Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cynthia and Dan Lufkin

One of the most attractive and sought after couples on the New York social scene, and for a number of reasons: both warm and friendly, empathic and philanthropically inclined, they like people and they are participators. Recently married, maybe four or five years; the second for her and maybe the third for him, they are both gregarious, courteous, gracious, serious about their interests and easy to laugh.

Dan Lufkin made his reputation as one of the wunderkinds of Wall Street in the Go-Go 60s. As a young man he founded along with partners William Donaldson and Richard Jenrette one of the first “boutique” investment banking firms in their three names that grew to become known worldwide to this day as DLJ. The firm eventually became part of the Equitable and Dan Lufkin eventually became one of that company’s presiding guides as well as an important figure on the international business scene.

Cynthia in her pre-Lufkin days was one of the very dynamic public relations star team of Fernanda Kellogg at Tiffany. As a young married woman, she and her first husband were part of the young set that is identified with social impresario Mark Gilbertson. Shortly after the birth of her child, the marriage ended, however. From the outside looking in, it seemed abrupt and difficult for the young mother.

It was about that same time that she met Mr. Lufkin at a social gathering. He was instantly interested but she, now a single working mother (who loved her job), was not. It was a moment when she felt unprepared emotionally or even interested in any kind of relationship with anyone. And so she turned him down the first couple of times he called for a date. The third time she relented, thinking that would at least get him to stop calling. On the second or third date he proposed marriage. Although she has an effervescent charm that could be mistaken for impulsive, she’s quite the opposite: levelheaded, responsible and grounded. But those magic powers of persuasion that made Mr. Lufkin a wunderkind in his youth prevailed and not long after she agreed to marriage.

She made the transition to newlywed, wife of a wealthy and influential man, patiently and prudently, naturally committed to holding on to her own identity. She stayed on at Tiffany and thereafter wrestled for some time about a decision to leave and follow new pursuits.

Away from their “social life,” the Lufkins are a family of children, dogs (they had three at last count), and friends. As comfortable as they are at fundraisers and black tie benefits and opening night galas, they are just as comfy at home in their jeans and tweeds, dividing their time between their homes in Manhattan, East Hampton and Litchfield County.