Friday, August 24, 2007

Panda Joe

It’s no secret that Lipton’s M&A group is one of his firm's most lucrative practice areas (Herb Wachtell’s slip and fall practice group is a close second). We hear that the average partner at Lipton and Associates pulls in well north of $3.5 million a year. If that is what the average partner is bringing home, imagine how fat Lipton’s bankroll is! Though we haven’t audited Lipton’s bank account as of late, we’d guess that Marty has eight zeros on his paycheck (he isn’t getting paid in pesos either).

With that sort of disposable income, Lipton can afford virtually any luxury item his heart so desires. According to one spy, during the 80s, Lipton had a penchant for collecting rare and exotic animals. His collection supposedly includes a Bengal tiger, a mako shark, and a dozen flamingos. In 1987, when Lipton was unable to acquire a rare giant panda from a Beijing zoo, he hired Joe Flom to dress up in a panda suit for two weeks and live in a specially designed Panda habitat that Lipton built in his yard. That’s right, Marty Lipton brings home so much bacon that he can afford to pay Joe Flom (who at the time billed out a whopping $150 an hour) to wear a panda suit and live in Lipton’s yard for two weeks straight. That’s over $67,000 for a temporary panda. Joe Flom, who was nowhere close to his monthly billing quota, was happy to take the gig.

Lipton, always the consummate philanthropist, invited a group of underprivileged children to his home to watch the clumsy Flom play in a kiddie pool and consume massive quantities of bamboo. Though timid at first, Flom was coaxed from his den with a giant frozen treat consisting of apples, pears, and bamboo frozen in beet juice and water. Word around the campfire is that Lipton even allowed several children to ride the wild beast (Joe Flom).

If nothing else, this quaint anecdote shows that although Marty sure knows how to rake it in, he is not afraid to give a little back to those who are less fortunate (just to clarify, we are not referring to Joe Flom).

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