‘No interruptions’: Boss’s weird boast

‘No interruptions’: Boss’s weird boast

The boss of a notoriously private US hedge fund has revealed the secret to his incredible success – spending 2,000 nights sleeping in his office.

Peter Brown, CEO of New York-based Renaissance Technologies, told a Goldman Sach’s podcast that “productivity-wise it’s really fantastic being able to spend nearly 80 straight hours each week with no interruptions except sleep thinking about work”.

He explained that he then spends “three more normal days at home” in Washington DC, where he lives and his wife Margaret Hamburg works.

Ms Hamburg headed the Food and Drug Administration under President Obama.

Based on his explanation, it’s estimated he’s spent four nights a week sleeping at work over the past 10 years.

Notoriously private, Renaissance specialises in systematic trading using quantitative models derived from mathematical and statistical analysis.

Its signature Medallion investment fund is famed for having the best record in investing history.

“My experience has been that when a husband and a wife work in two different towns, the husband commutes,” Mr Brown told podcast host Raj Mahajan, in comments first reported by Insider.

“Psychologically, if I’m going to be away from my family, I have to work. I sleep in my office when I’m in Long Island.”

He said that while his unusual schedule can be taxing on his relationships, there are significant upsides when it comes to his work.

“Of course, I really miss my family. But the freedom to concentrate non-stop on work while surrounded by my colleagues is hugely valuable.”

“And the job is so demanding, I really don’t see how I could do it otherwise.”

Mr Brown, whose net worth is about $100 million, also revealed that he has trouble sleeping and gets very little sleep, which he said led to many emails being sent at 2am.

For one lucky employee, one such middle of the night message — in this case, a phone call, led to a pay rise.

“It was around one o’clock in the morning and I picked up the phone to call [a colleague],” Brown said.

“[Renaissance founder] Jim says to me, ‘Wait. You can’t call this guy in the middle of the night. He doesn’t make enough money’.”

“I said, ‘Fine. How about this? I’ll call him. I’ll tell him we’re going to give him a raise. And then ask him our question’. And so that’s what we did.”

The startling admission runs counter to workplace culture in Australia, where workers are fighting to keep their right to hybrid work and to disconnect from work when at home.