Undercover Boss Hits Wall Street

by Derek Loosvelt | April 15, 2010

It's official: That piece of celluloid that CBS calls Undercover Boss wants to bring it to Wall Street.

Of course, we at In the Black were privy to this news months ago and, in case you missed them, here are two treatments for Wall Street episodes of UB that we came across a while back (episode #1: Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and episode #2: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon). And below, to whet your chief-executive-stooping-to-blue-collar-level-and-jerking-tears-to-the-sounds-of-electronic-violins appetite yet again, here is a third treatment of a soon-to-be-produced spin-off series starring the chief executives of the most prominent financial institutions in the country:

Brian Moynihan

Episode #3: Brian Moynihan, CEO Bank of America

We open with Moynihan giving a moving 45-second motivational speech on the first tee of Pebble Beach which B-Money and a few other top brass at BofA Merrill have been allowed to play a week before the U.S. Open. B-Money will explain how difficult it’s been to follow in K-Dawg's (Kenny Lewis’s) wing tips—flash to clip of beleaguered Lewis eating with his family at Charlotte area Hooters restaurant—and how he has not slept more than eight hours a night since taking over the chief post and receiving a $4 million per year pay raise. After B-Money tops the ball and begins his backswing on his second drive, we'll cut to his first undercover assignment: as an M&A managing director working out of Merrill’s Los Angeles office (not too far from Pebble Beach, which should provide cost efficiencies and thus be appreciated by network in light of overshooting budget in Hooters episode).

We first see B-Money driving in midnight blue Range Rover dressed in Armani from neck to toe. After handing over keys of Rover to valet, B (in a close-up) greases maître d’ of West Hollywood Italian joint (littered with B-level actors). B-Money greets client: elderly owner of leading aboveground swimming pool business. They're shown to back-room booth. In between pasta and fish, B deflects accusations that K-Dawg did anything crooked during his rein (insert another clip of Lewis, this time walking streets of Charlotte at night, alone; music choice TBD, but thinking Seger or Eddie Money). After three Fuzzy Navels, B pitches various takeover targets to client, both financial and strategic. Some ideas sound ludicrous ("Google's looking to diversify") and others, if undertaken would result in several of the owner's relatives losing their jobs. The executive balks at all of B’s suggestions aside from “a great gig up in the Hills at Billy Joel's place” and on the deck of Joel's pad (sparsely-populated with C-level actors) B-Money admits to camera he never knew how hard it could be to put a deal together, or how smoggy it really was in LaLa land.

B’s second assignment is as a BofA HR rep in Hong Kong, specializing in benefits administration. B will dramatically lose his job in 39 minutes when it's discovered he doesn't speak Mandarin, has no idea what the difference is between an HMO and PPO, and does not have a valid passport. Sipping a Tsingtao in first class 35,000 feet over the Pacific, B vows to eat more Chinese food and "really read the back of those fortunes in those sugar cookies."

B-Money’s final undercover assignment is as BofA CEO, Brian Moynihan. Since few people had heard of him before he landed his current job and no one knows what he looks like, it won’t be difficult for B to go undercover as himself. We show B, clad in Callaway from hat to spikes, coming full circle: back at Pebble Beach, entertaining institutional investors. In a panoramic shot, B-Money gracefully hits a 9-iron off the par three seventh and lands on the green two feet from the hole (make sure we budget all day to get this; B has a well-known hook) and while ball rolls even closer B-Money turns to the camera for the money shot/closer: “If I've learned anything during the past week, and I'm not saying I have, it's that the key to this gig is follow-through.”

Fade to black.

Filed Under: Finance


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