Want to know a secret, kiddies? Well, pretend to give a care for a minute and guess what Yolanda’s most-read post of 2017 (so far) was. Go on, you know you want to.
Our story about Sandra Bullock? How about Kylie Jenner? Maybe Jeremy Piven? Nope. Nope. Nope. None of the above. The post that has received the most clicks thus far was a wee little tale about a woman named Alexandra Court.
This is a bit surprising because Ms. Court is not a conventional “celebrity” at all. She is, however, a fairly major player in the financial services industry. And not long after Yolanda wrote about her for the first time, she made it onto the front page of the illustrious Financial Times, a publication that is far more interesting to Yolanda than even our trusty National Enquirer.
That juicy article detailed the current workplace drama at Ms. Court’s employer, the $290 billion asset manager Guggenheim Partners, and called out her allegedly “close relationship” with Guggenheim’s CEO Mark Walter. You see, Ms. Court — born and raised in South Africa, incidentally — arrived from Europe last year as Guggenheim’s new Global Head of Institutional Distribution. Allegedly emboldened by her “relationship” with Mr. Walter, she made some mass layoffs and sweeping policy changes that did not sit well with Scott Minerd, Guggenheim’s Chief Investment Officer. The resulting drama pitted Mr. Minerd and Mr. Walter squarely against one another and drove (again, allegedly) a whole slew of concerned execs to depart Guggenheim.
For their part, a Guggenheim spokesperson responded to the claims of a “close relationship” between Mr. Walter and Ms. Court with a bizarrely-worded statement that even a Mensa member probably couldn’t decipher. Seriously, a smart ol’ gal like Yolanda can’t make heads or tails out of this jumble of words. Maybe that’s the point? Here’s what the statement said:
“There is no non-business relationship, but if there were it was fully and promptly disclosed to the appropriate parties at Guggenheim in accordance with established processes and procedures, which were then fully implemented, to avoid improper influence or favour.”
Um, okay. ‘The hell does that mean? There was a relationship but no longer — is that it?
But we digress. As y’all may recall, Ms. Court is a very wealthy woman. Last year she paid a very A-list $13,350,000 (in what appears to have been an all-cash deal) through her “1141 Maroney Lane LLC” for a huge house in Pacific Palisades that was built back in the 1930s by Hollywood actress Virginia Bruce.
The stately Traditional/Colonial/Georgian mish-mash pile sprawls across 8,100-square-feet of living space with 7 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms. There are lots of nifty features like Calacutta gold marble countertops in the kitchen, formal gardens, a “British pub” with secret staircase, and a koi pond. The house sits very privately down a long gated driveway at the end of a dead-end road.
You might think that a $13+ million mansion on 1.54 acres of land in one of LA’s most expensive neighborhoods would be property enough for a divorced (we think?) mother of two children. But not Ms. Court! Oh no.
Despite the fact that her name has been splattered around the interwebs recently and that she is currently taking a suspicious months-long sabbatical from work, in the midst of all the publicity — our gurl still has money on her mind and her mind on expansion.
A few weeks ago, a much smaller house directly adjacent to Ms. Court’s palatial pad sold in an off-market deal for a hefty $4,635,000. The buyer? A mysterious corporate entity calling itself “1119 Maroney LLC”. Again, Yolanda finds no evidence of a mortgage on this property.
We just happen to know, y’all, that the new owner of the home is none other than our very own Alexandra Court. The seller, records reveal, was another powerful lady in finance: Jessica Bulen, a managing director at J.P. Morgan in LA. Our Ms. Bulen made a killing off this house when she sold to Ms. Court: records show she paid just $2,960,000 for the .34-acre spread only four years ago.
Since the sale was totally off-market, Yolanda has no interior photos or much information to share with y’all. About the only thing we know is that the house spans a roomy 4,303-square-feet of living space with 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. There is a three car garage, but there does not appear to be a pool and the backyard space seems limited.
So why would Ms. Court buy this property? Perhaps to act as a buffer to her already-secure homestead. Or maybe she’s hiring a full-time security team and will station them here. Possibly a guest house?
Or could it be that Ms. Court is moving her live-in nanny/house manager/assistant Fiona Wright into this house? Yolanda happens to know that Ms. Wright currently resides in the main house, but maybe Ms. Court needs more space to herself.
Ms. Court’s Pacific Palisades estate now spans a hefty 1.88 acres with more than 12,000-square-feet of living space. Plus there’s 12 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms — enough for a whole busload of folks.
Records reveal that Ms. Court has spent a whopping total of $17,985,000 on her Palisades compound, an amount that is fast approaching billionaire territory. For only a few million bucks more, y’all, Ms. Court could be living like a queen up in Beverly Park. And if the $18 million that Ms. Court has spent was all in cash, as Yolanda suspects, well now. That’s just a shit-ton of moolah!
But really! Where does all this money come from?
Hmmm. Yolanda is not sure. Our Ms. Court is rich and important, no doubt, but $18 million bucks on a luxury compound of this size, plus all the maintenance required? That takes some serious financial firepower!
Could it be that Ms. Court’s (alleged!) “close relationship” with Mr. Walter has contributed to her being richer than most of us could even fathom? Of course it could! Anything is possible — remember that, y’all.
Also remember, kiddies, that money flows like water for Mr. Walter. Don’t forget that he just spent a record-busting $85,000,000 to acquire David Geffen’s compound on Malibu’s Carbon Beach.
But at what cost has this wealth come? Has Ms. Court abandoned her prestigious, seriously impressive role as one of the most powerful women in global finance to become the Palisades’ local lady billionaire? Yolanda rather wonders if she will ever return to Guggenheim after her sabbatical, or if the negative publicity and tension will necessitate her being released permanently to mundane civilian life.
Not that being the Palisades’ billionaire lady resident is a bad life to lead, of course.
But truthfully, there are dozens of billionaires in LA. Female billionaires too. Ms. Court is now yet another number, a statistic, just another anonymous rich lady with good hair in this concrete jungle of rich ladies with good hair. And sooner or later, just like the song says, they all will be gone.
That’s not harsh, y’all, that’s just the truth. You know what they say about the truth hurting and all that.
Oh, Ms. Court! What have you done?!