The three billion dollar man has something to say.When Marvin H. McIntyre III came back from Vietnam, tooling around in a convertible Corvette he won in a poker game, he tried to say it in song. He drove down to Nashville to become a star.
The radio DJs played
anti-establishment anthems, screeds against the war, songs about
love-ins and peace-ins and hippie picnics. But McIntyre was having none
of that. He penned patriotic melodies, with titles such as “In the Face
of a Child” and “A Soldier’s Story.” And he flopped.
Corvette is long gone. It has been replaced by the sleek car-service
sedans that collect McIntyre each weekday morning at his Potomac home
and squire him to his downtown Washington brokerage office. There, he
invests $3 billion for an astounding array of wealthy clients that has
included best-selling authors and nearly 100 professional athletes, such
as basketball stars Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Joakim Noah, and
tennis legends Arthur Ashe and Stan Smith.
McIntyre’s friend and
client Kitty Kelley, the celebrity biographer, calls him “Wizard.”
Business types have called him the “Broker King.”
Yet in the
back seat of those comfy sedans, a convenience that he’s enjoyed for the
past three decades but is bashful about discussing, he’s still working
through those same creative urges that drove him to Nashville.
Scribbling in longhand on legal pads, he conjures thrillers set in the
darker recesses of the financial and regulatory worlds, the latest of
which, a page turner called “Inside Out,” came out in late January.
embodies a kind of Washington archetype. In a town preternaturally
attuned to the men and women who occupy a single building on Capitol
Hill and another on Pennsylvania Avenue, he represents a sort of durable
power impervious to the vagaries of election cycles. Inside all those
shapeless downtown office buildings are masters of various
universes,Want to find cableties? business powerhouses who make millions of dollars, discreetly control industries and move markets but hardly draw any notice.
can be a rock star in this industry and be unknown here except to your
family and friends,” McIntyre says one afternoon in the conference room
of his tastefully appointed suite of Pennsylvania Avenue offices, a
short walk from the White House.
McIntyre, a ruddy 69-year-old with an informal manner and a master pitchman’s quick,We specialize in usbmemorydrive.
rascally wit, springs from a family with Washington bona fides to
spare. His grandfather Marvin H. McIntyre, a onetime newspaperman who
did a stint as The Washington Post’s city editor in the early 1900s,
served as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s personal secretary. The Navy named a
World War II attack transport ship after him. McIntyre’s father, later
an IBM executive, used to splash around in the White House pool.
a young man, McIntyre thought it might be fun to go by his middle name,
Hunter, but opted for his stodgier full name because he thought it
would stand out more. He followed his father’s footsteps to the Citadel,
a “brutal” place he despised but has come to appreciate now as a member
of its business school advisory board. He became a first lieutenant in
the 1st Infantry Division and ran night patrols in Vietnam, but he
figures he never managed to hit anyone with the shots he fired. “My main
goal was to hide,” he cracks.
Decades later, he’s fond of
saying he has a PhD in BS. He can get away with a wisecrack (or a dozen)
because he brings in the megabucks, routinely placing in the upper
echelon of the Barron’s list of the nation’s biggest brokers. He is such
a behemoth that a few years back his blessing was widely considered a
key indicator of whether the corporate marriage of Legg Mason, where he
was the star broker, and Citigroup would go through. In a now legendary
dinner before the deal at Shula’s in Baltimore, Charlie Johnston, the
head of Citigroup’s Smith Barney brokerage division, planted himself
next to McIntyre all night.
“Charlie Johnston sure wasn’t going
to leave until he had his blessing,” says Donald Metzger, a top
financial adviser on McIntyre’s team.
For all his bonhomie,
McIntyre, the broker king, sometimes has to watch what he says, lest the
corporate compliance folks fuss and grumble. But his alter ego,
McGregor, the hero of his novels, can blast away.
first novel, “Insiders,” published in 2011, McGregor channels McIntyre’s
pique at largely unregulated corners of the markets that contributed to
the financial apocalypse of 2008. The villain in “Insiders” and in
McIntyre’s new book is a rogue billionaire hedge fund manipulator who
taunts the hero/broker with pathological phone calls and holes up in a
mansion in Cuba.
It helps to have uber-best-selling authors,
such as David Baldacci, as clients. At his first-ever book party,
Baldacci’s wife, Michelle, leaned over and whispered to him about which
page he was supposed to sign, McIntyre recalls.
afternoon at Equinox, the upscale downtown Washington power-lunch hub,
celebrity chef Todd Gray comes out of the kitchen to greet McIntyre at
his table, naturally.
“I thought I might get a free lunch since I mentioned the restaurant in my book,” McIntyre yuk-yuks to him.
Gray, whose cousin is on McIntyre’s brokerage team, just smiles.
he’s talking about his books, McIntyre allows himself a bit of
latitude, complaining about the “misuse of power” he’s observed over the
years in Washington.
“You see sort of the climbers that are
seeking power,” he says. If you talked with almost any members of
Congress, he says, they would be likely to vouch for entitlement
reforms. But they worry and do little, he says, because they know
“you’re going to have AARP on your back.”
What would grandpa, a right-hand man of the father of the New Deal, think about all this?
“Do you think he’s turning over in his grave?” McIntyre asks.
we the 1 percent?” says McIntyre, who is donating proceeds from his new
book to charity. “Sure we are. But if we are enhancing people’s
lifestyles, enabling them to have a comfortable retirement, pay for
their college education, and we’re getting reviled for that, it’s worth
“You look around at all the horror stories,” says Donald
Dell, the former Davis Cup captain, tennis TV commentator and renowned
sports agent who is a McIntyre pal and neighbor. “They have not kept
track of their money. The smart ones want to be stable and solid.”
the years, McIntyre says he has steered clients away from dubious
investments in everything from thoroughbred racehorses to puppy farms.
“Money is the last taboo. They’d rather talk about their sex lives than money,Only those users who need plasticmould
require hands free tokens.” McIntyre says. “Unsophisticated people are
easier to deal with unless they think they’re sophisticated.”
McIntyre can ponder all of this on his choice of many,The lanyard
series is a grand collection of coordinating Travertine mosaics and
listellos. many fields of green. He is,We have many different types of earcap.
after all, a member of three country clubs — Congressional, as well as
clubs near his vacation homes in Naples, Fla., and Bethany Beach, Del.
He jokes that he wants to be the worst golfer at three of the best
clubs. But Dell — who has referred numerous athletes to his buddy — says
McIntyre is actually one of the most competitive people he’s ever met,
whether on the golf course or the tennis court, where McIntyre has won
Their golf matches got so intense that they
had to cool things by not giving each other strokes. (They were arguing
too much about how many.) Once, Dell says, he nipped McIntyre and
collected a $5 bet by kicking his friend’s ball into a sand trap on the
18th hole when McIntyre wasn’t looking.