Move Over Meredith Whitney: Meet The Real "Queen Of Muni Bonds"

alexandra lebenthal


Meredith Whitney is so 2010. Alexandra Lebenthalshe’s the face of muni bonds for 2011.Yesterday Lebenthal appeared on CNBC, where she told Meredith Whitney to stick to banks and leave the muni bond market to the experts.

Lebenthal is fed up with Whitney’s gloomy predictions of a wave of defaults by states, cities and other other borrowers.

Because bond holders “have long enjoyed strong protection in the courts… [and] come first in line ahead of police, fire, trash collection and other obligations,” mass defaults are unlikely Lebenthal argues.

But apart from being a finance whiz and top female Wall Streeter, Lebenthal also has a pretty sweet life…

Her father is muni bond legend James Lebenthal

Her father Jim Lebenthal 'is to municipal bonds as Donald Trump is to real estate and Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani to fashion, only with a great sense of humour.' And she became president of his company at only 31 years old!

But before she went into the family biz, she went to Princeton and fell in love

Lebenthal graduated from Princeton in '86, with an A.B. in history, and also had time there to fall in love with her future husband Jay Diamond.

And after she graduated, she discussed her college paper on the SEC with former SEC Chair Athur Levitt

Lebenthal has kept a copy of one of her junior papers about the SEC, which she later told former SEC chair Arthur Levitt. That's pretty cool; most of us don't get to talk about our college essay on a major insitution to that institution's chief.

She joined her father's financial firm and later sold bonds to Paul Volcker

Lebenthal started working for her father when she was 23 and 'one of her... bonds sales was to Paul Volcker.'

Lebenthal rose quickly to become a star on Wall Street, and now sits on a ton of boards in the arts and business

She was named one of New York's 100 most influential women by Crain's New York Business and one of the top 50 Women in Wealth Management. She's a board member of The School of American Ballet; a former board member of The Bond Market Association and The Securities Industry Association; she's a member of The Committee of 200, a leading organisation for female businesswomen.

'If I have a meeting where it's going to be mostly with older men, and maybe there's a little exclamation factor where I'm going to have to negotiate, I'll wear a big choker, a bigger cuff, like Wonder Woman … I use my jewelry as armour,' Lebenthal has said.

And as she set to rebuilding the family business as the economy collapsed, she even managed to squeeze in writing a novel about the financial collapse

And Charlie Rose came to celebrate it!

The Recessionistas is about Wall Streeters and their wives scrambling to survive after Lehaman collapses back in '08.

She gets to host luncheons with Maria Bartiromo

The queen of muni bonds has hosted at least two events with the queen of Wall Street reportage Maria Bartiromo.

You could do worse than having New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand walk up to you table and say, 'Can I crash?

She has three children and her daughter is already modelling but is getting an education on saving and philanthropy in the process

'I like having nice things, but I'm a saver,' Lebenthal told New York Social Diary, 'Charlotte actually models and with the money she earns from her job, she can spend a third, she has to save a third and she has to give away a third.'

And she gets to party with Ron Perelman in the Hamptons

Lebenthal is a regular in the Hamptons party scene and gets invited to the best coastal parties, including Ron Perelman's.

And when she's not sunning herself in the Hamptons she has an amazing pad in Manhattan

Lebenthals sprawling Upper East Side pad is all luxe furniture and woody warmth.

And her days consist of morning exercise, followed by lunches at Barneys, parties downtown and dinners at the Four Seasons

If you read through Lebenthal's twitter pages, it's clear the lady works hard but also plays hard. In some very high-class establishments too...

She even admits that her personal pampering routine is pretty sweet... Though anyone who works as hard as she does deserve some pampering

On January 7th, she tweeted: 'I must be doing too much personal beauty. Only three mags I haven't read at blandi.' Blandi being hairdress Oscar Blandi - the elite hair stylist to the stars.

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