The business on...Larry Hagman, Actor, aka JR Ewing
Saturday 09 October 2010
What's JR Ewing doing in the business section?
Come, come. JR was just about the greatest independent oil man in Texas (at least when Dallas was a top-rated soap). But it's not the character we're interested in. It's the actor who played him: Larry Hagman has just won a cool $11.5m (£7.2m) from Citigroup.
That's a trick worthy of JR himself
Steady on now. Hagman was sinned against rather than sinner. He accused Citi in May 2009 of a "breach of fiduciary duty" and "breach of contract, fraud by misrepresentation and omission, failure to supervise and violation of federal and state law", according to a ruling by an arbitration panel of Finra, a self-regulatory body of the US financial industry.
Tell us more...
Well, the dispute was linked to securities in his investment portfolio and the sale of a life insurance policy. Finra ruled that Citi must pay $10m in punitive damages to charities selected by Hagman, together with $1.1m in compensation to him and legal fees of $440,000.
Presumably there was JR-like behaviour by the bankers?
What, and you're surprised by that after what's been going on for the past couple of years? By comparison to banks, Ewing Oil almost looks like the John Lewis Partnership. But yes, the award was unusually large after Finra said Citigroup Global Markets "engaged in serious misconduct".
What does Citi have to say?
The bank is less than pleased. It disagrees with the ruling, and has said it is disappointed and is "considering its options". JR's battle royale with the banks may have some way to run. Anyone interested in a movie script?
What's Larry been doing since JR rode off into the Texan sunset?
You'll love this. Together with a steady stream of acting jobs, he also has a role in business. He has become a spokesman for a solar energy company. And according to SolarWorld, Hagman's California pad was the largest residential producer of solar power in the United States. It's true: JR has gone green!
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