Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Goldfish and the Art of Wealth Management

November 6, 2007

thomson1.jpgWhen Todd Thomson, Citigroup‘s former head of wealth management, lost his job earlier this year, there were reports that he was being punished for lavish spending. Offered as evidence by his detractors was an office — which some wags dubbed the Todd Mahal –┬áreportedly featuring a wood-burning fireplace and a fishtank.

Thomson, who now runs private equity fund Headwaters Capital, told the Reuters Finance Summit that the wood burning fireplace story was flat-out wrong.

He pleads guilty to having what he describes as a fish BOWL, but argues that more than paid for itself in snaring wealthy Asian clients.

“I couldn’t ever visit a Chinese client and not have him have a goldfish pool somewhere in his office and his building always with eight red goldfish and one black goldfish because that’s good feng shui,” he says.

“If that gives me a little bit of┬áleg up with 3 or 4 Chinese billionaires, I think I’ve paid for the goldfish bowl.”

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