Wednesday, January 10, 2007

We were lying on the couch after making love, the French doors were open and we could hear the traffic intermixed in quiet moments by the surf fifteen floors below. The room was dark lit only by the lights of the city outside. We were talking about when and how we would tell his parents that he was moving to London. We both expected that we would make the announcement together and in person. Raymond, to ensure that it would not be a complete surprise, enlisted his sister at Christmas time to raise the possibility with their parents. She was willing to help. R feels it will be best to tell them when we know the date. Right now we’re waiting to see if his company will allow him to transfer to an open position in London or perhaps do his current job from the London office. Hopefully we will know next week.

R asked about my long-term business plans, providing a great opportunity to implement Nichole’s suggestion to give him some hope that we will return to the US. I told him that I’d like to open an office in NY and that I’ve been trying to convince Grace to join me. If in the end she decides that staying home with kids is what she wants to do; then I’ll need to find someone else either in NY or Paris, in Paris it would most likely be Mimi. I also mentioned that in discussing Kim & Co. with my advisors the suggestion was made to locate an office in Miami and serve companies trying to do business in the US, Latin American and Europe. He likes the idea of Miami.

We tried surfing and had a blast; with R needing to deal with a small blow to his ego from my picking it up quicker than he did. The instructor for our lesson said that surfing is about balance, coordination and quickness, rather than strength. All those ballet lessons that I dragged mom to are still paying off in strange and wonderful ways.

Saturday evening I got word that Grace had a bouncing baby boy so I changed my flight plans and went to NY to see her on Sunday and Monday. Even being ten days early, I bet he’ll be a linebacker as he is a big baby boy. The parents are wonderfully proud and both mom and son are healthy, though dad looked a little shaky picking Robert Jr. up and holding him, but practice will make perfect.

Leaving mother and child to rest, Robert and I went to dinner. On the way he mentioned that a friend of his was joining us. “Is he an investment banker?” I asked. “A hedge fund manager,” was his reply and I asked, “Is Grace pimping me from her maternity bed or are you joining her in this game?” Robert stammered that the guy "...was just a friend." For several years Grace has tried to fix me up with gentleman, husband prospects, so to speak. Frequently when I’m in NY she goes out of her way to introduce me to some guy or invite one over while I’m around.

Usually her matchmaking doesn’t bother me and often they are nice guys. But we’ve fought over it, most famously when she ripped into me in the dressing room the morning of her wedding for bringing Christine as my guest. The line that got to me was something like,” …there are a least six eligible bachelors at this wedding who have million dollar incomes and are not yet thirty and you bring a chick as a guest.” I told her to go fuck herself and find another bride’s maid and stormed out. Leah, ever the peacemaker, let Grace have it and then found me and convinced me to comeback. Grace’s half hearted apology that morning didn’t cut it and I refused to speak with her for a long time. She finally dragged her sorry ass to Paris in order to apologize in person. But frankly, she knows about Raymond and she likes Christine, so if she’s still going to meddle we’ll have another talk, but that’s for another day.

Robert’s friend is a nice guy, a little smug, but Wall St. just got their bonuses and smugness would be hard to avoid. Robert would probably be gloating also, but watching the birth of your first causes humility. I’d be lying if I said I really know what a hedge fund manager does, or for that matter what Robert does as an investment banker, besides making oodles of money. I’ll admit a bias for people who have made their money building companies that produce something tangible, even if it is a service. Somehow to me arbitrage is of lesser morality.

But I am curious about how people make money and I’ve never had a hedge fund manager as a dinner companion (excluding professional companionship), so I figured this would be a good time to educate myself.

Jacques impressed upon me that when you need to evaluate a situation that is unfamiliar or of which you have incomplete knowledge, keep asking questions and ask the same question several ways. If you find a discrepancy exploit it and keep cleaving it till the weakness of the proposition is revealed or the discrepancy is resolved. So I posited a scenario for Mr. HF; if I had ten million dollars that I could invest speculatively, why should I invest with him, and not Robert’s pedestrian investment bank. Giving Robert a disdainful look that had both of them laughing. Having Robert along was helpful, as he has a talent for recalling all sorts of minute detail along with analysis so when Mr. HF would throw out facts and figures I could never verify, I’d do a reality check with Robert.

Often as not there was a difference and since Mr. HF was on the hot seat, he got to explain it away. It was an interesting evening; we closed the restaurant and retired to a bar till after midnight. In the end he didn’t convince me to invest my fictitious millions with him. It all sounded like going down to Monte Carlo with the mortgage. When I got home Tuesday evening I received a call from him, he will be in Paris in a couple of weeks and wondered if I’d like to have dinner. My first reaction was to be the loyal girlfriend and say no, but then the business woman in me kicked in with, “Idiot he’s a hedge fund manager! Think of the contacts.” So I agreed to dinner but not before slipping in mention of an existing BF.



Anonymous VJ said...

Glad you had a fun time Kim, & it's good to see you back in good form. Hedge funds are just a higher(?) form of gambling. Most of them can not adequately explain what they do and how& why they should be worth those extra millions of bucks for their 'service'. But Jacques technique, while generally useful, may be seen as being a bit overly lawyerly by some. Congrats to Grace & Robert & your family on the new addition. The developments with R & Kim & co. sound lovely & hopeful.

Grace's habit of trying to fix you up is about par for the course for an older sibling, and she means no harm by it. Being a millionaire before you're 30 is nothing to sneeze at of course, but then again it's no guarantee that you are a sterling human being, a decent prospect for a husband or even an attentive & fun BF. It may mean even that you've made the boodle legally (hopefully) and this is a encouraging sign about your prospects in the near future. That's about it. And all I can think about Christine as a date is more single chicks at a party? Rock on! Really, who can complain about that?! But it all sounds like lots of prospective fun too, so do keep us posted. Cheers & Happy New Year! 'VJ'

10:26 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Based on a couple of emails i received I need to clarify something.

Mr. HF is of interest because of potential business contacts that he could provide Kim & Co. If my personal circumstances were different, I would have interest in dating him as he seems nice and is attractive. Oh yeah, he's single.

The soon to be retired hooker has no interest in him.


3:18 PM  
Anonymous Christopher said...

Kim, sounds like you had an amazing holiday with your man and some serious progress has been made on the relocation front as well. Good for ya'll, hearts will be breaking wide open all across Europe and the Eastern seaboard soon enough it sounds like. Good luck to Kim & Co. in the next year. Congrats on the new nephew they are so much fun.


3:32 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

VJ. At times I'm accused of being the lawyer in the family and not Leah. I learned a lot about Mr. HF though, he took the grilling in good humor, he wasn't dismissive of me and he comported himself with confidence and with out arrogance.


7:31 PM  
Anonymous VJ said...

This news of retirement gladdens me greatly Kim. It's all for the best too. It's good to know that Mr. HF has some humor about his work, and I suspected your interest was strictly professional. I do the lawyerly bit too. It's typically indicative of a keen intelligence, and you can get to tell a great deal about your 'target' when questioning them closely. It's a very powerful technique. Often as not, when dealing with common civilians, you can easily get them flummoxed in under 3 rounds of questions, or under 5 min. Which will also tell you something too about the character of your opposite being questioned! Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a bit late but happy New Year to you Kim! :) Let me just echo whatever VJ say about anything; he is so elegant and say it so much better than I can. :D Looks like things are going well in all front. Congrats. And I think it is smart of you to keep the door open on Mr.HF as a business prospect. :) Wish you a fantastic new year both in love and business!

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do the French call them French doors, or just "doors"?

12:28 AM  

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