Thursday, March 25, 2010

Higgins Clark Takes Stock

Though 80-year-old Mary Higgins Clark is best known for novels of suspense, this week its the author’s actions and not her plotlines that are generating the biggest mystery.

The Seattle Times reports that Higgins-Clark has purchased a seat on the Chicago Board Options Exchange at a cost of close to three million dollars. But even though Higgins Clark isn’t talking about her purchase, it looks more like investment than luxury shopping though, if it were the latter, she could certainly afford it. Clark is married to John Conheeny who is a former CEO of Merrill Lynch Futures. These days, though, it’s Higgins-Clark who is pulling down the big paydays:
The author, who said she was paid $64 million in 2000 to write four novels for publisher Simon & Schuster, may be expecting investors will clamor for a chance to own a piece of the largest market for equity options. Clark's seat will convert to shares when CBOE sheds its member ownership. The New York Mercantile Exchange's stock rose 125 percent on its first trading day in 2006.

“She’s a brilliant writer and a great investor,” said Richard Schaeffer, who was chairman of Nymex when it went public and is an acquaintance of Conheeney, who served on the exchange's board. "Keep doing what you're doing," Schaeffer said when asked if he has advice for Clark. "My further advice would be to stay married to John forever."
The Seattle Times piece is here. Meanwhile, Higgins Clark’s newest book, The Shadow of Your Smile (Simon & Schuster), will debut April 13th. Normally grumpy Kirkus sends a smile:
So many conspirators that the unmasking of the biggest villain is a distinct anticlimax. Until then, however, it’s a pleasure watching the slow grinding of well-oiled gears as the unsurprising outcome looms.
Over 80 million copies of Higgins Clark’s 42 novels have been sold in the United States alone.


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