Spotlight On: Vincent Tchenguiz, property magnate
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Wednesday 14 March 2012
Of the Tchenguiz brothers?
Yes, together and separately, Mr Tchenguiz and his younger brother, Robert, have been among Britain's largest landlords – at least until the little matter of the credit crisis. The financial meltdown threatened to halt all that hard partying the pair do on the French riviera.
Ah, yes, those photos
You'll be referring to the pictures of Vincent luxuriating on his yacht, Veni Vidi Vici, with a beautiful woman draped on each arm. Oh, how Fleet Street loves writing about his glamourous lifestyle.
Veni Vidi Vici?
I came, I saw, I conquered. It seemed an appropriate motto for the Iranian-born playboy, who based himself in London after the fall of the Shah. Maybe it will be appropriate once again.
A year ago Mr Tchenguiz was arrested by the Serious Fraud Office investigating the collapse of the Icelandic bank, Kaupthing, with which the brothers had deep ties. But he has successfully turned the legal guns back on the SFO, which had to return all the material seized in the raids.
Another bloody nose for the SFO, then?
Yep. Now Mr Tchenguiz is on the hunt for damages. But he was in the news yesterday for a different legal case, which has also turned out to his advantage.
He has been battling his "other brother": Keyvan Rahimian, a close childhood buddy from Tehran who became a co-investor in many deals. They fell out in 2008 and said each owed the other millions of pounds.
Not a conquest, but a settlement, at least. And for Mr Tchenguiz that is as good as a win, since the trial was shaping up to be an embarrassment. Mr Rahimian threatened to bring in salacious evidence of parties with models and dealings with politicians.
And it won't see the light of day, now?
In court yesterday, the pair were said to be "settling financial scores" in private – sadly for Fleet Street.
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