Comments and Reflections

Published Comments and Reflections

Enhancements to the Chronicle

As significant enhancements to the A.G.Becker Chronicle are entered, readers will be given notice at this location. The notice will include the date of the enhancement and a brief description including the location.

May 14, 2018

The BTA investment program commencing in 1969 and terminated at the end of 1977 is described in summary in the Chronicle and in Appendix #6, and in more detail in the Report of Partners of December 31, 1977, now appearing in the Annual Publications listing.

The biography of Pierre Haas has been amended to note that he passed away on May 13 at the age of 94.

April 29, 2018

The story of Henry Greenebaum has been enhanced by material in a memo received from David McCarthy, primariy in footnotes to the Henry Greenebaum Appendix #3.

The particular contribution of Bill Pope in Becker's ship and Ex-Im financing activities has been mentioned where those activities are described, at the suggestion of Barry Friedberg.

June 4, 2018

The section dealing with the death of James Becker has been expanded to include mention of Jim's various directorships during his business career, and his widespread charitable activities during that period. Also, this section now includes the last paragraph of the very lovely eulogy which was presented at his memorial service, and the whole eulogy is made available in the image gallery.

Comments/Reflections Received from Readers

Date Received: March 25, 2018

Guest: Dan Good

Comments/Reflections:

“It’s too bad we all didn’t have a written history and tradition to pass on to all young people, including myself, as they joined the firm. It would have made them even more proud (and) you’re dealing with imperfect memories and egos. Some (you) have mentioned, (but) you didn’t include them in detail or at all. I think you had the right balance.

Editor comment:  Good insights!!

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Date Received: March 25, 2018

Guest: Robert Karlblom

Comments/Reflections:

(The last paragraph in your Epilogue sums) it up perfectly. This is why I worked at AGB and I'm sure my colleagues felt the same way . . .  (The Chronicle) is truly a magnificent, monumental effort on your part! It has given me great pleasure and a wonderful perspective on the history of the firm prior to my joining and a sense of pride regarding the quality and character of A.G. and Jimmy Becker and their various colleagues who created, grew and shaped the firm. . . I took special interest in the 1962-67 section as I had joined the firm in January 1961 working for Dave Skall (quite a taskmaster!) as a runner on the floor of the MSE. I had just graduated mid-year from a Chicago public high school (half the kids did - don’t ask me why). I then worked upstairs in the summers of my college years, first on the order desk for Bernie ? and later in the operations for Bill Mutsko  . . . In grad school at U of C, I worked for Jack Connor in the CP Dept.   At some point, as you know, I played golf in your foursome at Hickory Hills and you (PRJ) hired me for a special project to determine what SMSA’s might make the most sense for expansion - I was intimidated, but the project was fun!

Editor comment:  Thanks, Bob. You had quite a history at Becker!!

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Date Received: March 25, 2018

Guest: Jack Cunningham

Comments/Reflections:

“AGB was the key point of my career.  To have a Paul Judy, Jack Connor and Donahue at the helm provided a scholastic experience no grad school could match.  Miss those days”

Editor comment: Thanks, Jack, on behalf of the two other Jacks, too.

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Date Received: March 25, 2018

Guest: George Baxter

Comments/Reflections:

“An amazing accomplishment, Paul, a project to which I know you have devoted time and energy.”

Editor comment:  Thanks George

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Date Received: March 25, 2018

Guest: Don Hahn

Comments/Reflections:

“A great project for a great firm . . .”

Editor comment:  Thanks Don.

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Date Received: March 25, 2018

Guest: Randy Harris

Comments/Reflections:

“(With reference to possible additional bond trading losses), I definitely have no memory of $75-100 million fixed income losses in late spring, summer 1984. Zero – something of this magnitude one would remember. Jack Kugler was speaking figuratively. Having said that, his skills were honed to lay off positions with friendly buyers recognizing (Becker) would buy (them) back if market turned (unfavorably).

And then a further comment:

“The Columbus Day 1982 event (was a) big deal -- between the Sunday telephone call -- (I was in our host's (house in Martha’s Vineyard in a) closet off the kitchen shivering in the damp cold) – (and) the opening of business (in) New York (on) Tuesday morning .  . . For further local color . . . there was a Nor'easter that weekend.”

Editor comment:  Randy, thanks for this additional information, and color!

