It feels like ages since we've heard from our friends the Noels — the carefully curated Connecticut family whose patriarch, Walter Noel, helmed Fairfield Greenwich Group, Bernie Madoff's largest feeder fund. We wouldn't have blamed them for laying low, since their failure to do due diligence on Madoff cost their clients millions of dollars. But today, Noel's son-in-law Andrés Piedrahita blows back into the spotlight on a cloud of tanning oil and fresh ocean breeze, and gives an interview to The Wall Street Journal that, we suppose, was intended to clarify his role in the Madoff scandal and clear his good name.
Piedrahita, the son of a Colombian commodities trader, went to B.U., which, if you are from Boston, tells you a lot. When he married Walter Noel's eldest daughter, Corina, he became a managing director at Fairfield Greenwich. But his real job, he once told a friend, was "to live better than any of my clients." His life was a whirlwind of flying around on Gulfstream jets, elaborate costume parties, pheasant hunting with royals, and yachting with models, activities that suited his irrepressible personality. "I am known for being fun," he told the Journal
Of course, he was sometimes too irrepressible.
Once, Mr. Piedrahita crashed a wedding party and gave an off-color speech at the rehearsal dinner. "I gave a toast I shouldn't have given," he says. "But I didn't crash the wedding. I was invited."
Gosh, we wish we could have heard that speech. If it was even a smidgen as coarse and thoughtless as some of the stupid things he says to the Journal, such as:
"I look at myself in the morning, and I'm very proud of what I have done, and so are my partners."
Or this, referring to the Madoff scam:
"Nobody knew anything about anything."
As if that's okay, or this:
"I did well in life. I'm not ashamed of it."
Well, then, that must have been a doozy. Someone get that wedding video up on YouTube!
The Charming Mr. Piedrahita Finds Himself Caught in the Madoff Storm [WSJ]