Thursday, February 2, 2012

Goldman’s Chief Russia Trader Quits to Build New York Sauna

I wonder if something like this happened before the fall of the Roman Empire.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s chief equity trader in Moscow, Peter Kizenko, said he quit to return to New Jersey and finish building a commercial Russian sauna, reports Bloomberg.

“The fun element has been taken out of it,” the 45-year- old said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. “The golf course just got harder, and Moscow is no longer like Chicago in the 1920s where anything goes. Russia is becoming more refined.”

“I am no longer the oldest trader on the Russian market,” Kizenko, said. “Now I can finish building up a Russian banya in New Jersey.”...

Banya Tradition

The banya tradition dates to the 11th century in Russia. A wooden log shed is heated by an electric or wood-burning stove to more than 80 degrees Celsius, according to Bloomberg. Copious amounts of water are poured on the heat source to bring the humidity to about the same level. A visit to a banya begins with several rotations in and out of the steam room to allow the body to warm up. Naked bathers typically beat one another with birch or pine branches before plunging into cold water or rolling in snow to cool down.

There are about five to seven banyas already in the New York, area according to Kizenko, who considered opening one in London until he saw how expensive the rents are.

“There are a few in Brooklyn and Manhattan, but the aesthetics are not up to scratch,” Kizenko said by phone in the interview with Bloomberh. “We are going for a mixture of the contemporary and the classical of Sanduny in Moscow.” Kizenko had his banya, called Bear and Birch, made in Russia and shipped to the U.S., he said.

Built in the 19th century for nobles, the Sanduny baths near the Kremlin are Moscow’s fanciest. The poet Alexander Pushkin and the writer Leo Tolstoy are said to have bathed there. More recent visitors include the actors John Travolta, Dolph Lundgren and the billionaire Roman Abramovich.

1 comment:

  1. Well it beats spending time with your family as an excuse.