What: Money Manager
When: Up until he isn’t
Where: In the murky world known as “offshore,” in the conspiracy thriller, Desperate Puppets
I sat there incredulous. This seriously wasn’t happening, I told myself. The man across the table from me was telling me that he was pulling his money from my only management business. When I pressed him as to why, he shifted his eyes around the room and didn’t answer confidently.
“Your performance is rubbish.”
“Compared to whom?”
Silence. His eyes just darted around and he was visibly uncomfortable. I had a valid question. Comparisons are hard to come by because I am a hedge fund manager. I can invest my client’s money in anything I think will make money. Every hedge fund manager has their unique way of investing. It is very hard for someone who is not in the business to make comparisons between fund managers.
“Let me ask you again, who are you comparing my returns against?”
Nothing. He was visibly uncomfortable though.
“I must go. Wire my funds to this account in the Isle of Man.”
He almost tripped twice as he left the office. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that yesterday I had four large clients and had a thriving fund business. Today, I have no clients, no business, and no idea why. My returns were 10% over the last year, which are good by any standard considering the environment I am working in.
I was about to hit the vodka, and not lightly either. I poured one and downed it before I had a chance to taste it. Looking around the room I thought about how I would have to sell everything around the room. The jade sculpture from China. The blown glass vase from the small Venetian island of Murano. All of it had to go. I was done.
I was positioning my glass for another stiff round of vodka when the phone rang.
“Yes, I am Vitaly Molov. Ok. right now? Uh, ok, yes I’m here. See you soon.”
I had to put the vodka away and gather my thoughts. I wasn’t really sure who was coming in to see me but they knew who I was. I tried not to get excited. Ten, twenty, thirty minutes passed. They said they would be right over. What the hell?
Another five minutes later and I heard several cars pull up. Strange to have several people show up as my type of investing is a very private matter. As I was considering this, the door opened and I stood. Eight men entered the room. I had no idea which was the client. They just came in and stood there, looking at me for wht seemed like 10 minutes but was, in reality, about 20 seconds. Then he walked in. At that moment, I realized that my clients didn’t fire me today. They were told to pull their money by him. And far worse for me, he wanted me to invest his money and I didn’t have the option to say no. He will make my life hell and also make me very wealthy. If I don’t perform up to standards, I will be dead…. And I don’t have a choice to say if I want this assignment.
“Greetings, Mr. Kamensky.”