Friday, December 01, 2006

CEO Tries Buying Irishness

Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld knows how to throw a family reunion.

The guests, 20 of Mr Greifeld’s closest family members, had been invited to the party on August 20, 2004, via parchment scrolls that read: “Oh from far and wide ye young and old shall gather together for the Greifelds’ Grand Family Reunion. From the Big Apple to the Emerald Isle, journey back to discover our distant Irish past in a land of leprechauns and folklore.
The week-long event, held "on the edge of Dublin," cost more than $611,000. Attendees engaged in jousting and falconry, took rides in a private helicopter, and visited a replica 13th-century village set up on the grounds of a rented castle while dressed in period costumes.
A signature champagne cocktail was created for the event, and shampoos in bottles labelled “Greifeld” were placed in each guest room. A team of butlers — one of whom worked for the Crown Prince of the Netherlands — headed a staff of 55. Masseuses were available around the clock, as were leading chefs, sommeliers, cigar experts, equerries, fitness trainers and nannies.
Of course, all this ostentation had little to do with Greifeld's actual heritage.
One of the few sore points of the whole incredible week [...] was the genealogist. Despite charging €1,500 for his services, he was not able to uncover all that many of Mr Greifeld’s Irish ancestors. Fancy that. [Link]

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