Why on earth is Silicon Valley's fastest-rising venture capitalist moving to New York? In the Valley, Peter Thiel is best known for his prescient investment in Facebook. His $500,000 grubstake is now worth $750 million on paper. And his Founders Fund may well revolutionize the venture-capital industry. But in real cash money, Thiel has made far more from Clarium Capital, the hedge fund he's operated since selling PayPal to eBay in 2002.
Clarium already has an office in New York, and Thiel an apartment there. So the move would have more of an effect on his employees than on Thiel. As brainy as the Valley is, financial expertise is still centered in New York, as are the deep pools of capital Thiel would tap. For Clarium's existing workers who might be asked to move, the prospect is unsettling.
There is one other aspect to Thiel's move that fascinates. I've been told Thiel has been dating Matt Danzeisen, a vice president at BlackRock, for some time and the handsome fellow pictured above to the right of Thiel. (No one has yet confirmed for me if they're still going steady.)
An acquaintance of Thiel scoffs at the idea that Thiel would do anything for romantic reasons. Thiel, he says, is an utterly rational thinker. But the heart is capable of its own rationalizations. The mere possibilty that Thiel might maximize happiness, rather than profit, is a comforting thought.