Today is a big day in Noel family news and gossip. No word yet on whether the “fraudulent conveyance” that resulted in the Noel family cash cow, Fairfield Greenwich Group, receiving $500 million in fees from Bernie Madoff over the past five years will result in these fees being “clawed back” by demolished clients. We expect the answer is “yes.”
- Page Six has details on the Noel girls’ alleged pre-marriage dating habits: stealing boyfriends during trips to Brazil, four out of five passing around a lucky Georgetown guy, and sister Lisina dating the son of an Italian mobster while wearing a white mink coat. (Personally, we’d sue over the white mink coat allegation.)
- Citifile calls Walter Noel’s office and several of the Noel residences to reach one of the family members. They get a lot of answering machines, one of which tells them (and you, since there’s audio of it on the site) Monica’s cell phone number, and they eventually get Monica on the phone. (They hang up though, unfortunately, so we don’t know if she’s indeed in Mustique or if the Noels rented the place.) We do learn, however, that the family’s last name is pronounced NO-elle.
- Guest of a Guest writes that Vanity Fair is pushing the family to get their story out or else they’ll do it for them. (Vanity Fair is the publication that wrote that very nice story about the family a few years ago, “Golden In Greenwich.”)
Graydon Carter is literally licking his chops as if he were about to eat a plate of $65 macaroni and cheese with truffles at the Wavery Inn. Vanity Fair has effectively given the Noel family an ultimatum. “Work with us, and you will at least have control over your side of the story. Don’t and what will be written will be whatever is available in the public domain…:
- For What’s It Worth writes about those 2 Ph.Ds that Fairfield Greenwich had scrutinizing Madoff’s books.
Noel’s son in law, Corina’s husband and founding FGG partner Andres Piedrahita told a friend that FGG had two PhDs working Bernie’s numbers to make sure the man was on the up and up. FGG’s pending due diligence defence would look better if those wizards had doctorates in maths, instead of Medieval art history – just a suggestion from a former lawyer, so take it for what it’s worth.
- And, The New York Times shares a prominent Swiss investor’s opinion of Walter Noel’s business practices.
“Ultimately, these people were blind to what was going on,” said Michel Dominicé, a veteran Geneva hedge fund manager with $200 million under management.
He said the links between UBP, Fairfield Greenwich and Mr. Madoff, as well as the hundreds of millions in fees the firms earned by steering money to Madoff investments, pointed to conflicts of interests that penalise investors.
Mr. Dominicé was himself approached by a salesman for Madoff investments three years ago but declined to invest, saying he could not figure out how Mr. Madoff earned such steady returns, month after month. “It just didn’t make sense,” he said.
As for the fees earned by UBP and Fairfield Greenwich, Mr. Dominicé said: “If you’re nasty, you call it corruption. If you want to be more polite, you can call it a lack of professional consciousness.”
Hat Tip: For What It’s Worth