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Asia CommentTaipan

Company often loves misery

The world of banking can be rather funny, as my friend recently found out when faced with an unusual situation. After months of fruitless efforts, he finally had a big loan on his hands but had no way to show it off without coming off as insensitive.

While grabbing my usual whiskey at Captain’s Bar, this chap told me that his good friend was going through a messy divorce and wanted to make a clean break from his soon-to-be ex-wife. Haplessly enough though, the guy had started a tech company with his wife as a partner.

In happier times, they used to refer to the company as their baby but now that they were separating, working together had become a nightmare.

So the bloke decided to buy out the wife’s stake, which by now commanded a sizeable premium. But already drained from the legal fees for the divorce proceedings, the fellow turned to my banker friend for some fundraising help.

Now, the loan was by no means a syndicated deal, but it was large enough for the bank to charge a pretty handsome fee — and for my friend to get some credit from his boss for bringing in new business.

Unfortunately, my friend was also tasked with consoling the poor chap, which he duly did over the phone while clinking glasses with his team. In his social circles, however, he tried being as discreet as possible to avoid sounding heartless.

I guess this was yet another instance of someone else’s pain becoming capital markets’ gain, I said, raising a glass to his new client. 

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