I Look Sweet on a Bicycle For One

by Johnny Debacle

If there was one man, just one man, whom we would describe as the platonic ideal of a Finance Man, it would be Albert Sipzener. Sometimes reality is the greatest satire of all. (Note that the subject of the post is the actual title of the Observer article)

Background on Albert:

Albert Sipzener puts in 60- to 70-hour weeks as vice president of Shikiar Asset Management, an investment company that controls $300 million in assets.

In the evenings, he works as a model.

He teaches, on average, eight spin classes a week. In the past eight years, he estimates, 95 percent of the women he’s dated have come from his classes.

One of those women nearly married him.

Before his classes, in the romantically dark spinning rooms of Equinox, Mr. Sipzener strolls among the 50 or so stationary bikes, doling out pecks on the cheek to the lucky. He has dimpled cheeks and a pointy nose and thick, thick black hair. He’s a bit slouchy, a mellow dude, and always has a bit of stubble.

He spends a good amount of time putting on his trademark bandana. He wears spandex shorts and encourages the packed room to push it to “the max.” Through his headset microphone, he urges his students in a somewhat nasal voice to “cum uhn,” to “focus up,” to “climb the hill.” During the class that he taught on the first day of 2006, he instructed the spinners to “work off the Cristal” and said that he’d been through three bottles himself the night before.

“My trademark is, I always wear cycling shorts, I always wear a bandana,” he said. “In terms of spin, nobody really wore bandanas. Now everybody does it. It’s like they all went out and bought the same bandana,” he said. In summer, he wears cutoff shirts; in winter, long shirts, with T-shirts over. “My alter ego on the bike is a blend of Johnny Damon and David Lee Roth.”

On fashion:

“I’ve done a lot of fashion modeling at different studios, with mostly Italian brands,” he said, “and now I’m segueing more into commercial work.”

That night, his strict Herm賭only neckwear policy was in full effect. Between Gucci and Ferragamo, on this day he had elected the former, and his toes nestled in the fine leather of weathered loafers.

On Albert:

He was born in Sharon, Mass., where his still-married parents live. His father is a gastroenterologist, his mother a psychotherapist. He played on the tennis team at Brown. He was an analyst at Lehman Brothers and at Bear Stearns. He received an M.B.A. in corporate finance from Columbia Business School in 1999.

On Getting it Done:

“He knows people’s names and he’s very aware,” said Nancy Wishmeier, a consultant at a financial firm. “‘Focus up‘ is a key phrase. He’ll say, ‘Focus up, Nancy?let’s do this.'”

On relationships:

This summer, one deal brokered in spin class fell through. Mr. Sipzener and his fianc饬 Ms. Farmer, called off their engagement. Among the reasons for the breakup, she cited his constant spinning.

“She was a person who wanted me to, you know, free up a lot of time to participate in a number of events in her professional world and that type of thing, and so we had different priorities. Some people like to work from 8 to 6 and go home and read a book or watch TV. Some people like to go to sports bars and watch every Yankees game. And, you know, some people like to book their schedule so they’re constantly busy. And that’s me.”

He paused and fumbled with the soiled bandana in his hand. “So, now I’m a bachelor.”

Virtual dollar tip to Dealbreaker.com.

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