Alex Rodriguez in a black suit and white pocket square looked overdressed yet efficient as he made trades and signed baseballs on the fleece-vest filled trading floor of BTIG LLC in midtown Manhattan.
At the firm’s annual Charity Day on Tuesday, athletes, actors, models and chefs got down in the trenches to support their causes, with Rodriguez choosing the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The donations came from commissions the company and its employees gave up for the day in cities including London, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The event has raised more than $30 million since 2003, BTIG co-founder Steve Starker said.
Rodriguez spoke with BTIG clients, holding a headset to his ear, grinning, chit-chatting and making things happen.
“Berkshire Hathaway, you like the long?” Rodriguez asked a visitor, a hedge-fund trader, who told the New York Yankees slugger to never bet against Warren Buffett.
The first stop for guests was at a desk occupied by Starker, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner. He got a cookie from Brooke Shields, representing Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, and had bro-hugs for athletes CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Mark Messier and Shaquille O’Neal, about whom he quipped, “It’s not often you have a 7-foot, 300-pound trader.”
Over the loudspeaker Starker announced that New York Giants football coach Tom Coughlin had moved the team’s practice to early morning so Eli Manning could attend.
Starker is buying the Atlanta Hawks basketball team with a group of investors and was at its playoff game sitting courtside at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Monday night.
Charity Day is a way for the firm to give back -- and a busy day of trading with “outsize volume” and “a lot of liquidity,” Starker said.
Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model Hannah Davis peeked inside her skirt to identify its designer, Zuhair Murad, which she paired with a Theory tank top, Chanel bag and Louis Vuitton high heels for her turn as trader. “It’s way too hectic,” she said. “I thought my life was wild, this was wild.”
Davis recently filmed a commercial for DirecTV, which she said was “challenging. I was on the horse all day in a bikini with no saddle.”
At BTIG, she appeared on behalf of Happy Hearts Fund.
A fan of “Sex and the City” got one of the show’s stars, Kristin Davis, on the phone, in Stella McCartney and on the job for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which helps save orphaned elephants and rhinos.
“Can I do what? Buy 500. Yay, buy it. That’s what I’m supposed to say, right?” she asked an options trader.