When Robert Rubin left Citigroup in the wake of the crisis, reputation tarnished, stock portfolio in tatters, he thought he was done. Never again, he said to himself, would his long, tapered fingers caress other people’s money. Never again would he be a “we.” Not that there weren’t offers. There were offers. Rubin may have disappointed more than a few people when it became obvious he did not have any idea the amount of risk the organization of which he was chairman had taken on while he was out fly-fishing, but even at 71, he was still plenty desirable, thank you very much. “When I left Citi in January, I had a whole bunch of people come to talk to me about a couple of different things,” he told the Times today. He just needed some time to himself. Didn’t want to get involved. Wasn’t ready to “take on another major commitment.”
But time passed.
Wounds healed. And soon Rubin found himself charmed yet again, this time by a boutique investment bank called Centerview Partners. At first he was hesitant. But they had so much in common! For instance, like the former Treasury Secretary, Centerview’s founders were also deeply involved with the Democratic Party. When he looked at them, a warm feeling spread within his chest. It was like he was waking up after a long slumber.
Mr. Rubin said he “came over one day and sat in on a meeting” at Centerview and “it seemed like it would be very interesting to me.”
Ah, yes, well, you know what they say. There’s nothing that quite revitalizes an old man like a young firm…firm.