Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel's Partners And Employees Sure Were Able To Live High Off The Hog Thanks To Those Kickbacks That Bernard Madoff Kept Sending To Fairfield Greenwich.
Will $30 Million New York City Town House Be Sold To Help Repay Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel's Victims?
Golden In Greenwich And Manhattan !!!
Every Man for Himself
New York Times
THE rich are different from you and me. In the era of multibillion-dollar Ponzi schemes, they are sometimes a bit more desperate.
A few weeks ago, Richard Murphy, an unemployed hedge fund executive with a glorious limestone town house on East 67th Street, learned that the similarly lustrous town house next door was about to sell for nearly $25 million, the highest price for a town house in many months.
Rather than quietly savoring the good fortune of his neighbor, Janna Bullock, a developer who specializes in restoring town houses, Mr. Murphy sprang into action, according to several people familiar with the transaction.
He called the successful selling broker, Richard Steinberg of Warburg Realty, and suggested that it might be worth his time to try to interest the buyer, a Russian industrialist, in his house. Maybe he would find it more appealing, with its distinctive Ionic columns and four-story glass atrium in the rear, and buy it instead.
Mr. Murphy did not succeed in snagging the sale.
Perhaps he could be excused for his excessive zeal. He had moved to New York in 2007 to join a thriving $14 billion hedge fund known as the Fairfield Greenwich Group. His job: to prepare the group to go public and make the partners even more fabulously wealthy.
Now he is out of a job. It turns out that Fairfield Greenwich had invested more than $7 billion of its funds with Bernard L. Madoff, the disgraced investor accused last month of losing $50 billion of clients’ money in a Ponzi scheme.
Only a year and a half ago, Mr. Murphy had triumphantly moved to the upper echelons of the Upper East Side after a 20-year career as an investment banker in Europe, working for Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. He paid $33 million for the 25-foot-wide house at 7 East 67th Street, buying it from Matthew Bronfman, an heir to the Seagram liquor fortune.
Now Mr. Murphy is listed as a defendant, along with other Fairfield Greenwich partners, in lawsuits brought by distraught investors.
Since the house next door closed on Jan. 12, Mr. Murphy has called in four top brokers, including Mr. Steinberg and Carrie Chiang of the Corcoran Group, to discuss the possible sale of his house.
In an interview, Mr. Steinberg, who still hopes to get the listing, confirmed that the conversation about the neighboring house took place, but declined to discuss the details. Mr. Murphy declined to comment.
According to brokers, Mr. Murphy was considering asking about $36 million for the house, which he upgraded after it was lavishly restored by Mr. Bronfman. Details include Venetian plaster in the public areas to bring in more light.
Built in 1882 and redesigned in 1900, the house has a limestone entry room with a fireplace, and a grand staircase leading to a parlor. It has 12,000 square feet of space on seven levels, including the basement.
But brokers were skeptical that he would get that price, with one suggesting it might eventually sell for $30 million at most, about 10 percent less than he paid.
In 2007, when Mr. Murphy bought the house, he paid the highest price on record for an Upper East Side town house built on a standard 25-foot-wide lot. Now it ranks third.
And Mr. Murphy, who is looking for work in New York and London, may hold off selling in case he finds a position here, brokers said.
The outlook for investment banking jobs may be bleak, but bleakness is not an unknown concept in the house. Before Mr. Bronfman bought it in 1994 for $3 million, it was owned, property records show, by the Foundation for Depression and Manic Depression.
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