“Gentlemen, thank you for meeting with me at such short notice,” Ethan said. The men in the room nodded in assent but mostly remained quiet and alert, allowing their client, Prince Ethan Sayid of Madain Saleh to take the lead.
The executive suite of offices for his financial management team overlooked Manhattan and the firm was one of the most well-respected in the world. Ethan was comfortable with their ability to manage his money but still didn’t trust them entirely.
“To preface what I’m about to say, you need to be made aware that I have recently received a disappointing medical diagnosis and will be settling my affairs over the next few weeks.”
Murmurs around the table interrupted Ethan’s declaration, as he’d expected. Several people gasped or said, “I’m so sorry,” or “That’s terrible.” One said, “What can we do to help?”
There was always one willing to stray toward the topic everyone else had on their mind: how can I position myself in a way that benefits me?
This was exactly why he didn’t fully trust them, and why he had sought outside council to handle the final distribution of wealth and be the executor of the estate. But they didn’t know about that yet, and Ethan was determined to keep these gentlemen fully invested in the outcome. He would share just enough information about his plans to hold their interest and nothing more.
“I have been truly impressed with how you have served me, and how you served my father before me, and I want you each to be financially-rewarded for your hard work.”
Again, there were murmurs and recognition of their firm’s ability to act as masters of the universe. Ethan could just envision the posturing over the next few hours, should he allow such behavior.
“I have employed outside council to conduct the final distribution of my wealth and carry out my wishes as executor of my estate.” That was met with lowered brows and shifting in their seats. This he’d predicted as well.
“Who have you hired, Your Highness?” The feigned concern earned the man a pointed glance from Ethan complete with narrowed eyes and lowered brows.
“That is not your concern,” Ethan said firmly. “After careful research, I have found a group unaffiliated with this company or any of its associates. I intend to obtain a complete lack of conflict of interest. They have your names, and full access to my accounts should I step in front of a bus on my way out of this building. Any changes that are made to my accounts will be immediately disclosed to this third-party firm.”
These gentlemen needed to be aware that they were no longer in control of Ethan’s affairs.
“I have laid out a very specific plan that includes the exact same percentage to each of you as individuals and a separate percentage to the company as a whole. Should something happen to one of you between now and the time I die, your portion will be distributed to a charity I have already chosen. There is no incentive for any one of you to kill each other off.”
That earned nervous chuckles around the room and comments like, “We wouldn’t consider such a thing.” Yeah, right. Money changes people. The prospect of gain changes people as well.
“Anyway, I just wanted to let you know where things stand and that I have made arrangements for how my affairs will be handled,” Ethan told them. “If all goes well, each of the named beneficiaries will have zero knowledge of one another, nor will they realize they are receiving money from a deceased billionaire prince. Other than the six men in this room, and the executors, all anyone else will know is that they received an anonymous donation.”
He paused for a moment in case any of them wanted to contribute to the discussion, then nodded regally.
“That will be all, gentlemen. If you’ll excuse me, I plan to take a road trip and see as much of this beautiful country as I can before I’m too sick to enjoy the landscape. Again, thank you all for your service and good luck in your future endeavors.”
With that, Ethan walked from the room with no emotion and left New York City with no intention to return.