Steer clear of the boss and his offspring
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Steer clear of the boss and his offspring

As if being a banker wasn’t tricky enough, with having to make sure clients feel like they are kings or queens, in Asia there’s one more thing to worry about – their offspring.

I’ve heard my fair share of complaints about how bratty clients can get, but this story takes the cake, or single malt whisky, if you prefer that kind of thing.

A former banker colleague of mine switched sides to a corporate some years ago, thinking he was set for a whale of a time. The company he joined was family-owned and he and I continued to have a marvelous friendship, with me raising money for his firm and both of us clinking glasses. 

But all that came crashing down one day when he decided to cross the chairman’s son.

The little tyke, then in his teens and obviously in some drunken stupor, staggered up to the company’s golf course around midnight and demanded that the spotlights be switched on so he could practice his swing.

That was obviously not on, and since everyone had retired for the night, my pal plainly told the boy that under no circumstances would he entertain this ludicrous request.

Then years later the prodigal son returned — this time in his father’s shoes as CEO, and one of the first things he did was to give my poor friend his marching orders.

Sometimes it pays to do the right thing. But in Asia, when it’s a choice between the right thing and messing with the boss’s progeny, you’d best lay low and be the good little underling you were hired to be.