Imagine investing millions of dollars two decades ago only to realize that you have received zero return on your investment. Naturally, you would seek a transparent explanation of what went wrong.
That’s exactly what the managers at Parkwood, a family office in Cleveland, are demanding from Purnendu Chatterjee, a former McKinsey partner and an associate of George Soros at his Quantum hedge fund. Parkwood is responsible for managing the billion-dollar fortune of the Mandel brothers, who made their wealth through industrial parts and electronic components.
Back in 1996, Parkwood invested a significant sum of $10,032,877 through a fund named Manbro (short for Mandel brothers). This money indirectly found its way into Haldia Petrochemicals, an Indian producer of polymers and chemicals controlled by Chatterjee. However, three years later, Manbro decided to redeem most of its investment, leaving approximately $2.4 million in Haldia.
Fast forward to May 2017, when Chatterjee’s investment company sent Parkwood a letter stating that the value of its investment remained at $2,394,142.37, the same figure as it was two decades earlier. Parkwood believed that this valuation lacked proper accounting transparency and attempted to obtain a satisfactory explanation for several years. Failing to do so, they resorted to filing a lawsuit in 2020. Now, both parties find themselves engaged in an intense legal battle in a U.S. District Court in lower Manhattan, involving top-notch legal professionals.
While it is uncommon for such a dispute to escalate to trial over this amount of money, both sides are determined to pursue their claims relentlessly. According to someone familiar with the matter, Parkwood is fighting this battle on principle. On the other hand, Chatterjee is likely driven by the desire to protect his reputation.
Parkwood accuses Chatterjee of engaging in self-dealing and claims that it has suffered losses amounting to tens of millions of dollars. In court, a chief investment officer for Parkwood expressed their frustration in an email, stating, “…screw these guys, they’re trying to steal money from us….”
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The verdict from the jury is eagerly anticipated.