PE Pro in Zany Scuffle Over Leftover Wine!

I’m going to pretend peHUB is Page Six for a minute with some light reading (hey, its the end of the day on a Friday). Last night I attended the ACG Private Equity Wine Tasting Gala, where buyout pros attempt to one-up each other with their taste in exclusive, rare fine wines. Each participating firm sponsors a table, where the GPs pour a special wine of their choosing to a crowd of bankers, intermediaries and service providers.

The wines are so valuable that one firm (which I won’t name) almost came to fisticuffs with an overzealous waiter over a few open, full bottles. As the event wound down, the head waiter insisted that the PE pro hand the wine over to him so he could dispose of it. The PE pro was appalled, shouting, “We brought this! This is ours!” The argument escalated when the waiter made a grab for the wine bottles. I half expected the PE pro to smash one on the side of the table and use it as a weapon, but I guess that would have defeated the purpose of saving the wine. The whole scuffle ended when the PE pro strong-armed the bottles out of the waiter’s hands and engaged in some serious boxing out while he stowed the wine. I think I may have heard a fellow waiter saying “Don’t be a hero man, it’s not worth it,” to the overzealous waiter as he retreated.

So that happened, but otherwise it was a pretty predictable event. It was certainly well-attended, but I was told that prior years had drawn shoulder-to-shoulder crowds. One PE pro explained, “It’s hard to go to LPs and say ‘times are so tough out there’ when you’re out drinking wine and hosting tables at parties.”

Sadly, I can’t even report which firm had the best wine, as I’m no oenophile. I mostly hid my wine ignorance by avoiding any conversation resembling “finishing notes of oaky tobacco-berry.”

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5 Comments

  • At least tell us the name of the wine and the year…

  • Given that this firm’s limited partners paid for the wine, this behavior represents an admirable dedication on the part of the PE pro to his fiduciary duty. Although it does lessen one’s admiration somewhat to realize that it is highly unlikely anyone but the PE pros ended up drinking the wine.

  • Love the boxing out detail

  • God the waiter was obnoxious. Was he not at the risk of being fired for such appalling, out-in-the-open grab and run?

  • PE guys and bankers competing over who can be the most pretentious oenophile. Sounds like the worst party in history. I’ll bet even these guys’ families can’t stand them.

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