The powerful, conservative, wildly connected international financier Robert F. Agostinelli and his ex-wife have sold their full-floor, four-bedroom co-op at 36 East 72nd Street. Their buyer is legendary German art dealer Heinz Berggruen’s youngest son, Olivier, who paid $6.5 million.
It’s the kind of co-op with a private elevator landing, two foyers (one with a painted, coffered ceiling), a fireplace in the red-lacquered library, another in the master bedroom suite and a third in the 20-person dining room, which leads to the 19-foot-long breakfast room, which leads to the 19-foot-long kitchen.
There’s also a French marble wood-burning fireplace in the massive living room, which, considering that Mr. Agostinelli co-financed Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 vacation at a luxury villa on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee, makes sense.
His new wife, Mathilde, a former fashion editor and porcelain artist, described by Harper’s Bazaar as “a pixie—luminous and blessed with splendid legs,” was a witness at the president’s secret marriage to Carla Bruni.
According to William D. Cohan’s book The Last Tycoons, Mr. Agostinelli was born to immigrant parents outside of Rochester, N.Y., where he was known as Bobby. After he lost out on a job at Lazard, he reinvented himself as Robert (which later changed to Roberto), “a suave, sophisticated, energetic international financier with extravagant tastes and slicked-back jet-black hair, who pretended to speak Italian but could not.” He built up Goldman Sachs’ M&A business in London, then finally became a Lazard partner in 1987. “Certain things exist, and other things don’t exist—this exists,” he was told. “You are a partner.”
He left to start the Rhône Group, and now opines about “decadence or national decline” and French “Left Bank idealism” in Commentary and the Wall Street Journal.
Listing broker Anne Aransaenz would not comment on the deal, except to say that Mr. Agostinelli’s ex-wife had been living in the co-op. “It was a gorgeous apartment,” the agent said. “It was, really, a grand apartment.”