☕️ The DM slide

The era of cold calling is basically over...
May 25, 2021 View Online | Sign Up

Daily Brew


Good morning. Today marks one year since George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis. On Capitol Hill, legislators have failed to deliver a police reform bill that President Biden requested to be on his desk by today.

The private sector has moved slightly faster to address long-standing concerns over racial injustice in Corporate America. Our headline story today looks at the surge in hiring of diversity execs as companies try to improve minority representation within their workforces.














*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Not that you should check your stock portfolio daily, but if you did yesterday you'd probably see a solid upward tick thanks to a push from Big Tech. Heck, even crypto rebounded from a brutal weekend and Coinbase was handed a "buy" rating from Goldman Sachs.
  • Covid-19: The seven-day average of new cases (25,300 on Sunday) has fallen 24% week over week, and nine states now have 70% of adults with at least one dose.


Now Still Hiring: Chief Diversity Officers

Nike, Gap, Levi's missing diverse talent in corporate roles

Francis Scialabba

In the 365 days since George Floyd's murder, protests have turned a spotlight on racial inequality in Corporate America. In response, businesses have scrambled to hire leaders focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, adding to what was already a growing number of diversity execs in the leadership Slack channel.

In the five years leading up to September 2020, the number of people with the title "head of diversity" rose 107%, "director of diversity" 75%, and "chief diversity officer" 68%, according to LinkedIn.

Good luck holding on

Turnover among top diversity execs is fairly high. Recruiters estimate that the average chief diversity officer (CDO) tenure is about three years—less than one might expect considering the median comp is $600k/year at companies with $3+ billion in revenue.

While they may be fielding more offers than their colleagues, CDOs regularly run into walls at work, including unrealistic expectations and a lack of resources and support from their company's top brass, the WSJ reports

"It requires an emotional muscle unlike any role I've ever worked in," Eli Lilly's top diversity exec Joy Fitzgerald told the WSJ. "You have to be comfortable knowing that the norm is managing discomfort."

CDOs have been busy

Diversity and inclusion hiring spiked last June following global Black Lives Matter protests. And in the last year, some of the bluest-chip names in biz have tied executive compensation to diversity targets, including Chipotle, Starbucks, McDonald's, Nike, and Apple.

But hiring a CDO isn't a quick fix. HR experts warn that a successful diversity strategy needs to tie into business results, rely on more than one leader, and focus on longer-term changes.

Zoom out: American companies have been rethinking their responsibility to society for several years, most notably in 2019 when the influential Business Roundtable said profits and shareholders aren't everything. For many C-suites, George Floyd's murder elevated diversity and inclusion to the top of the agenda.



NYC's Zoom School Powers Off

Scene from Billy Madison,


Huge news for younger New Yorkers: You're going back to school—like back, back. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced yesterday that the NYC public school system, the nation's largest, will fully reopen in September with no remote options. "You can't have a full recovery without full strength schools," he said.

Why's that? After the abysmal April jobs report, President Biden and some economists argued that greater childcare burdens placed on parents prevented them from getting back to work.

On the other hand, it might not be a factor at all. Job loss among parents accounted for a negligible share of total job loss from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021, according to a recent study from the Peterson Institute for International Economics. No study has measured parents' stress levels while working four feet from a teen with algebra questions, but we are guessing it's high.

Looking ahead…the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been authorized in the US for people as young as 12, and while some administrators worry there won't be enough room for students to social distance, de Blasio expects CDC guidelines around schools to loosen by the fall.



Empty Nester? Airbnb Wants Your Room

Yesterday, Airbnb announced 100+ new features, including more flexibility for guests to search dates, destinations, and listings.

But many of the biggest upgrades were saved for hosts:

  • Listing a new property was simplified from dozens of steps to 10.
  • 2x the number of support agents
  • Artificial intelligence systems will recommend names, descriptions, and the best photos to use. (Pro tip: Guests want to see the bed, not artsy shots of the credenza.)

Many of these features will take a few months to implement, but Airbnb is running short on time. And hosts. Although it has 5.4 million active listings, that will not be enough for what CEO Brian Chesky describes as a "once-in-a-century travel rebound."

