The New York Times reports that Alan “Ace” Greenberg, the former CEO of Bear Stearns, has died at age 86.
His son Theodore told the Times that his father died of complications from cancer.
Greenberg was at the helm of Bear Stearns when the 85 year-old bank collapsed in 2008 and was eventually sold to JP Morgan for $US10 a share. He started at the firm as a clerk in the 1940s. His domination of the bank started in 1978, when he became became chief executive, he then became chairman in 1985 and chairman of the executive committee in 2001.
Greenberg was known for his obsession with card games — he kept a deck at his desk — and magic tricks (which he would perform for kids). He loved cigars and exotic travel that had him hunting big game and swimming with sharks.
Back in 2011, former Bear Stearns analyst Lee Munson, now CEO of new Mexico based hedge fund Portfolio LLC, told us Greenberg had a friendly demeanor, and used to spend time every day walking up and down the aisles through the office saying hello everyone. Maybe it was for exercise, maybe it was just to let everyone know he was there, really there.
“He was a great leader, a great example, he had incredible wisdom and experience. He was always very quick on the phone but everything he said was very meaningful,” said Jason Ader, of SpringOwl Asset Management.
Ader joined Bear as a gaming and casino analyst when was in his late 20s. He told Business Insider that one of his fondest memories of his time there was going to a heavy-weight fight in Las Vegas with Greenberg.
“For me it was one of the great moments, we talked just about the market and experiences… when he led Bear Stearns, it was a great place,” said Ader. “He was an iconic Wall Street leader and had a huge impact.”
More on this to come…