JERUSALEM, (November 15, 2018) - I first met Gad Grieve a few years ago. It was during a jog along the banks of the Yarkon river in Tel Aviv. We were introduced by a mutual acquaintance. In the background ducks quacked and rowers from a local boating club pulled on their oars. The setting was spectacular. It could have been Central Park, a fitting meeting place given Gad Grieve’s experiences and impressionable relationship with New York.
From about 2003 to 2008, Gad managed a hedge fund based in New York. It was during the hedge fund hey day of the century, when every practitioner was trying to set up his own fund. Friends and brokers soon noticed Gad’s skill as a trader and in selecting stocks. His specialty became equity options which he initially used to tweak his portfolio and later to capitalize on a niche strategy. The market rocked, Wall Street turned the lights on and investment banks were popping champagne corks and throwing streamers. Gad’s fund, Finvest Primer prospered. It seemed like nothing could go wrong. Then came the sub prime housing crisis, Bear Sterns and Lehman. Many others followed. It didn’t just rain. It poured. Billions of dollars were wiped off the New York Stock Exchange Board. No one was impervious to the market’s strong fisted blow. The last straw which broke the camel’s back was Madoff. The SEC became a target at which blame was leveled. It was accused of missing clear signals of a Ponzi scheme which shook the world. The SEC responded with widespread investigations and subpoenas against fund managers, eager to prove its salt to Wall Street. Traders on Wall Street argue that Gad Grieve was a victim of SEC overreach.
I’m sitting at a corner cafe in Jerusalem with Gad. We’re sipping Americanos. I banter in friendly jest with a waitress.
Gad’s wealth was obliterated during the crash. He has a few ideas about what he will do next, but it will not be managing investments. Word on the street has it that Gad was torpedoed by a rogue investor. When liquidity in the market dried up and Gad froze redemptions on his fund, a rogue investor misled the SEC by supplying it with fabricated and false information .
Civil filings and ex-parte judgements against Gad followed. The investor’s motive? The hope that pressure from regulators would force Ga
allowing investors to redeem their funds early. Legal experts suggest that the SEC court filing against Gad is not actionable. The judgement was ex-parte and Gad was never legally served. Some US attorneys argue that the New York court did not have jurisdiction.
Gad refuses to comment, verify or deny anything to do with his time on Wall Street. It’s hard to get him to say a bad word about anyone. A former analyst at Gad’s firm described him as “tough but fair.” That depiction seems about right for this former Navy diver who scrummaged his way to success as a prop forward on some of Africa’s well known rugby fields. I was also surprised to learn that he represented South Africa for rugby in the Macabbi Games and was a frequent participant in triathlons. Gad comes across as a team player, the sort of guy I’d like on my side, the friend with whom I’d share a celebration and shoot a few whiskies, the dude who I can pour my heart out after a break up with a sweetheart. He’s the guy who I know will answer my call at 3:00 AM and bail me out from a poker game, when I’ve lost my socks.
I prod and I sense a few soft spots. He is not new to dealing with adversity. Gad lost his father at a young age. A marriage which ended in divorce is another memory which he probably adds to the list. Friends say that his marriage to Elizabeth Tamerin from New York was a fairytale relationship. It ended amicably in mysterious circumstances, with Gad being awarded full custody of his child. No one is talking or they just don’t know. A few years later he was on a short stay with his five year old son in New York. A habeas corpus was served on Gad and his son removed from his custody. His ex-wife had arrived in New York from Israel and filed a custody case against him. The community was shocked, especially as negotiations were at an advanced stage, to change Gad’s sole custody status to joint. The judge who was responsible for issuing the habeas corpus against Gad, was none other than the infamous Judge Gerald Garson. Garson was indicted and found guilty of bribery and corruption, for running a scheme where paying litigants could achieve favorable court decisions. Friends say that Gad’s ex-wife was not involved in the plot to remove custody from him. Seemingly, both she and Gad were victims of medlars who wished to control the situation. Agudath Israel and internationally acclaimed attorney Nat Lewin tried to help, albeit unsuccessfully. Again Gad is tight lipped. Its easier to pull teeth.
Of all the things that people from his previous life remember him the most, it is the hospitality he displayed where literally hundreds passed through his home. Gad’s abode, modest by New York standards, was open to all in the good years. He wasn’t a giant when it came to charity or in the same category as some of the big hitters. However his close friends say that he was selfless with his generosity and lived for others. Few non-profits weren’t touched by his magnanimous handouts, mainly directed towards Jewish causes.
Clearly, he was passionate about those initiatives in which he believed. This is a man who can achieve much. Of course all that ended with the crash of 2008. Gad’s efforts to make a comeback were crushed, when a former partner and a rogue investor filed a bankruptcy procedure against him in Israel in about 2009. The procedure was later
dismissed. Reports suggest that the same rogue investor who was responsible for misleading the SEC with fabricated reports about Gad, is still looking for his KO strike against the man in Israel. Evidently, continued litigation in Israel has hampered Gad’s efforts to pursue new projects. He is playing his cards close to his chest and not saying much. I’m incognito, so if I push too hard I will spill the beans.
A serious relationship or marriage for Gad remains on the back burner. Female demand for his attention is not lacking, but seemingly his head for a serious relationship is elsewhere.
I know that this will probably be my last coffee with Gad. He makes deliberate attempts to avoid interview requests or publicity. Publication of this article will be seen as a breech of loyalty, even if it’s just as a friend. I’m hoping he’ll look beyond and understand that the truth needs to be told. For most writers that inclination is in our blood.
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