A hugely successful yet restless financier breaks free and learns lessons that money can’t buy.
Over the past five years from his home in Los Angeles, Ashwin â€œAsh” Gyan has generated eight million dollars in revenue for Popular Capital, a publicly traded New York private-equity firm. And his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Ash is swiftly promoted to firm partner after he closes the biggest deal of his career. But he remains dissatisfied and despondent, unable to appreciate his newfound success in the financial marketplace. After a sluggish start, Giri (obviously drawing from his own experience as a young Wall Street success story) creates a whirlwind of executive trouble for his harmless, good-natured protagonist. Ash’s mentor, Samuel, encourages him to move on to a different company, but Ash remains overworked and grossly underpaid by Popular Capital’s autocratic president and founder, Lasi. Ash’s pleas for perks and fair compensation garner nothing, leading him to opportunities managing other company’s capital funds independently (with aid from contemporaries Benson and Max), until duplicitous actions (and an insurance-related disaster) by â€œfriendly” associates throw a wrench into their plans. All’s not lost for Ash, though, and Popular Capital’s eventual downfall proves sweet revenge. Giri does a commendable job of creating a believable supporting cast, from the deplorable (calculated associate Eddie Cache and deceitful CEO Lasi) to the adorable (Ash’s romantic interest, Sophie). Readers unfamiliar with the financial-services industry may get lost in the jargon and acrobatics of this complex trade, but the office politics proves compelling.
Silly allusions to the works of Ayn Rand notwithstanding, the clunky start gives way to a lively, entertaining story about the intoxicating allure of money.