We wanted to acknowledge that alongside Richard Holbrooke’s stellar diplomatic service record, he spent many of days as a banker – a job he loved.
It’s true that “Holbrooke’s diplomatic dealings will get a lot more attention in the obituaries than will his business dealings,” but he also spent a large portion of his life working in financial services.
We’re not surprised he made a good banker considering his reputation for being a formidable negotiator, from the LA Times:
He was “renowned for his ruthless negotiating style, which earned him such nicknames as ‘The Bulldozer’ and ‘Raging Bull.'” And former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said, “If Richard calls you and asks you for something, just say yes. If you say no, you’ll eventually get to yes, but the journey will be very painful.”
Holbrooke’s Wall Street career began in January 1981, when he left the government to become a senior advisor to Lehman Brothers and also founded Public Strategies, a consulting firm that was later sold to Lehman.
He stayed with Lehman as managing director from 1985 until 1993, while at the same time penning his book “Counsel to the President,” and advising Al Gore during his 1988 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Then he went to Credit Suisse, at which time he was also Special Presidential Envoy for Cyprus, and a Special Envoy in Bosnia and Kosovo, where he “negotiated the October 1998 agreement, and, after it was violated, delivered the final ultimatum to Belgrade on March 23, 1999, prior to the NATO bombing campaign.”
In a 2001 press release when he joined Perseus LLC as vice chairman, he said: “I especially enjoy identifying investment opportunities and helping those companies grow through applications of capital and expertise.”
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