Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and his new symbol of corporate synergy, star journalist Fareed Zakaria, are more than friendly fellow travelers of elite circles that stretch from the Yale trustee board to the Council on Foreign Relations.
According to a senior company executive close to both, Bewkes and HBO co-president Richard Plepler once sought Zakaria's help in investing in a hedge fund founded by the journalist’s brother, Arshad (pictured, left).
Little more is known about the investment. Sternly declining to trouble Bewkes with questions about the investment, a Time Warner spokesman described it as strictly private.
"That's an inappropriate question and none of his business," Plepler, who was traveling in Italy over the weekend, replied to an emailed query about the investment.
Bewkes was instrumental in bringing Fareed Zakaria to Time Warner's CNN two years ago to headline "Fareed Zakaria GPS," a Sunday news talk show. And the Time Warner CEO and Plepler played pivotal roles last week in expanding the journalist's presence across the media company, including writing for Time magazine and consulting on HBO documentaries.
Arshad Zakaria is CEO of New Vernon Capital, an asset management firm he founded in 2004. The New Jersey-based firm, which reportedly manages $3 billion in assets, runs private equity and hedge funds that focus on emerging markets, particularly India. The 48-year-old was a rising Wall Street star and 16-year Merrill Lynch veteran until he fell victim to a bout of corporate political intrigue at the firm in 2003.