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Kerry's ex dishes dirt on Greenwich hedge funders
"Hedge fund managers are the new aristocrats," says Lee Whitnum, a former hedge fund accountant who has written a roman à clef about life, love and money at the epicenter of the industry's universe, Greenwich, Connecticut.
"Hedge fund managers are the new aristocrats," says Lee Whitnum, a former hedge fund accountant who has written a roman à clef about life, love and money at the epicenter of the industry's universe, Greenwich, Connecticut. Whitnum, a Greenwich resident, says her tale, Hedge Fund Mistress, mirrors reality as she has experienced it there.
One of the novel's main characters is a legendary veteran fund manager named James Willard -- a composite of several real-life managers that Whitnum says she either dated or knew about from the Greenwich social scene. Other characters include a young and ambitious, but talentless, wanna-be hedge fund manager who burns through his family's fortune trying to emulate Willard, and a woman whose former romance with a U.S. senator leads to high drama after she arrives in Greenwich.
Whitnum's onetime relationship with Senator John Kerry has already caused its own share of drama. She says she dated the Democratic presidential nominee for 20 months in the early 1990s while she was a Harvard graduate student and Kerry was between marriages. Whitnum discussed the relationship in three newspaper interviews last month and posted a "John Kerry scrapbook" on the Web site where she hawks Mistress. But instead of helping her sell books, she says, the publicity triggered nasty e-mail from both Democrats and Republicans who were concerned that her revelation would somehow influence the upcoming election.
Whitnum, who says she's in her early 40s, has postponed the book's release until after the November 2 election. And she's removed photos of herself and Kerry from her Web site (hedgefundmistress.com).
To write Mistress, the author, who uses the pen name Lee Roystone and has written one other book (a science-fiction novel,What About the Dead?), left her job as an accountant for Windsor, Connecticutbased hedge fund servicing company SS&C Technologies. She declines to reveal what happens to her characters in the end, but she says that "there's a real female perspective" to the novel. "Let me put it this way: I've purposely not released Hedge Fund Mistress, because I want John Kerry to win."