Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Meet the Goldman Sachs Man Who Has the Best Seat on the Trading Floor

Julia La Roche and Courtney Comstock, Business Insider
The Goldman Sachs booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Getty Images

Goldman Sachs strategist, Alan Jay Brazil, who recently published a controversial 54-page report for the firm's hedge fund clients, has one of the best seats at Goldman.

And it's not a corner office.

From Brazil's seat on Goldman's trading floor, he published a semi-secret report that suggested that European banks may need $1 trillion in capital and that U.S. small businesses, the engines of job creation, are languishing, just to name a few points he made.

But that's not why it's controversial. As a strategist on Goldman's Hedge Fund Strategies desk, he has a seat on the trading floor next to Goldman's brokers. So his opinion is informed by the trades that Goldman's clients employ Goldman traders execute.

In other words, his opinion is valuable. But it could work against you.

Goldman has a disclosure in bold letters on the top of each report that Goldman may have already traded on the information in the report. It's up to the client to figure out which side of the bet they want to be on, but if it's the one Goldman recommends, they'll set it up for you, for a fee.

Brazil was head of Goldman's Hedge Fund Marketing as of 2009. The Wall Street Journal says he works in the firm's Hedge Fund Strategies group.

Brazil develops trading strategies for hedge funds across product classes including credit, mortgages, equity, currencies and commodities, according to a profile of him on Kellogg's website.

  • Here's what we know about him:
  • He's been working for Goldman Sachs since 1994.
  • The bank made him a managing director in 2000.
  • Brazil and his wife Jennifer are philanthropists.
  • Prior to his current post at Goldman, he was the head of mortgage and ABS research for the bank.
  • In 2002, he was part of Goldman's team that revamped mortgage valuation framework, by "adapting to the changing dynamics of the MBS marketplace." He wrote in 2002: "This groundbreaking framework represents two years of development work....This is an innovative, state-of-the-art model that we believe is without equal on Wall Street, as it is rooted in a very thorough, sophisticated and current analysis of today's MBS market. By incorporating new insights into mortgage valuations and behavior, this model offers our clients a cutting edge tool for pricing and relative value analytics for mortgage backed securities."
  • Brazil serves as a director for Grand Street Settlement—an organization that offers community-based programs for residents in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Earlier this year, Grand Street Settlement hosted an event called "Tastes of the Lower East Side." The couple were "platinum" sponsors for the event and Goldman was an underwriter meaning the bank donated $25,000. (Download PDF)
  • He lost 20 lbs with Heidi Klum's trainer in the early 2000s

To help him lose some lbs. in the early 2000s, Brazil's wife gave him gift of one-on-one training sessions with renowned fitness trainer David Kirsch, whose clients have included Heidi Klum and Invanka Trump.

Here's what Brazil said about his workout experience:

"Working out with a personal trainer was not my idea of exercising, but then again I was never able to stay with any exercise program despite having been a member of the various big name gyms over the years....As a result, I've lost 20 lbs. and exchanged fat for muscle in only six months of working out with him. Summer will no longer be a traumatic experience! Both my wife and I have joined."

Brazil might also be a Republican. He donated toJohn McCain's presidential campaignback in March 2007. He's also made political contributions to The Goldman Sachs Political Action Committee.

This story originally appeared on Business Insider

Read more from Business Insider:

» The TRUTH About $16,000 Box Seats At The US Open

» Roubini Sees 60% Chance Of A Recession In 2012, China And Brazil Also At Risk

» The Divergence Between Corporate Profits And GDP Growth Is Totally Unsustainable

» There's No Housing Bottom In Sight


Questions? Comments? Email us at

Follow NetNet on Twitter @

Facebook us @