Hedge fund managers fancy Italian getaways

BOSTON Mon Oct 8, 2007 3:28pm EDT

Gregory Lee Patrick, founder and chief creative officer of DreamMaker International, is interviewed by Reuters journalists at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit in Boston, Massachusetts October 8, 2007. Although managers of hedge funds, the private investment pools for the wealthy, are known for lavish spending and often extravagant tastes, they prefer vacations where they are not fussed over, said Gregory Patrick, who arranges about 35 vacations a year for wealthy clients. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Gregory Lee Patrick, founder and chief creative officer of DreamMaker International, is interviewed by Reuters journalists at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit in Boston, Massachusetts October 8, 2007. Although managers of hedge funds, the private investment pools for the wealthy, are known for lavish spending and often extravagant tastes, they prefer vacations where they are not fussed over, said Gregory Patrick, who arranges about 35 vacations a year for wealthy clients.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Italian countryside is the vacation destination of choice for high-flying hedge fund managers who are willing to pay $2,000 to $4,000 per person a day to just chill out, said a travel adviser for the wealthy.

Although managers of hedge funds, the private investment pools for the wealthy, are known for lavish spending and often extravagant tastes, they prefer vacations where they are not fussed over, said Gregory Patrick, who arranges about 35 vacations a year for wealthy clients.

"They like the private estates," Patrick told the Reuters Wealth Management Summit in Boston on Monday, referring to managers, investors and analysts, who often log hundreds of hours on jets to meet with clients and attend conferences.

For the most part, people who work in the $1.9 trillion hedge fund industry and often earn millions of dollars themselves prefer Tuscany and other areas of the Italian countryside to the Caribbean, where many industry conferences are held, said Patrick.

"When they finally take a week or 10 days vacation, they want to get away and get back to basics. They want the quiet of it all, and Tuscany has been very popular," said Patrick, chief executive of Houston, Texas-based Dreammaker International.

"They don't want the hotel or the cruise," he said.

Private aircraft are a preferred mode of transport and many of his clients eschew conventions, he added.

"'Let's do it, let it ride and anything goes'," he said, quoting what he often hears hedge fund managers tell him when planning vacations.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss, editing by Jason Szep/Jeffrey Benkoe)

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