Prominent dealmaker Jimmy Lee, the vice chairman of JPMorgan, unexpectedly died on Wednesday morning. He was 62.
Lee’s sudden death sent shock-waves through Wall Street with many of the industry’s biggest titans mourning his loss. Lee had a lot of friends on Wall Street. He was also someone who was also regarded as a legend.
Hedge fund manager Daniel S. Loeb, the founder of Third Point LLC, was good friends with Lee. Loeb also looked to Lee as a mentor and “big brother.” The fund manager shared a heartfelt tribute that he wrote with us:
“Jimmy loved Wall Street more than anyone I’ve ever known. He wasn’t driven by money or deals but by his passion for people. There was no more loyal friend to be had on Wall Street, nor anyone whose wise counsel I valued more.
“For example, when I told Jimmy I planned to send a Japanese CEO a letter announcing we were becoming active in its stock, he advised me to deliver it in person, which I did. When that act earned us praise in Japan for showing special sensitivity to the country’s cultural customs, I repaid him by making him a tee shirt that said, ‘I advised Dan Loeb on his investment in Sony and all I got was this lousy tee shirt.’ Later, after Third Point became the first shareholder to meet with Fanuc in 40 years, Jimmy purchased a linen jacket in the company’s distinctive corporate colour — bright yellow — for me.
“My last correspondence with Jimmy was a note from him titled ‘Bragging’, where he told me about his son’s admission into a highly competitive securities analysis program at Columbia Business School. He signed off by telling me that despite his long and successful career, his ‘greatest accomplishment’ was his children. With Jimmy’s passing, our community lost a little bit of its humanity and I lost the closest thing I’ve had to a big brother. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, who we discussed frequently, and who he was devoted to and loved so much.”