Kappa Beta Phi, the secret society of Wall Street

By Laurie Bennett

January 19, 2011 at 8:16am

Wall Street’s secret fraternity, Kappa Beta Phi, accepted its newest members last week.

Bloomberg reports the new inductees include Josh Harris of Apollo Global Management and Paul Parker of Barclays Capital.

A full roster for the society, founded before the 1929 stock market crash, isn’t available. But curious reporters, egged on by the hush-hush initiation rituals and members’ omerta, have pieced together a partial picture (shown in the map above).

The group invites only top level financial leaders. Among its members: Robert Benmosche, chief exec of AIG; Jimmy Cayne, former head of Bear Stearns; and Ken Langone, founder of Home Depot.

The Wall Street Journal managed to report the 2010 ceremony in detail, with descriptions reminiscent of the old Rat Pack celebrity roasts still available on VHS cassette.

Dressed in a nun’s habit, Evercore Partners banker Jane Gladstone sang the rousing air, “How do you solve a problem like Lloyd Blankfein?”

Men in drag sang about Bernie Madoff. One inductee was pelted with dinner rolls after reciting a poem lauding Langone.

This year, Bloomberg reports, Parker played a video, filmed in better times, showing Lehman colleagues loading a time capsule.

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