Geneva Connection, The
.
    “Please, Mr. Baumgart, call me Tara.”
    “Then I insist you call me Dieter.”
    “Let’s all use first names,” said Kent, breaking up the love-in.
    At eight o’clock, they were shown to their table. Kent looked around the dining room as he sat. Baumgart must have some pull in this place. We’re in the best hotel in Geneva and now we have by far the best table in the restaurant . The waiters fussed over Baumgart and his guests as though they were the only table in the room.
    Baumgart was slow moving the conversation back to the business in hand. Kent couldn’t work out why. They talked about the economy, politics, and even the weather; anything but a potential investment commitment to CBC. Kent tried several times in vain to steer the conversation round to his firm and its search for new investors. By the time they were halfway through dessert, the night was almost over, and Kent was dismissing the whole trip as a waste of time.
    Why is Baumgart still flirting with Tara? Was he always out just to have a good time with no real intention of making a commitment? Does he understand how critical this is to CBC?
    There was another possible explanation: Kent had seen other investors place a lot of store on whether or not they liked the CBC team as people. Maybe that’s Baumgart’s style .
    Every now and then, Kent glanced at Kulpman. Baumgart’s assistant had continued to scribble notes all evening. There’s been no discussion worth noting. He hasn’t uttered a single word; what’s the point of him being here?
    “What’s your own professional background, Dieter?” Kent thought he’d try one last time to turn the conversation over to a business level, although he’d pretty much written off the evening by now.
    “My career was based around international law for twenty years.”
    Finally, Baumgart is actually prepared to talk business.
    “How did you find yourself managing Tritona with that background?” asked Tara. Kent smiled at her, grateful for the help.
    “One of my clients was the Kvarnback family. As we got to know each other better, I became the Kvarnback family counsel on a full-time basis. When they established their family investment office, I was asked to run that, and so it was natural for me to end up running the multifamily office, when they linked up with the other families four years ago.”
    The waiter came and took their coffee order. Baumgart suggested they all move into the lounge to continue the conversation in comfort. Just as the conversation gets interesting, the bloody waiter ruins the moment. It’s going to be difficult to move the conversation back on track. Besides, it’s probably too late. The night’s virtually over.
    They found a quiet corner in the lounge. Baumgart waited to see where Tara sat then deposited his hulk next to her. The man’s a limpet . Kent watched as Baumgart loosened his collar, relieving the pressure from his three chins.
    “If you had your time over again, John, would you have raised your third fund being so dependent upon Grampian Capital? As you know, it’s most unusual to be reliant on one investor,” Baumgart said.
    Kent hadn’t seen that one coming. “We didn’t set out that way. It just happened. We approached all of the usual institutional investors at the same time and expected it would take six to twelve months to raise the third fund. As you know from our fundraising document, our first two funds produced great returns, so we had a good story to tell.”
    “CBC has an excellent investment record.”
    “About three weeks into the process, Grampian contacted us to say they’d like to put up seven-and-a-half billion of the ten billion total target. We knew they were good for the money being one of the highest credit-rated institutions on Wall Street at that time.”
    “I understand they were the cornerstone investor in both of your earlier funds.”
    “Yes, that’s right. As we knew them so well, we decided to accept their large

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