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SG Cowen

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Autor:  santroz  03 May 2011
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Words: 945   |   Pages: 4
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1. Halligan and Shah want HubSpot to be to marketing, what salesforce.com is to sales. What plan can you suggest to make this happen? Why would you take these actions? What are the risks associated with your plan?
SG Cowen wants to remain a small sized and boutique styled investment banking firm focusing on emerging sectors such as technology and healthcare as investment opportunities. The firm wants to provide niche services by gaining and using deep knowledge through its aggressive research.
However the company intends to grow geographically with its operations stretching to Asia, Europe and other parts of the world. But there won't be any change in the investment strategy which is based on choosing high growth emerging sectors.
What, if any, link exists between its business strategy and the importance of its new hires?
A link definitely exists between the business strategy and new hires. Being a small firm, SG Cowen can only give limited time to its new hires to adjust to the culture and work style. This is why they perform a culture match while hiring their recruits. Also the firm can't afford to hire weak candidates as its impact can be massive considering the small size of the firm. To ensure the right choice of recruits the company has a two tier recruitment system wherein the junior associates assist in the initial rounds of selection and senior bankers make the final judgment on filtered candidates on Super Saturday.
What knowledge, skills, and abilities are important among SG Cowen's new hires?
It seems from the case article that SG Cowen stresses on attracting people with a passionate mindset about Investment banking and prospects in SG Cowen. The company discounts people on ability and trusts them to learn with experience in the company. The CEO himself comes from law background to which further exemplifies this fact. The firm also targets individuals with keen interest and experience in its focus areas of Technology and Emerging Growth.
Other factors in the employee selection are leadership, judgment & maturity to handle the work. The firm also assesses the commitment to work and ethics which can be measured roughly on grounds of answers given for experience related questions.
To what extent do its hiring practices accurately & reliably assess these KSAs?
The hiring practices of SG Cowen moderately assess the KSAs of the candidates. There seems to be little interaction and co-ordination between the initial and final rounds of selection. Although it is the right approach to let loose the bankers with high experience to make their decision, this can have a flipside too. In case of ambiguity and disarray of opinions, it is preferable to have clearly defined metrics and also convince the bankers to use them appropriately.
However on the basis of exhibits and other details, it can be said that the process of "noting comments" helps a lot in making the final decision about the candidate.
Analyze the strengths & weaknesses of the four remaining candidates to whom SG Cowen might make an offer
Natalia Godlewska-
Strength: Her main strength is her strong work experience and credentials. She is very ambitious and believes in striving for her goals. As a recruiter mentioned, she is the employee who can be helpful in tough negotiations.
She is from Cornell School which is quite highly ranked for its program and all her interviewers gave positive feedback of her skill set.
Weakness: Some interviewers believe that her aggressive attitude can be a problem. Her lack of fluency in English Language can also lead to problems later on in her tenure. There are also some concerns raised over her cultural fit in the firm


Martin Street-
Strength: Martin Street is a Wharton graduate and possesses unique expecience in the military. He was a part of the rescue operations in Bosnia which speak volumes about his leadership skills and handling pressure situations.
Weakness: Martin Street has shown no special interest in SG Cowen. Neither does he seem very interested in the operations of the company. His grades in Wharton are not known. So it is hard to assess his academic skills.
Ken Goldstein-
Strength: Ken is an ideal employee for SG Cowen. He has been in the top 5% workers in PWC and possesses the right credentials needed for the position.
Weakness: Ken has a wife and kids, which is being viewed as a problem by the selectors. They believe that Ken can't display the same commitment level as other joinees who are willing to sacrifice their personal life for sake of the firm. And therefore, it might not be fair to new entrants if they hire Ken.
Andy Sanchez-
Strength: Andy possesses entrepreneurial experience which stands him out.He has made profits for his company and can contribute significantly with his innovative ideas and creative solutions.
Weakness: Andy has a very low GPA and it seems like he did not focus much on the coursework during his MBA due to personal issues.
Which two do you recommend and why not the other two?
I strongly recommend the selection of Ken Goldstein and Natalia for the positions in SG Cowen. Primarily, both possess good credentials in their prior work experience and MBA MBA program.
Natalia can improve by toning down on her aggressive nature with time and language problem too can be resolved after she joins the company.
Ken is a high potential candidate and he can contribute more in less hours compared to the new joinees. Also, Ken can be told about SG Cowens concerns if he spends very less time at work and being a reputed employee he can address those issues professionally.
The other two candidates possess low or unknown GPAs and come from a relatively unrelated background. Therefore , I believe they are not good fits.

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