BusinessWeek: Do you handle the sales [at MD Helicopters, which Tilton took over in 2005]? Tilton: I deliver a lot of helicopters. I delivered the helicopter to the president of Costa Rica. I will do a big ceremony for the prime minister of Kurdistan. I have met with the king of Jordan multiple times. BusinessWeek: What do they make of you in Saudi Arabia? Do they ask you to wear a head scarf? Tilton: In Saudi Arabia, one dresses as the Saudis do. But I meet with Saudis here and in Dubai. The generals from Saudi Arabia were here, and we were all eating burgers and fries and salads, and one general asked me to run for president of the United States. BusinessWeek: What was your response? Tilton: I said I have 75 companies and 120,000 people that need me. Maybe someday. [BusinessWeek]
Lynn Tilton: Never Apologize For Sending Near-Naked Christmas Cards To Your Clients And Friends On Wall StreetBy Bess Levin
As many of you know, in 1988, Lynn Tilton distributed holiday cards whose theme can best be described as “Dominatrix Santa” to her ten best clients. Tilton has explained her rationale for doing so in the past (“For many years I had men asking me on the phone each day what I was wearing and what color my underwear was, so I sent out a Christmas card with me in a red lace sort of teddy, and red cowboy boots and a Santa hat, wishing them a Merry Christmas), and when asked again this week by the Wall Street Journal to explain her thinking, added that: Read more »
“There are three universal lies: Margins are weak, but we’ll make it up in volume; the check’s in the mail; and I won’t come in your mouth” is really a thing that Partiarch Partners founder and CEO Lynn Tilton says, but “we’ll double down and make up all our losses” probably deserves a spot on the list too. That seems to have been MBIA’s plan when it entered into some cockamamie CDO transactions with Patriarch in 2003. These … did not work out for MBIA, and so in 2009 they sued, and today Tilton won the lawsuit, and also may have won some hearts in the courtroom:
Thirteen witnesses presented evidence to Judge Sweet in the lawsuit. He praised Ms. Tilton’s testimony in a section of the lawsuit on “witness credibility.”
Ms. Tilton is a well-known Wall Street personality, with a penchant for brazen remarks and an eye-catching style uncommon in the financial industry.
“She was vigorous, authoritative, informed and almost entirely supported by documentary evidence,” Judge Sweet wrote.
The case is a pretty nutty example of pre-crisis structured finance practices. The story begins with MBIA having written some insurance policies on some distressed-debt CDOs. Those policies were looking bad: Read more »
“For many years I had men asking me on the phone each day what I was wearing and what color my underwear was,” Tilton said. “And so I sent out a Christmas card with me in a red lace sort of teddy, and red cowboy boots and a Santa hat, wishing them a Merry Christmas.” [ABC, earlier]
20/20: Inside the Lives of the Superrich [ABC via JP]
Related: Lynn Tilton Bares All
Also Related: This Is A Story About Lynn Tilton’s Employees Doing Jello Shots Off Her Rack
What do we know about Lynn Tilton? She runs the $8 billion private equity firm Patriarch Partners, and prior to that worked on Wall Street with a slightly lower profile with gigs at Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Amroc. She sports 5-inch heels to “look sufficiently fierce to make sure I garner the respect I deserve.” Her office is decorated with whips, handcuffs, and a portrait of her “stretched across the hood of a black Mercedes.” She only “strips and flips men, not companies.” And she once sent a Christmas card to customers that featured a stuffed tiger, a naughty Santa suit and a whip. But that’s all surface. Until now, we haven’t really gotten to the mystery underneath the Roberto Cavalli miniskirt and a fur-trimmed cape, or determined her motivations and what makes Tilton tick. Luckily, Lynn recently granted audience with New York and let it all out. Every burning question you’ve wanted answered. Like:
Why did she decide to start Patriach, when she’d retired from Wall Street, had “a good-looking man, great sex, a small island, and was still looking good in a thong bikini”? A vision.
One night, on vacation in Costa Rica, she woke suddenly. “I was laying there in this hotel room, and I saw my father and my Mayan teacher very vividly,” she explains. “They said this was not what was planned for me. I said, ‘Why did I go through this path, to empty myself out of any needs or material longings, only to be sent back to New York to be a businessperson?’ And the answer was: You’re not capable of leading until nothing can hold you back. Get your ass back to New York. So I got up in the middle of the night and left.”
Does she see herself as the female George Soros? Yes.
Tilton’s goal is “to be part of the intelligentsia. An enlightened thinker. One of the people who are called together to think through economic issues for America. You know, like how George Soros is called on issues.”
Why is she pissed at Obama, for whom she voted? He hasn’t called her and she highly suspects he’s plagiarised her work.
“Look, I am the largest female business owner in this country,” she says, coming out from behind the rack in a Herve Leger gown. “I own 74 midsize businesses, and Obama has not once called me into the White House on these issues.” More offensive, Tilton claims, as a female stylist reaches into the bodice of the dress to plump up her cleavage, the president has borrowed language from her articles. “I mean actually lifting pieces,” she says. “Literally, I can give you paragraphs. I got like twenty e-mails after his speech, when he was like, ‘We need to be innovators and the makers of things.’ ”
You’re asked to take part in one team building exercise involving licking whipped cream off the boss’s breasts and all of a sudden you can’t have sex for months. Read more »