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The Billionaire's Apprentice
Cover of The Billionaire's Apprentice
The Billionaire's Apprentice
The Rise of the Indian-American Elite and the Fall of the Galleon Hedge Fund
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Just as WASPs, Irish-Catholics and Our Crowd Jews once made the ascent from immigrants to powerbrokers, it is now the Indian-American's turn. Citigroup, PepsiCo and Mastercard are just a handful of the Fortune 500 companies led by a group known as the "Twice Blessed." Yet little is known about how these Indian emigres (and children of emigres) rose through the ranks. Until now...

The collapse of the Galleon Group—a hedge fund that managed more than $7 billion in assets—from criminal charges of insider trading was a sensational case that pitted prosecutor Preet Bharara, himself the son of Indian immigrants, against the best and brightest of the South Asian business community. At the center of the case was self-described King of Kings, Galleon's founder Raj Rajaratnam, a Sri-Lankan-born, Wharton-educated billionaire. But the most shocking allegation was that the éminence grise of Indian business, Rajat Gupta, was Rajaratnam's accomplice and mole. If not for Gupta's nose-to-the-grindstone rise to head up McKinsey & Co and a position on the Goldman Sachs board, men like Rajaratnam would have never made it to the top of America's moneyed elite.

Author Anita Raghavan criss-crosses the globe from Wall Street boardrooms to Delhi's Indian Institute of Technology as she uncovers the secrets of this subculture—an incredible tale of triumph, temptation and tragedy.

Just as WASPs, Irish-Catholics and Our Crowd Jews once made the ascent from immigrants to powerbrokers, it is now the Indian-American's turn. Citigroup, PepsiCo and Mastercard are just a handful of the Fortune 500 companies led by a group known as the "Twice Blessed." Yet little is known about how these Indian emigres (and children of emigres) rose through the ranks. Until now...

The collapse of the Galleon Group—a hedge fund that managed more than $7 billion in assets—from criminal charges of insider trading was a sensational case that pitted prosecutor Preet Bharara, himself the son of Indian immigrants, against the best and brightest of the South Asian business community. At the center of the case was self-described King of Kings, Galleon's founder Raj Rajaratnam, a Sri-Lankan-born, Wharton-educated billionaire. But the most shocking allegation was that the éminence grise of Indian business, Rajat Gupta, was Rajaratnam's accomplice and mole. If not for Gupta's nose-to-the-grindstone rise to head up McKinsey & Co and a position on the Goldman Sachs board, men like Rajaratnam would have never made it to the top of America's moneyed elite.

Author Anita Raghavan criss-crosses the globe from Wall Street boardrooms to Delhi's Indian Institute of Technology as she uncovers the secrets of this subculture—an incredible tale of triumph, temptation and tragedy.

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About the Author-
  • Anita Raghavan was born in Malaysia but came to the United States in 1970. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she spent eighteen years at the Wall Street Journal where she won the Overseas Press Club award for her coverage of the mergers and acquisition boom in Europe, and the New York Press Club award for her reporting on the the near death of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital. In 2008, she became the London Bureau Chief for Forbes. Currently she is a contributor to New York Times Dealbook and Forbes.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 22, 2013
    Enron, Lehman Brothers, Bernie Madoff—it’s clear that corruption and venality are de rigueur at the highest ranks of the financial services industry. Financial journalist Raghavan knows this as well as anyone, making her exhaustive account of the self-destruction of Raj Rajaratnam and Rajat Gupta all the more confusing. Though the narrative is fast-paced, the point of the book is uncertain. The utter ubiquity of Gupta’s misbehavior at the Galleon Group, spectacularly expensive to the company as it was, does not make his story particularly remarkable. Ostensibly about the integration of Indian immigrants into the upper echelons of American society, the book barely mentions that topic, and the nationality of Rajaratnam (Sri Lankan, not Indian), Gupta, and their associates seems an extraneous detail. By focusing on the unsurprising chummy backscratching, avaricious dealing, and boundless sense of entitlement in this world, Raghavan barrels past promising side roads. For example, the fact that “a previous insider trading accusation into Rajaratnam… was squashed because a criminal probe into his possible involvement with a Tamil insurgent group had taken precedence” is treated as an unfortunate distraction. Agent: Shawn Coyne, Genre Management.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2013
    Financial journalist Raghavan debuts with this account of the international web of insider trading at Raj Rajaratnam's Galleon hedge fund. The author traces the precedent-setting prosecution and May 2011 conviction of Rajaratnam, whose 11-year jail term is the longest awarded in an insider trading case to date, from its unlikely beginnings in an investigation of his younger brother's hedge fund. For the first time, wiretaps were used to secure convictions in such a case, and Raghavan excels with her account of how the targets for taps were sifted out of more than 4 million pages of documentation over the three-year investigation. The process she reports at both the SEC and the U.S. Attorney's office becomes compelling as the pieces of the case are identified and potential witnesses recruited. Raghavan compiled more than 200 interviews and traveled extensively in her quest to assemble the narrative. She provides an insightful account of South Asian immigration to the U.S. since the 1960s and shows how relations established in India's elite education system provided some of the ties that bound the conspirators together. Rajaratnam and his accomplices--mainly Rajat Gupta, a former head of the McKinsey consulting company and board member at Goldman Sachs--were also highflying associates of top political and corporate circles in both India and the U.S. Gupta, in particular, frequented quarters where significant decisions were made about outsourcing U.S. economic activity. Rajaratnam's accomplices at Intel and Advanced Micro Devices provided the information necessary to build his reputation as an expert in technology and produce spectacular financial gains. Compelling in its specificity and intriguing in its portrayal of leading financial institutions and their malfeasance.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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The Rise of the Indian-American Elite and the Fall of the Galleon Hedge Fund
Anita Raghavan
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