A Babson College alum has been outted as the imaginative and often outrageous writer of the infamous Twitter account, GSElevator.
The New York Times yesterday (Feb. 24) identified John Lefevre, a former bond trader for Citigroup, as the author of the witty and sometimes offensive twitter account that pokes fun of the culture of Wall Street and in particular Goldman Sachs. More than 624,000 people follow the Twitter feed.
For the past three years, GSElevator has been entertaining both the denizens of Wall Street and the haters of the world of finance by reporting the kinds of comments that get passed among the investment bankers and traders in Goldman Sachs’ elevators.
A few typical barbs:
“I never give money to homeless people. I can’t reward failure in good conscience.”
“Only Neanderthals resort to violence. I prefer crushing one’s spirit, hope, or ego.”
“Some chick asked me what I would do with 10 million bucks. I told her I’d wonder where the rest of my money went.”
“If your bachelor party revolves around a big steak dinner and a strip club, count me out. I did that last night.”
Yet Lefevre has never worked for Goldman. The author was successful in keeping his identity confidential even as he signed a lucrative book deal with Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
TWITTER ACCOUNT WAS STARTED ‘AS A JOKE TO ENTERTAIN MYSELF’
After investing weeks of reporting to uncover the man’s identity, The Times located him at his home in Texas where he immediately fessed up to being the owner of the Twitter account. “Frankly, I’m surprised it has taken this long,” he told a reporter for the newspaper. “I knew this day would come.”
He said the account started as “a joke to entertain myself…This was never about me as a person. It wasn’t about a firm. The stories aren’t Goldman Sachs in particular. It was about the culture in general.”
That culture has regularly attracted the second largest number of elite MBAs after consulting. So GS Elevator had special entertainment appeal to MBA students who either wanted to work on Wall Street or who felt their talents were better suited elsewhere in consulting, marketing or technology.
‘DON’T WORRY LADIES, THESE DRINKS ARE ON GOLDMAN SACHS’
Lefevre started at Citigroup in New York in 2001 after graduating from Babson College. He then moved with Citigroup to London and hooked up with a boutique firm in Hong Kong in 2009. Lefevre told the Times his idea for the fake Twitter account occurred in the fall of 2011 when he was sitting with a friend at a bar.
At the time, a Twitter feed called @CondeElevator just began to chronicle the banter in the elevators of the media company Condé Nast. “I thought, ‘This is ridiculous that people are infatuated with Condé Nast. If they only saw the elitist, sexist and out-of-touch things bankers say.’ People had no idea what it is really like.”
He kept his ears attuned to noteworthy comments that he could flip into tweets. Lefevre said he overheard people at Goldman, where he had received a job offer at one point, say some fairly outrageous things. “Even socializing with them — going to bars and having guys buy girls drinks and then throw out a line like, ‘Don’t worry ladies, these drinks are on Goldman Sachs.’ ”