  • In Q1, Airbnb reported 64+ million booked nights and experiences, up 13% annually. 
  • A quarter of trips were long-term stays (28 days or more). 

Zoom out: Chesky admitted that Airbnb hasn't been doing enough to help hosts, many of whom the company angered at the start of the pandemic when it allowed guests to cancel bookings and receive a full refund. 



Ever Felt Investment Whiplash?


We might have made the term up, but you've likely experienced Investment Whiplash. It's what happens when you're trying to keep up with market volatility on your investments. With new investing trends popping up on the reg, it can be stressful to take on the risks.

But if you're looking for something to help ease the pain of all that market volatility, Fundrise can help.

They make it easy to invest in private market real estate, an excellent alternative to the stock market. This asset class used to be the playground of the ultra-wealthy, but Fundrise was like, "Nah, we're changing that." 

Now, with just a $500 minimum investment, you can access real estate's historically strong, consistent, and reliable returns.

Stop letting yourself get Investment Whiplash. Start diversifying with Fundrise today.


Key Performance Indicators

the Golden Gate Bridge

Getty Images

Stat: San Francisco has a major shoplifting problem. Walgreens says that thefts at its locations in SF were 4x the chain's national average; it's had to close 17 stores in the area mainly because of the shoplifting epidemic. 

Quote: "This was a case of state-sponsored hijacking, state-sponsored piracy."

In an interview with Ireland's Newstalk radio, Michael O'Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, blasted the Belarusian government for forcing his company's plane to land in Minsk so that a dissident journalist could be arrested. The gambit was heavily criticized by Western leaders, and yesterday European officials agreed to slap more sanctions on Belarus, including banning Belarusian airlines from accessing EU airports.

Watch: A history of the NRA and its outsized influence on national politics. (Vimeo) 



Cold Calls Head to the DMs

Scene from Wolf of Wall Street with LinkedIn logo covering Leonardo DiCaprio's middle fingers

Wolf of Wall Street/Matty Merritt

Your mom was right, no one calls anymore. Bank of America's Merrill Lynch Wealth Management's advisor training program is banning cold calls and pushing its 3k trainees to use internal referrals or LinkedIn DMs to attract potential clients, reports the WSJ.

If you're mourning the image of crowded rooms of salesmen in wide ties wooing rich people into buying stocks, that environment has been gone for a while thanks to the disappearance of landlines and the rise of spam calls. Plus, Merrill's been in and out of hot water over reports of calling people on the national do-not-call registry.

  • Merrill executives said fewer than 2% of people even answer a cold call.

Zoom out: The brokerage has made big changes to its hiring strategy in recent years, moving away from recruiting established advisors from other firms and favoring homegrown talent through its "Build-a-Broker" program.



  • Startup formation during the pandemic was strongest in Black communities, a new study found.
  • SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son voiced concerns about Japan hosting the Olympics with less than 5% of its population vaccinated. The US State Department also issued a "do not travel" advisory for Japan yesterday.
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is returning to The Ed Sullivan Theater on June 14 to tape in front of a live, fully vaccinated studio audience.
  • Peloton is investing $400 million into its first US manufacturing facility in Ohio, which is projected to churn out bikes and treads by 2023.
  • The "Charlie bit my finger" YouTube video was sold as an NFT for more than $760,000, and it's leaving the video platform sometime soon. 


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Full-Bodied Trivia

To celebrate National Wine Day, can you name the top 10 wine-exporting countries in 2019? 

Raise the stakes: Play with your work team, and the person with the least amount of correct answers buys the first bottle at happy hour. 


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  1. France: $11 billion (30.4% of total wine exports)
  2. Italy: $7.3 billion (20.3%)
  3. Spain: $3.1 billion (8.7%)
  4. Australia: $2.1 billion (5.8%)
  5. Chile: $1.9 billion (5.3%)
  6. United States: $1.4 billion (3.8%)
  7. New Zealand: $1.2 billion (3.4%)
  8. Germany: $1.2 billion (3.2%)
  9. Portugal: $919.7 million (2.5%)
  10. United Kingdom: $836.6 million (2.3%)


✢ A Note From Fundrise

(Here's all the legal jargon we know you love reading.)


Written by Alex Hickey, Matty Merritt, and Neal Freyman

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