It was just September 8th when Fairfield Greenwich Group merged with Geneva-based private bank Benedict Hentsch, all as described in a glowing press release:
The combined firms will join the alternative asset product development and investment
management capabilities of Fairfield Greenwich with the private banking distribution capabilities
of BBH, a bank which has had an alternative asset focus since its inception. Both Fairfield
Greenwich and BBH are known for their independent management and operations, and for their
high levels of personalized, “boutique” client service. Through the transaction, Fairfield
Greenwich gains new clients and assets, and BBH gains added products and infrastructure
support; the immediate shared objective will be to win increasing numbers of private clients for
the combined product set, and to accelerate the growth of the private bank through the addition of
sales and marketing resources and personnel.
Unfortunately, one of those added products was the Fairfield Sentry Fund (you may have thought a sentry was a guard – wrong!) and Fairfield Sentry was a Bernie Madoff feeder, nothing more.
Uh oh! Friday, Benedict Hentsch said on Friday its exposure to Madoff products was 56 million francs, or 5 percent of its asset under management. Fairfield Greenwich itself, BHP’s new partner, lost half its assets, or $7.5 billion.
“Le Temps quoted one of Benedict Hentsch’s partners as saying he and another partner were rushing to New York to break the agreement with Fairfield.”
A little tenderness and understanding might be in order here, darling.
Update: here’s some fun marketing material from Normura Bank , less than a month old, flogging a triple-leveraged Bernie Madoff investment via the Fairfiel Sentry Fund. If you can double your pleasure, double your fun, how much more excitement does trebling your loss bring?