What is it that convicted sex-criminal Jeffrey Epstein does? We mean apart from pay very young women for sexually charged massages? What is it he does for his clients? The New York Times sent business reporter Landon Thomas all the way to Epstein's estate in St. Thomas to find out. (Tough assignment, that.) But Thomas came up with only vague hints.
His business is something of a mystery. He says he manages money for billionaires, but the only client he is willing to disclose is Leslie H. Wexner, the founder of Limited Brands.
As Mr. Epstein explains it, he provides a specialized form of superelite financial advice. He counsels people on everything from taxes and trusts to prenuptial agreements and paternity suits, and even provides interior decorating tips for private jets. Industry sources say he charges flat annual fees ranging from $25 million to more than $100 million.
As Portfolio's Felix Salmon points out, that a lot of money in fees. A decade of $100 million fees and you've paid a billion for money management. "Boiled down to its essentials, it seems that Epstein is a super-high-end private banker," Salmon writes. "No wonder there's so much competition in the financial-services industry to get the accounts of high net worth individuals: if Epstein's any indication, there's billions of dollars just sitting there for the charging. Nice work if you can get it."
Financier Starts Sentence in Prostitution Case [New York Times]
Jeffrey Epstein and the Private Banking Industry [Portfolio]