NEW YORK — In 1992, Edgar Bronfman was preparing to leave North America for Paris for his first meeting with then-French President Francois Mitterand at the Elysee Palace when at the last minute Bronfman decided he wanted to take an unexpected meeting in Geneva instead.
So he asked Serge Cwajgenbaum, Bronfman’s right-hand man in Europe, to phone the palace and ask to reschedule. The Elysee secretary, Hubert Vendrine, exploded.
“He asked me who Edgar Bronfman thinks he is to move around a meeting with the president,” Cwajgenbaum recalled. His answer? “The owner of half the wineries and vineyards in Bordeaux.”