Toomre Capital Markets LLC

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Matthew Brown

Marisa Noel and Matthew Brown May Sell Their Manhattan Townhouse Too!!

Marisa Noel Brown and her townhouse at 12 East 78th StreetLast Sunday Toomre Capital Markets LLC ("TCM") wrote about the possible sale of Charles (or perhaps Richard) Murphy's Manhattan townhouse in the post Former Fairfield Greenwich Executive To Sell Manhattan Townhouse. On Wednesday January 28th 2009, the New York City community website Cityfile reports that another of the principals associated with The Fairfield Greenwich Group is considering selling his recently purchased Manhattan townhouse.

Matthew C. Brown is married to the youngest of the Walter Noel daughters, Marisa Noel Brown. It is not clear whether Matt Brown still remains employed by his father-in-law's firm. Fairfield Greenwich Group has a very unclear future as many of their investors demand to get any and all remaining funds back. Hence, future management and performance fees will be quite diminished, if not non-existent. Then, there are the "small" issues of the lawsuits filed against Fairfield Greenwich and a number of its present and former partners. Surely there also will be others, including no doubt one from the trustee of the Bernard Madoff Investment Securities estate, demanding a "claw-back" payment for non-existent profits that were distributed by Bernie Madoff. Mr. Brown is a individually named defendant in the lawsuit Pacific West Health Medical Center Inc. Employees Retirement Trust et al vs Greenwich Group et al.

The couple purchased the Manhattan townhouse at 12 East 78th Street on January 31st, 2008 for the price of $13.5 million according to real estate records. Apparently Marisa Noel Brown and her husband took out a $9 million mortgage to complete the purchase. Assuming that this couple took out a traditional 30-year mortgage with a six percent interest rate, they will be required to make mortgage payments of about $540,000 per year. With limited income from the family business coming in and the likely pay-back of at least some previously paid compensation, one does wonder how long the various principals associated with the Bernie Madoff scandal will be hanging on to their various "trophies" — especially since the money to purchase such possessions likely resulted from more than four decades of fraudulent activity. TCM suspects that a number of such Manhattan properties will be put up for sale in the weeks and months to come.

Former Fairfield Greenwich Executive To Sell Manhattan Townhouse

Walter Noel and FamilyThe Sunday January 25th 2009 edition of The New York Times has an article in its Real Estate section entitled Every Man for Himself. This article details how one Richard Murphy in 2007 paid $33 million for the 25-foot-wide town house at 7 East 67th Street.

At the time, this purchase was the highest price on record for an Upper East Side town house built on a standard 25-foot-wide lot. The home has 12,000 square feet of space on seven levels, including the basement. Apparently Mr. Murphy has been considering listing it now for $36 million. "But brokers were skeptical that he would get that price, with one suggesting it might eventually sell for $30 million at most, about 10 percent less than he paid." This story is indicative of how even Manhattan real estate is beginning to sag under the weight of Wall Street layoffs, hedge fund retrenchment and the economic recession.

Toomre Capital Markets LLC ("TCM") took particular note of this story because of the firm Mr. Murphy until very recently worked for: Fairfield Greenwich Group, the "feeder fund" group with the largest exposure to Bernie Madoff's fraudulent investment business. Fairfield Greenwich is reported to have had approximately $7.5 billion invested with Madoff at the time of his arrest. The article notes that Mr. Murphy is listed as one of the defendants, along with other Fairfield Greenwich partners, in lawsuits brought by disgruntled and aggrieved investors.

According to this court document, The New York Times may have gotten Mr. Murphy's first name wrong. The name listed in the lawsuit with other Fairfield Greenwich partners is Charles Murphy, who lives at 202 Round Hill Road in Greenwich, Connecticut — a short distance from 175 Round Hill Road and the home of Fairfield Greenwich Group founder, Walter Noel. Their Fairfield Sentry fund is said to have had substantially all of its approximate $7.2 billion in assets invested with Bernie Madoff.

Walter Noel and his wife Monica are parents to five daughters. The picture in the upper left of this post is from their 2005 Christmas card and show clockwise from the left, Lisina, Corina, Walter, Monica, Ariane, Marisa, and Alix. Each of the five daughters is now married and many of the son-in-laws became involved in Fairfield Greenwich Group business. Four of the five son-in-laws along with Walter Noel are named in the above referenced lawsuit.

Corina, the eldest, married a Columbian named Andres Piedrahita, who became a partner of Fairfield Greenwich. Corina and her husband apparently relocated to London some years ago and subsequently spent considerable time in Spain as well while raising funds from European and Latin American investors. Rumor has it that Andres Piedrahita "may have done something fatally stupid by placing 2x-3x-laundered Columbian Drug Cartel money into the FFG-Madoff sinkhole". The court document referenced above includes Andres Piedrahita as one of the defendants. According to that document, Mr. Piedrahita is being represented by Andrew Levander, the same lawyer who also happens to be representing Ezra Merkin and his "feeder funds" in lawsuits by other distraught Madoff investors.