“Okay, Otto, I am at a loss. How do we know each other, and what does Ronnie, Ltd., do? I do not recall any dealings with this firm.”
Jacob struggled in his mind to place the old guy into a logical slot and yet schooled his face from revealing his uncertainty. Thanks Mom, he silently thought.
“We really have never met, Jacob. I and my associates, however, have been following your career since you entered MIT. You came to our attention with your academic success and, of course, the security program contribution to Open Source that you have done. I did send you the t-shirt which was voted on by committee. I had hoped to meet you at DEFCON, but something unexpected came up that changed my plans. I was pleased that you accepted the ticket and went to Las Vegas. Outside of not meeting you there, I myself was secretly glad I couldn’t go. That is not my favorite place.” Otto stated all of this, as if intuitively obvious.
“Fortunately for me, you and I work in the same vicinity so having the meeting here actually makes more sense, more relaxed and private. This first meeting, of what I hope will be many, will barely satisfy your curiosity. I can see all the questions racing through your mind. My suggestion is that you demonstrate your patience, which I know you have. I can tell you though; you have a bright future, my boy, whatever your choices. I am hoping that over time I can convince you to join our firm. I think you would be a good fit.”
“You’re right, sir. I have lots of questions,” Jacob continued, conveying no panic in his voice.
He also filed away for now the hotel and airline ticket issue. He would think about that later.
“I would like to know who you are and what is this company? Why me? How you got my identity information?”
“Those, of course, are the obvious questions. Let me provide some background that may help, though likely not enough for your bright mind.” Otto chuckled some then continued.
“Ronnie, Ltd., is a part of a much larger organization that the original partners established near the close of World War II. This particular entity deals with our wealthier customers in the States for investments and financial endeavors. The Headquarters of our larger organization is in Switzerland. With that country’s financial discretion and neutrality, I suspect this doesn’t surprise you. Different branches we have established in key markets include finance, investments trading, information and technology, and real estate practices. Our clients cover the whole realm of the higher, powerful echelon, as it were.
“We are, as I think you say here in the states, a family-controlled business. Our interests in you are primarily your abilities in technology, programming and security. Our business focuses on keeping our clients in balance.”
Watching Jacob for a reaction and finding none, he continued. “Your abilities could fill a gap that I have noticed exists in our organization. Technology seems to be the way of the future. Though I have personally had experience in information gathering and security layers, it is not at the level of someone younger, like you. Others in the organization have reviewed your profile and believe you may fit. We are a cautious, tight knit group though, and require some levels of commitment before extending offers or fully opening the drapes.”
As Otto provided that background, Jacob’s mind was trying to categorize the organization. The broad brush 30 thousand foot level overview was interesting but very vague. Certainly not the details he needed for clear understanding such as origin, charter, and competitors. He couldn’t decide if this was a firm that would be valuable to his career, but the global reach and areas mapped to his long range goals. Without a doubt, this man would give nothing away unintended, but two could play at that game.
“So are you saying, essentially, that you are an investment firm for global customers? Or are you more nefarious in your objectives?” Jacob asked.
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