Skip to main content

Paolo Pellegrini Made John Paulson Smile Once

  • Author:
  • Updated:

This would not be the time he asked for more money to do less work but rather when he pulled John into a room to show his former boss how he was going to make a metric fuck-ton of money for the firm, which Bloomberg gets into in a profile of P-squared (which, awesomely, is actually what he calls himself):

"After hearing a lot of arguments for and against the presence of the bubble, we had a simple and clear insight of our own to go by," Pellegrini says.
He recalls that Paulson broke into a smile when he showed him the proof that houses were overpriced. "John doesn't smile," Pellegrini says. "It felt great."

Careful analysis shows that this statement is not exactly true. Paulson JP practically grins when seated next to Jack Welch's German doppelgänger. No matter-- Pellegs made Paulson smile once and then the two got back to making money and taking money, only occasionally glancing up to motion to a life-size cutout of Alan Greenspan and go "look at this idiot" to each other.
Fast-forward to the end of 2008 (and a bunch of dollars later) and Pellegrini, by several accounts, proposed to Paulson and Pals that his new purview permit him to indulge himself a bit more. Basically Pellegs wanted the go-ahead to spends his days waxing poetic on larger geopolitical issues that required constant consultations with peers like Henry Kissenger, David H. Petraeus, Tila Tequila, etc, and to spend less of his time slicing numbers to figure out if Ben Bernanke was going to survive the next option arm reset (he also wanted more money to do so). The two parties diverged from there, with P-squared being more encouraged to leave the building (as opposed to leaving on his own terms) than is necessarily suggested here. It's not that JP and Pals were opposed to P^2 drastically redefining what he did for the firm but apparently the attitude that came with the demand that 'Legs have a red phone to Putin installed in his office and be referred to as "The Talent" in front of the Limited Partners was rubbing people the wrong way.
And now you're all going to potentially benefit! P.Legs struck out on his own with PSQR Management, which returned 80 percent through July and will be marketed to outsiders (for now it's all his money) in 2010. Presumably he'll be looking to hire a few more man boys to help run the the place sometime soon. Let's try Pellegs on for size. If you like what you see, if it's all you ever wanted (superficially) in a boss, considering shooting a res.

Drives cool cars.

Pellegrini, 52, pocketed tens of millions of dollars, allowing him to buy a couple of what he laughingly calls "entry- level supercars": a silver Ferrari F430 with a base price of $168,000 and a black $109,000 Audi R8.

Thinks big thoughts.

"Paolo is a deep thinker," says William Michaelcheck, founder and chairman of Mariner Investment Group, a New York hedge fund firm where Pellegrini worked as an analyst in 2003 and 2004.

Is (presumably still) pro-getting high.

While a teenager, Paolo joined the Partito Radicale, a pacifist, anti- establishment party that advocated a ban on nuclear weapons, marijuana legalization and divorce rights.

Is as comfortable behind a Bloomberg terminal as he is in a DJ booth.

Pellegrini, who is 6 feet 2 inches (188 centimeters) tall and weighs 190 pounds (86 kilograms), is a former jazz disc jockey with some unconventional views on how to fix global finance.

Could teach some of his colleagues in the field a thing or two about naming your firm after yourself. Go big or go home.

Pellegrini says his fund's name, PSQR, is a play on his own: Paolo or Pellegrini Squared.

Knows who Ben Bernanke works for.

"The Fed is printing money, as instructed by the financial services industry, so that they can stick all of us with the bill," Pellegrini says. "I have zero confidence in what the Fed is doing."

Pellegrini 80% Return Proves Paulson Protege No Fluke at Fund [via NYM]