Among high-flying bankers of the early aughts, Kurt Butenhoff endured one of the rockiest declines in the run up to, and fallout from, the financial crisis. A Bear Stearns broker with a reputation for attracting huge investments from super-wealthy clients, Mr. Butenhoff headed up the Bear hedge fund known as Lyford Cay Capital, which was named for a secluded Bahamas isle popular with privacy-conscious financial elites, among them the currency-trading tycoon Joseph Lewis, whom Mr. Butenhoff persuaded in 2007 to take on a roughly 9.6 percent stake in the ailing investment bank.
That, of course, turned out to be rather poor advice. But like most every imprudently bullish financier of that era, Mr. Butenhoff, today a partner at Ward Capital, seems to have landed just fine. At the very least, anyway, he and his wife Kimberly have just sold off their townhouse at 317 West 92nd Street for $9.8 million, according to city records.
A 1901 mansion of some 8,000 square feet, the home was renovated in 1995 and has been well-maintained in the years since, according to the listing held by Kathy Murray and Michael Kafka of Douglas Elliman. But it retains in photographs something of what might be called the Patrick Bateman treatment: huge, blank walls and recessed lighting, a curved interior balcony hedged with shiny white railings that extend around the perimeter of the atrium, unframed canvases with black splotches vaguely resembling Asian characters. The latter, of course, will go, and the house has much to recommend it. (Besides, some people still like that 1980s Salomon Brothers look.) See, for example, the “cavernous,” full-floor master suite, the south-facing roof deck and the richly-paneled wine room. And fear not! A comfortable elevator will ensure that buyer Benjamin Kest does not grow weary commuting to the media/play room.
Perhaps drawing a lesson from Mr. Butenhoff’s bad experience, the brokers suggest that although home systems have been updated “as needed,” some buyers might like to tailor the property to their specifications. Grave disappointments can await all parties, after all, in the wake of immoderate salesmanship.