Noam Leslau, a Partner in the firm, is Head of Client Advisory – North America and Asia on the Investor Relations, Marketing & Strategy team. Prior to joining BlueMountain, Noam was a consultant at McKinsey & Company. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in History and Economics from Stanford University.
You started as a junior employee at BlueMountain and have ascended the ranks being elected to the partnership. What qualities do you think are most highly valued at BlueMountain?
Openness to new ideas and a readiness to embrace change, intellectual rigor and honesty, collaboration and teamwork. I think these three factors are important at BlueMountain at all levels of the organization. One feature I have always appreciated about BlueMountain is the flat structure of the organization and the expectation that ideas will be considered—and challenged—from and by everyone here.
BlueMountain touts collaboration between groups. What groups beside your own do you work with most frequently?
My group interacts with virtually all parts of our business. I would say we have the most frequent contact with Portfolio Managers, Research, and Risk professionals in order to understand the portfolios and specific trades. We interact daily with Legal and Accounting, who are instrumental in helping us onboard and service investors. We often work on marketing to prospective investors for many months or even years during which all of these groups have important roles. All in all, there is an incredible amount of daily collaboration. I would say that the openness and mutual support is a distinctive feature of the firm.
The London office has a reputation for a collegial, familial environment. You have worked in both London and New York. How would you characterize the tenor of the London office?
I think employees in both the London and New York offices strike a good balance in their professional and personal lives. We are all very driven at work but we also value family and children, for example. The difference between London and New York is mostly the size of the office. London has a smaller office and therefore feels a bit more close-knit, not unlike our New York office when I joined the firm nine years ago.
Tell me about what sets BlueMountain apart from its competitors. Why should someone with multiple job offers join BlueMountain?
When I joined BlueMountain, I was looking for a job. Instead I got a career. I think what sets us apart is our ability to develop as people as we grow the firm, providing incredible opportunities at all levels of the organization. While we are a large and established firm, we have kept the “young and hungry” spirit of a start-up venture. In other words, BlueMountain is a place that affords new hires the kinds of chances you might get in a more entrepreneurial environment with the infrastructure of an institutional asset manager. If you want to evolve and grow over the long term, I think the opportunities here are unrivaled.