into one of the industry’s more interesting characters:
An upside-down investing landscape requires an outside-the-box thinker.
For stock investors nowadays, thinking about what the future looks like might be more important than the company’s current performance. In essence, that means copying what Gaonkar and Lone Pine have been doing for years.
Gaonkar is the firm’s expert on the bigger picture – she’s less interested in a company’s latest earnings release and more focused on what trends will be dominating the world in a couple of years’ time.
We explored what, exactly, makes Gaonkar such a trailblazer:
- Lone Pine’s Mala Gaonkar, a longtime lieutenant to billionaire Stephen Mandel Jr., is one of the hedge-fund industry’s most interesting characters
- Wells Fargo’s investment institute is in the final stages of onboarding an active crypto strategy for its wealthy clients. Its president told us why the firm changed its mind on crypto.
- Minority-owned investment banks are proving they can lead bond deals like a bulge bracket. 7 bankers tell us how they’re driving diversity on Wall Street.
AT&T announced this week it would spin off WarnerMedia and combine it with Discovery Communications in a blockbuster deal that would bring a bevy of media brands – including CNN, HBO, and HGTV – under one roof.
To help you make sense of the massive merger, we compiled the stories you’ll need to read to stay up to date:
- Some of Wall Street’s biggest lawyers and bankers were tapped to help hammer out the deal. Meet them here – and see the role they played in the WarnerMedia-Discovery marriage.
- The deal has reignited chatter of industry-shaking media deals. We spoke with experts about how talks between media giants could play out in 2021.
- Insiders think Jeff Zucker could get a new role at the future company. Take a look at what might be next for the CNN chief executive.
- The merger is expected to create $3 billion in savings – here are some of the jobs at risk
- It’s also causing a leadership shake-up, leaving these execs vying for power.
- Finally, we mapped out the 111 most powerful people at WarnerMedia. Here’s our exclusive org chart.
Lastly, here are some headlines you might have missed last week.
- Inside the OnlyFans reality show where 10 women moved into a rapper’s house to find fame, but some say they left with trauma, injuries, and matching tattoos
- Salesforce’s new chief product officer explains how its ‘Holy Grail’ data product and focus on industries will help it compete with the likes of Microsoft
- Real-estate investor Mike Bryant breaks down the strategy he used to acquire 10 properties ‘without putting a nickel into’ them – and shares why he recently decided to sell all but 4
- Microsoft and SAP are quietly pulling the plug on a key piece of their flagship cloud partnership
- Meet 26 rising stars in public relations at top brands and agencies like Uber and Edelman
- Uncapped is disrupting startup finance. We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck it used to raise a fresh $80 million from Spotify investor Lakestar.
- Bank of America’s top tech exec Cathy Bessant just added a new direct report, which hints at the increased focus the bank is putting on its infrastructure and cloud initiatives