Tuesday, 13 August 2013

RIP: 95, Paul Cesario O'Neill

So who's this Paul O'Neill that John Paulson was boasting about having worked for? If one of the world's most successful hedge funders is proud of having worked for him, he must have been a pretty big deal. Maybe.

Paul O'Neill, 1926-2004, was an Irish-American banker who used to live at 95 Eaton Square. He moved there in 1968, from New York, and lived there until he died.

Paul O'Neill at no 95 with his second wife Eva Maria and their son Chris, in the 1970s

Another photo of Paul and his only son. They look older, but the shirt is the same.
Paul was a charmer. He worked first for Oppenheimer in New York. Then he and his fellow Partner from the mutual fund side James "Jimmy" King moved to London to set up the European operations for Oppenheimer. They both moved into Eaton Square (numbers 95 and 75), and they both settled down with European blonds and had children. O'Neill was the social one, brilliant at wining and dining investors; King was always more low key.

They set up their own investment firm in London, but they were also active in New York, renting houses in the Bridgehampton each summer. When Oppenheimer and Co was sold to Mercantile House in 1982, they joined Jack Nash and Leon Levy who founded Odyssey Partners, one of the first big hedge funds. Other investors included George Soros, who would also buy a flat in Eaton Square.

Jack Nash and Leon Levy

Although later claims were made that Odyssey was named by Classical art collector Levy for various intellectual reasons, it was an in-joke about the great move (or odyssey) from Wall Street to Mid-town.

John Paulson worked for Odyssey Partners as an Associate from 1982 to 1984.

Most people who worked for Odyssey would say they had worked for either Nash or Levy, both legendary investors. Some, who had been based in London, maybe King. But O'Neill?

Very social, a solid banker, but why on earth would Paulson boast about having worked for O'Neill?

Because of Paul's son Christopher O'Neill.

The boy.

The man. Chris O'Neill, a partner at an obscure hedge fund, Noster Capital

Super-social Chris, started dating Princess Madeleine of Sweden in 2011 and proposed soon after.
Negotiations dragged on, but the wedding was celebrated this summer. The groom's mother, the former Mrs O'Neill, looks like the cat that got the cream ... The bride wore Valentino, and as bitchy as we would like to be, they are both quite nice. At least to our faces.

Another official 'family' shot. Second from left is Chris's half-sister Tatjana. Third from right, the woman in the flower pot and too-short skirt, is his rather racy mother Eva Maria trying to dress the part of royal in-law. And failing. The Swedish royal family do not live in Eaton Square.

Floral fripperies, beige roses in the hair were clearly a theme. Crown Princess Victoria and 72-year-old-mutton-dressed-as-lamb Eva both fail miserably. Only Tatjana D'Abo carries it off.
Eva Maria arriving in Sweden. Looking as if she takes style tips from WAGs a quarter her age.
An old photo of Eva with her three children, each from a different man.
Although Chris and his Princess live in New York, his mother has lived in Eaton Square since his parents split. Mrs O'Neill retained her surname and good relationship with her second husband, but acquired her own flat in the Square. Her last husband is believed to have paid off her mortgage and debts.

She is very, very social, but never seems to wear a bra. Or look in the mirror.

Eva. Naughty Eva. Lots and lots of society photos of her, and lots of male admirers. This old interview in Tatler is a prime example of an exercise in self-promotion after her last husband. She is very charming, and lots of fun. But few women would trust her with their husbands.

There are rumours Eva and Prince Charles had an affair, although most of the rumours seem to originate from her camp.

A very old photo of Austrian-born Eva.
On the plus side ...

Chris is used to spending time with women in National Dress ... So having to now do so with Princess Madeleine in Sweden is nothing new.

.... because his maternal sisters seem to wear it a lot. Here it is Tatjana and her son
Eva's eldest daughter Tatjana by her first husband (Walter Schoeller). Her older husband is Henry D'Abo (1953). A grand-son of the Duke of Rutland, this marriage to D'Abo was a social coup for Eva.

Eva and her second child, former Tatler editor Natasha Loeb (1968). Mr Loeb is said to be an American cement tycoon (Hermann Loeb), although Eva was never Mrs Loeb.

Natasha made an ever better marriage, although to a shorter husband Enst. A Graf, no less. She is now Countess Natascha Abensperg und Train.

It's a very old photograph, but Eva and her daughters conform to the thin, tanned and bleached blond idea of beauty.
Eva very briefly married a third time. She was introduced to James Elliot Steward by her then best friend Ivana Trump and, allegedly, stole him off Elizabeth Taylor. They were wed in weeks. The marriage did not last much longer, and she's been back on the dating scene since 1990.

What about Paul's side of the family? He had three daughters and a grandson from his first wife Hildegarde, all of whom are very low-key and do not feature in society pages.

Although Chris O'Neill is now all over the press because of his marriage he too is surprisingly low-key when it comes to social publicity: we found only five photos of him on Patrick McMullan partying in his long-time home New York, one with a former model girlfriend Maryam Abdullina.

Although Mrs Christopher O'Neill is a Princess, he is not a Prince. Partly as he chose to retain his US citizenship and job (he didn't inherit enough to live off), and partly as he probably felt uncomfortable embracing his wife's Protestant faith. His parents have always been very Catholic: Eva's uncle was a Cardinal, Paul's sister was a nun.

Paul's sister was literally a Sister: Cathleen O'Neill
Paul is dead. Chris moved to New York.

What of the other Odyssey Posse?

Jack Nash and Leon Levy have also passed away, although neither ever lived in the Square. They made the serious money from the fund as senior partners.

O'Neill is said to have enjoyed spending his money, so left relatively little at his death, to be divided equally between his four children: Karen (1961), Annalisa (1959), Stefanie (1961) and Christopher.

Only King is still alive. He moved to Hong Kong, where he is said to play tennis daily, as he did in Eaton Square. His son Joseph works for him. His ex-wife Ursula has a flat in the Square but rarely visits. His daughter Dorothy, her toddler and two dogs live in London. Her Twitter shows she spends some time in the Square, but lives in Marylebone. According to Wikipedia she turned down Playboy. Unlike Petra Ecclestone's sister Tamara ... Her breasts may be large, but her brain is bigger. She's an archaeologist and theologian.

Jimmy King's daughter, Dorothy. Another blond. We couldn't find any party photos of her.

George Soros maintains a flat in Eaton Square, although he rarely visits.

George Soros. The Man Who Broke the Bank of England.

Tatjana and Natasha each have several children. One of Paul's daughters has a son, Oliver.

Eva Maria O'Neill continues to live in Eaton Square. Where else. She is said to be looking for a fourth husband.

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