RUMSON ESTATE GOES TO DERBY HORSEMAN

dawkins-estate3The Dawkins estate in Rumson as seen from the Navesink in 2008. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In a record-setting deal for Rumson, a Wall Street hedge-fund tycoon and headline-grabbing horse owner has purchased Pete Dawkins‘ mega-estate on the Navesink.

The sprawling West River Road gem known as Long Point went for $12 million to an entity controlled by George Hall, a financier who’s become a familiar railbird at big-stakes racing events.

Though Hall was widely rumored to be the buyer, official confirmation was unavailable until late last week, when a deed filed with the Monmouth County Clerk’s office was posted on that agency’s online database. It includes a document signed by Hall as the corporate officer of the named buyer, 80 West River Road LLC. Hall’s office in New York is given as the return address for 80 West River Road LLC in related documents.

Repeated attempts to reach Hall, including a call to his New York office Tuesday, were unsuccessful. No mortgage has been filed.

The listing agent, Kelly Zaccaro, would not confirm that Hall, who already owns a home on North Ward Avenue in Rumson, was the buyer. In securing the deal, though, Zaccaro landed the biggest sale of a single residential property in Rumson history, according to a press release from her brokerage, Gloria Nilson Realtors.

The price didn’t come close to the otherworldly sum Dawkins sought for the 18,000-square foot home on a 10.4-acre, private peninsula. The Heisman Trophy winner, Rhodes scholar, onetime Senate hopeful and Citigroup executive and his wife, Judith, originally listed the property for $29.9 million. Last year they dropped the ask to $19.5 million.

The sale price also comes in shy of the Monmouth County record $13.19 million paid for a 13-acre estate on Navesink River Road in a Middletown in 2005, an industry source tells redbankgreen.

In the last few years, Hall, 50, and his wife, Lori, 41, have gotten a lot attention on the racing circuit, with horses in three runnings of the the Kentucky Derby since 2009.

Their horse Pants On Fire placed ninth in May’s derby. Another, the 3-year-old gelding Ruler On Ice, won the $1 million Belmont Stakes purse in June – the couple’s biggest track haul so far. Both horses ran the $1 million  Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 31; Ruler On Ice placed third and Pants On Fire finished fifth.

In 1991, Hall founded the Clinton Group, an investment firm sometimes described as having $6 billion under management. A June 29 article in Hedge Fund Alert (subscription required), however, reported the firm had just $250 million under management as of February 8.

HFA reported Hall was “mapping a comeback” for Clinton after having seen the firm battered by “eight years of turmoil, from allegations of mispricing assets to devastating losses during the credit crisis to its involvement in the New York Common Fund scandal,” an investigation into kickbacks made to win large-scale state pension fund business in New York City.

No charges were filed against Hall, and the mispricing allegations, made by a former Clinton trader, weren’t substantiated, though they prompted regulatory probes that caused investors to flee in droves, HFA reported.

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