It pays to be an employee at 15 Central Park West. Author Michael Gross reports in House of Outrageous Fortune, his new book about the behemoth condo building, that the average worker there made $22,500 in tips during the holiday season in 2011, give or take a few Benjamins…Not bad for tending to a tower full of influentials, plenty of whom have made Fifteen — its nickname, apparently — their base of power…Sandy Weill…is remembered by one (anonymous) staffer as being “very demanding … An automatic call is made to the manager if a letter or a magazine doesn’t arrive when it’s supposed to.” [NYM, related]
Sandy Weill Didn’t Pay $43.7 Million To Live At 15 Central Park West And Read His Copy Of Cat Fancy A Week After It Hit NewsstandsBy Bess Levin
The former Citigroup chairman bought the property next to his house in Greenwich hoping it’d become “a family compound,” and while his son Marc built a house on it and lived there for four years, in 2008 he sold it back to dad and split for NYC. So! What do you get for $14 million asking price? 16,460 square feet, views of Long Island Sound, a home theater, and a koi pond, yes, but also, and much more importantly: the opportunity to have Sandy Weill knock on your door and ask to borrow a cup of sugar, as he’ll be your neighbor. And according to Papa Weill, the house on the market practically dwarfs his own, which is something of a hovel in comparison. Read more »
When Sandy Weill sold his penthouse at 15 Central Park West for $88 million — the most expensive home in city history for more than twice what he had previously paid — it made headlines around the world. But now, The News’ Matt Chaban has learned, Weill is quietly trying for an even bigger flip, selling his former maids quarters in the platinum-plated building for six times what he paid. Unit 6H, facing out on busy Broadway, came on the market for $6.25 million in the middle of January, but Weill cut the price to $5.65 million two weeks later. That’s still a lot more coin than the $980,000 he paid for the 1,079-square-foot unit in October 2007. It’s also twice what an identical unit two floors up sold for last May. [NYDN via BI]
About a month ago, retired Citi CEO Sandy Weill set his alarm an hour early, got out of bed when it was still dark, ate a piece of rye toast, told Joan he’d see her when he’d see her, took the elevator downstairs to wait for the car that drove him out to Englewood Cliffs, and went on CNBC to proffer a small suggestion to Wall Street: break up the big banks. Perhaps you heard about it? Not many people were receptive to the notion of Weill giving them advice on the matter, which may or may not have had something to do with the fact that in his day, Weill couldn’t get enough of big banks and was the man responsible for cobbling together the behemoth known as Citigroup, an institution so huge it can barely support its own weight. The response by most, in fact, was “Shut it, you old bag.” But what about Vikram Pandit, the lucky guy who inherited the place? What did he think of Weill’s tip? After giving it some good thought– really and truly considering it– for a few weeks, he’s decided to take a pass:
Citigroup’s chief executive has knocked back the idea of big banks being split up after calls from people such as his predecessor Sandy Weill.
But not for the reasons you might think! Pandit actually agrees with Sando because if you think about it, Citi’s already been broken up and is basically the bank it was before the merger that resulted in the need for firefighters to use a giant pulley system to lift it out of bed every morning and help it get around. Read more »
One silly thing to think about JPMorgan’s executive reshuffling announced today is “fuck you Sandy Weill!” Before today JPMorgan looked a bit like a loose confederation of financial services businesses, including in particular three different institutional units: the Global Corporate Bank, a bank that lends money to companies, the Investment Bank, an investment bank that does mergers and trades securities, and Treasury & Securities Services, which I think of as sort of a meta-bank that offers big companies checking accounts and safe deposit boxes but, like, bigger. Now all of those things are being combined into the Corporate & Investment Bank, irrevocably mixing corporate (good!) and investment (bad!) banking into one unholy mess seasoned liberally with credit default swaps. The combination will sadden anyone with any hopes of bringing back Glass-Steagall, but it’s paying dividends for JPMorgan already, as the C&IB “will be looking to our global leaders to help implement strategy and deliver top-line synergies, while optimizing the model across all functions in the regions,” a masterpiece of jargon that I doubt any of its businesses could have managed on their own.
“Top-line synergies” of course means that now when you open a cash management account with former TSS you get not a toaster but a meeting in which you’re pitched on a loan from the former corporate bank and a potential M&A deal opportunity with the former investment bank, and vice versa mutatis mutandis if you instead enter JPMorgan through the lending or advisory or trading doors. Because the goal is not merely for JPMorgan to do all of the financial-services functions that some people think should be separated from each other, but for JPMorgan to do all of those functions for all of the clients in the world, because some people just don’t worry that much about “too big to fail.” Read more »
“Even so, it’s hard to take Weill seriously. First this is a man with an ego the size of the bank he created. People who know him say he needs media attention like an alcoholic needs a stiff drink, and he’s gotten precious little of it since retiring from the banking business six years ago.” [HuffPo, earlier]