The New York Stock Exchange continued its cost-shaving by trimming “Jerry the Barber,” who has cut the hair of generations of traders and brokers in his small shop beneath the trading floor.
Gerardo Gentilella said the NYSE has told him that after 43 years, it won’t renew his contract. The exchange released many lower-paid workers as it was seeking to cut costs before going public.
“It makes me sad. I love the guys. I love cutting hair. I want to cut hair until I die,” Gentilella, 75, said. “I don’t want to retire and do nothing.”
Gentilella got the gig at the NYSE—which pays him a $24,000 annual subsidy—in 1963.
“All of the NYSE presidents until the 1990s were regulars. Fathers and sons from the trading floor, they would all stop by and we’d talk about life, work, whatever,” said Gentilella.
He charges only $8 a trim. But tips are terrific.
“Christmastime is great. A 20-minute trim, and a member tips $20 or more,” he said. “I’ve gotten even $100 if the market’s good. One time, I got $125.”
Tips are so important that Jerry—who was told to go June 30—asked for an extension to the end of the year so he can use his cut of brokers’ bonuses.
“All of the big guys are busy with the merger, so I don’t want to bother them. But, hopefully they can allow me to stick around.”
The NYSE declined comment.