On Monday night, in response to my article in this month's Vanity Fair on Lehman's Desperate Housewives (which was an excerpt from my forthcoming book, The Devil's Casino: Friendship, Betrayal and the High Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman Brothers), hundreds (literally) of Lehman's former women executives anxiously listened into a conference phone call helmed by Anne Erni.
Erni used to be the chief diversity officer at Lehman, and now works in the same capacity for Bloomberg. The participants on the call all used to belong to WILL -- the acronym for Women's Initiatives Leading Lehman, an organization set up by the diversity-obsessed former Lehman president Joe Gregory.
Erni, who was and remains a fan of Gregory (well he hired her, didn't he?) apparently told all of them to take note of the article, saying that Gregory and his wife Niki had been "bashed" both for their need to "flash their cash" -- remember there was talk of Niki Gregory's shoe closet being "twice the size of the Jimmy Choo store in New York"? -- and that Joe Gregory would likely come under further attack in my book for being too consumed with Lehman's laudable diversity and inclusion programs, at the expense of managing risk and closely monitoring the firms' core businesses.
She warned that the book would be a "doozie" (this author, being British, had to find out what a doozie was, since it does not feature in the Oxford English dictionary).
Still, good to know that despite what we all thought, Lehman, in a way, still lives. And as for the doozie, well I guess like everyone else, the members of Lehman's WILL will have to wait and see. I am very happy to come and give a talk on the subject at one of your monthly meetings. Erni did not return calls for comment at the time of going to press.