Opposite William Safire’s On Language column in today’s New York Times Magazine, Bessemer Trust has a full-page ad. Normally I wouldn’t take a second glance at these kinds of tasteful, “wealth management” promotions. But the copywriters for Bessemer want to show these aren’t typical Wall Street types.
Rarely in history have so many been so violated by so few. We understand. We’re as angry as you are, because the actions of those few have cast a pall of doubt and suspicion over everyone even remotely related to the financial industry…
Our headquarters are on Fifth Avenue in New York, four miles from Wall Street. But our approach is a million miles away from what Wall Street has become known for.
All sounds pretty good, and in tune with the times. The kicker for me is the small print at the bottom of the ad: “Minimum relationship $10 million.” Well, that’s truly in harmony with today’s austerity.
The Sunday Times has a circulation of just under 1.5 million. What percentage of that circulation has $10 million in investable assets? It must be vanishingly small. And is there really anyone with $10 million or more to invest that is going to take their cues from an ad in a magazine?