A Wall Street pro who swapped booze for protein shakes is now gunning for an elite status as


Wall Street is bracing for what comes next after a brutal August and September for stocks.Mario Tama / Getty

Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo has earned the top spot in the Institutional Investor poll for the last four years.

He told Bloomberg that he also has aspirations to be a competitive weightlifter and athlete.

Mayo is bullish on bank stocks for 2024, and aiming to notch a fifth year at the top of Institutional Investor’s list.

Wall Street analysts aren’t the first thing most people think of when they imagine a competitive weight lifter.

Wells Fargo’s Mike Mayo might change that.

A 60-year-old research analyst who has earned Institutional Investor’s top analyst ranking for four years in a row, Mayo can bench press 230 pounds, squat 336 pounds, and deadlift over 400, according to a Tuesday Bloomberg profile.

Those numbers earned him a silver medal at a recent powerlifting competition in Memphis.

He picked up powerlifting in 2021, the profile said, when he learned he had osteoporosis and had broken multiple bones in recent years. Mayo swapped booze for protein shakes, and now his reputation includes health-conscious decisions, including one order at a hotel of a seven-egg omelet that, according to Bloomberg, resulted in him receiving seven individual one-egg omelets.

Gym metrics aside, his stock-market savvy draws the attention of JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and other analysts across Wall Street.

“I listen to him when he speaks, and I read all his reports because he knows what he speaks about,” Dimon said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Every now and then there’s some disagreement, but there’s nothing wrong with that. We’ve always had a little bit of banter.”

This year, Mayo is bullish on bank stocks. His optimism for the sector goes back to May 2022, when he said stocks had yet to price in the full upside in net interest income growth.

Bank stocks sank that year, then continued to slide in 2023.

“I thought interest rates going to 3% was going to be bank heaven. And it would’ve been bank heaven if it stopped there,” Mayo said. “The fact that it went to 5% made it bank hell.”

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He did however single out JPMorgan as his top stock pick, and shares of the bank climbed 27% in 2023.

In any case, he aims to continue improving his fitness and his standing among his Wall Street peers.

He’s in the running to win the top spot in Institutional Investor’s poll for a fifth consecutive year, which would put him among an elite group of sell-side research analysts.

“My biggest professional goal is to make the [Institutional Investor] hall of fame,” Mayo told Bloomberg. “And to win the gold medal at the national powerlifting championship.”

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