One finger ... His daughter, the 22-year-old with the revoked driver's license, crashed the family Maybach into a house. The car was filled with her friends in various stages of undress, and surprisingly no one was wearing a seat belt. The Maybach entered the foyer, went right through the living room, made a quick visit to the den before stopping in the kitchen. No one in the car or the house was "too badly" hurt. The car converted the house into something resembling a lean-to while the car looked as if it had won a demolition derby.
The police appeared and she was arrested for driving under the influence. Everyone in the car was arrested for possession. There were three coffee cups full of Ecstasy, methamphetamine and cocaine. There was also a pistol, but as one of the passengers explained, it wasn't loaded. Incidentally, the passenger was incorrect.
His daughter called him up hysterically. He listened carefully and then made a phone call. The person he called is always available, sympathetic and resourceful. He hung up totally assured and relaxed knowing the matter would be handled properly.
The family whose house was turned into a tent didn't press charges. Aside from the fact that the house was replete with numerous building violations, they were happy that they would end up with a newly built one without any building violations. His daughter went into rehab for alcohol abuse. Being the victim in this situation, she avoided criminal charges. It turned out that the Ecstasy, methamphetamine and cocaine were the property of a couple of the passengers, as was the gun. Everything was taken care of with a single phone call to one of his five fingers.
Another finger ... Every once in a while, a business deal comes along that, while problematic and potentially explosive, is a thing of beauty. He came across such a marvelous but thorny business deal. It would be a sensational coup for him but the deal had a lot of hair on it with a more than good possibility of turning into a large-scale train wreck.
Because of the considerable multiple downsides, the solution he conceived had two critical components. One was a need to raise a great deal of money very, very fast. The other was a need to gather the money without people knowing he was the driving force behind the capital raise.
He made a phone call and the wheels of the fund-raising machine were in motion. Within a couple of weeks, he had more than $140 million sitting in one of his corporate bank accounts ready to be deployed. All the while, the capital raise and the business deal remained off the radar of his competitors and the investment banks thanks to a single phone call to one of his five fingers.
A third finger ... Sourcing new, highly qualified, profitable clients is the most arduous but essential part of nearly every business. Success-especially great success-is for many professionals being able to consistently garner new business.
Once every few weeks he has dinner with a "close friend." After each of these evenings out, he comes back to his office knowing a few more "perfect prospects" will be coming his way. All these prospects are certain to become clients. Everything has been deftly choreographed. All he has to do is smile and say, "thank you" for their business-all taken care of by one of his five fingers.
A Very Few, Very Extraordinary 'Friends'
It is at one of those perpetual parties, as the sun is just starting to rise, that he holds up his hand and spreads his fingers wide. He asks us in a slightly slurred voice what we see. Insightfully, in unison, we say a hand. He laughs and tells me we're looking at his power, the basis for his success, the reason for his fortune.
He tells me that he has five fingers-five close professionals who were instrumental in making him fabulously wealthy. His five fingers also play a very important role in keeping the bad of the world at bay.
His five fingers don't limit him in any way from doing business with other people. On the contrary, he has a huge database of professionals he deals with. There is, however, a vast difference between those relationships and the rapport he has with his five fingers. Not only is there a real chemistry between them, but also there's economic superglue that cements their relationships. It's the trust among the people involved, reinforced by a high degree of transparency, that underlies these financial agreements and makes them work so well.