Dominguez to Droga: Baton change from merchant banker to hedge fund trader at Palmie

Dominguez to Droga: Baton change from merchant banker to hedge fund trader at Palmie
Dominguez to Droga: Baton change from merchant banker to hedge fund trader at Palmie

The merchant banker Jim Dominguez and his wife Suzanne have sold their Palm Beach weekender, Mandalay.

It has been bought by the hedge fund trader Daniel Droga, founder of DCM Bluelake Partners, and his wife Lyndell.

The Florida Road offering through LJ Hooker Palm Beach agent David Edwards and Peter Robinson secured $6.65 million. The couple initially were seeking a reported $8 million plus when they listed their 25 year long weekender last year.

Title Tattle suggests the property sale signifies the baton change at the pricey peninsula from merchant banking dominance to hedge fund traders, as now having the deeper pockets.

The merchant banking takeover of Palmie actually kicked off in 1988 when then Hunters Hill merchant banker Dominguez snapped up the double block for just $215,000. Jim Dominguez, then principal of Dominguez Barry Samuel Montagu, helped Sydney get its harbour tunnel.

Enriched old-timers were departing the peninsula, which had quaint neighbourhood nicknames like Pill Hill because of the prevalence of Macquarie Street doctors.

The injection of merchant banking buyers saw in 1990 the 2,200 square metre Moonrising property bought by Woollahra merchant banker Stephen Higgs for a record $3 million.

Woollahra merchant banker Rob Barry and wife, Mary, then spent $2.2 million in 1992.

Tehongi, on Florida Road, sold for $1.9 million to Mosman merchant banker Chris Roberts and wife, Frances, in 1993.

Merchant banker Rob Rankin bought a property in 1995 for $852,500.

Next came the wave of advertising industry types.

The first signs of hedge fund traders came around 2005 and 2006, but it was following the global financial crisis that hedge fund traders became a dominant force within the buyers highlighted in 2010 when hedge fund manager Paul Henry and his wife, Belinda paid $14 million for the Hayson family's lavish modern residence on a 1575 square metre block in Pacific Road.

Their prior Florida Road house had cost $4.1 million in 2006.

Trevor Easterbrook, a hedge fund specialist in Hong Kong, and his wife, Nikki, paid $4.1 million in 2006 for the Priory at Palm Beach, but stayed only briefly.

Expatriate hedge-fund operative Greg Coffey, the London spent $7.75 million on a Whale Beach weekender in 2006.

In 2008 Tropique, a vacant 1,874-square-metre Ocean Road holding, was 2008's coastal NSW top seller when sold after five decades' ownership by the Deaton family for $12 million to the late John Morrison, who was the Zurich-based global chief executive of Man Investments.

In 2009 John Balderstone, who was then at one of the world's biggest hedge funds, Tudor Investment Corp, and his wife, Deb, the film producer who worked on Dirty Deeds, consolidated two adjoining waterfronts totalling 1,263 square metres on Barrenjoey Road following the departure of Dagmar O'Brien, who was among the first two female racers in the 1946 Sydney to Hobart yacht race. 

Ofcourse prior to the arrival of the hedge fund traders at Palm Beach, the term hedge referred to the buxus kind, often attracting headlines when neighbours installed the fast-growing, view-blocking plants causing many a neighbourly relationship to sour.

The Dominguez's aren't actually leaving Palmie for good, just downsizing to an apartment instead in the Winten complex.

Title Tattle

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