Monday, April 4, 2011

Due Diligence-Jonathan Rush

Due Diligence
Jonathan Rush
Dunne, May 10 2011, $25.99
ISBN 9780312559779

Having lost the Florida Gas & Light merger to Citibank, Wall Street investment bank Dyson Whitney managing director Pete Stanzy wants the Louisiana Light deal, which is why he flies to Baton Rouge to meet with the CEO Mike Wilson who wants to purchase rival BritEnergy. If Stanzy and his team pull off the deal they will make $72 million; if they fail they make nada. Wilson makes it clear he expects the negotiations to be over in a month and Stanzy is to talk to no one but him.

While Wilson is in South America, Stanzy has Phil Menendez put together a team to work the BritEnergy deal. Newcomer analyst Rob Holding is part of the unit whose only focus is the Louisiana Light transaction. However, though the lowest person on the totem pole, Rob performing his job of Due Diligence analysis finds indiscretions in why Wilson wants a rushed hushed deal. No one heeds his warnings as the fee blinds the bank’s leadership with a not to know need; forcing the young man to struggle with his ethics vs. his career and soon he learns his life when a corpse that should have been him is found.

The fast-paced story line is timed nicely as the bottom line only practices that led to the banking collapse remain intact at least at this company in spite of the attempts of Washington Democrats passing watered down oversight reform (Republicans still believe the market corrects itself). Although somewhat an updating of John Grisham’s The Firm and the final coda is over the top of the New York Stock Exchange, fans will enjoy the action-packed Due Diligence while rooting for Holding against the big bad bankers.

Harriet Klausner

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