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Date Received: March 25, 2018

Guest: John Levy

Comments/Reflections:

“ . . .Sir Sigmund was fond of saying ”I couldn’t agree more” – which usually meant he didn’t. But I most certainly do (agree with what is said in the Chronicle)  . . . the success I had as a Lehman partner had everything to do with what I learned during my years at Becker.”

Editor comment: Thanks much, John.

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Date Received: March 25, 2018

Guest: Bob Brehm

Comments/Reflections:

(We (committed a major error in not developing an) Investment Management business . . . A fee based, stable and very profitable business that Becker could have easily entered and excelled in. Investment Management is/was not capital intensive. . . .We could have entered (the business when we were independent) . . . Several of our people left Becker and did it both before and after we were independent. I was at fault for not recognizing the opportunity & promoting it.”

Editor comment:

The Investment Management business was rather clearly an area of expansion for Becker had we stayed independent and been able at that juncture to separate (or in some clever way, integrate) investment performance measurement with management.  Interestingly, this is an area of non-investment banking financial services for which Sir Siegmund had a distinctive and quite emotional distaste – read Peter Darling’s excellent Cinderella book and learn more. (Through various means, Warburg’s Investment Management business survived Sir Siegmund’s view and life, and grew so successfully under Darling’s leadership that it was sold in due course at a very big good price to Merrill Lynch.)

Bob Brehm provided a list of some of the firms founded by Becker alumni and also a list of investment management firms that were joined by Becker alumni.  Those lists when edited will soon be placed on this website.  (See below)

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Received: March 25, 2018

Guest: Bill and Linda Smith

Comments/Reflections:

From Bill Smith: It\'s an honor to be remembered as part of the history of A.G. Becker.  My era was one of Jack Wing (and Joan), Fred Moss, Jim Kipp, Barry Haase, Ken Nelson, George Baxter and a host of other talented men and women.  As mentioned, my time at A.G. Becker, coincided with the birth of the CBOE and eventually led to my being elected President in 1977.  After a not so stellar effort to start a futures and options market for the NYSE, my wife Linda Zimbalist Smith and I founded a broker/dealer Zimbalist Smith Investments in 1982. We still own and operate the business as a retail, commission-based brokerage firm today.  We moved to Bend, Oregon in 1996, raised our two sons and to this day, we are thankful for the start in business life that A.G. Becker afforded us.    I so glad that you haven't let A.G. Becker die without a funeral and a proper eulogy  -  the company deserves to be remembered.

From Linda Zimbalist Smith:  Yes, I am related to the violinist Efrem Zimbalist Sr.  Interestingly, Zimbalist derives from “cymbalist,” one who plays the cymbals.  Unfortunately, I have no musical skills though I do enjoy music!  More about Bill, he is more of a Pickle Ball player than fisherman, though the rivers here are gorgeous!  You and AG Becker have been important to Bill and the direction that his life has taken and it meant a lot to hear from you.

Editor comment:  Bill and Linda: What a happy story ending in such a nice place!!

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Received: March 25, 2018

Guest: Roger Vasey

Comments/Reflections:

“1815-1894:    I thought this section was very interesting and even fascinating . . . as historical background. . . In the Preface you mention an “organizational summary" published in 1975 and 1977. This summary might be an interesting addition to the Chronicle.

The history of “Becker” through the period from 1894 to the 1960s is exceptional, just how the firm survived, let alone thrived at times, during the two wars, and the Depression is incredible.   Its connection to, and financing for Germany, was particularly interesting and unknown to me.  The advertising campaign through all those years was also a surprise. Who would have thought a conservative firm like Becker would be running very clever (and productive?) ads for years, (with the exception of the Depression and War years)?   “The Man from A. G. Becker” brings back good memories.”

In the “1968 to 1974” section there is a paragraph on a new commercial paper service being offered to issuers.  This section of the Chronicle also mentions bankers acceptances, and other products in the money markets category. I suggest this section is where the discussion of the new Commercial Paper Issuer Development  Group “CPID” be placed upon editing (see next paragraph) and the section which now refers to it later in the Honeymoon section of the Chronicle, be replaced.”

I joined Becker in 1972, and my recollection is the following:  the CPID Group (Commercial Paper Issuer Development) was organized by Dick Frodsham in 1973-1974. In 1974 Roger Vasey assumed leadership of the Group which then included Jim Ledinsky, Bill Roever and Howard Christeson (who was also part of Corporate Finance). Rick Fuscone, Jerry Hilligoss, and Tom Coughlin – they became part of the team soon after. Vasey managed the group until late 1977 when Jim Ledinsky took over.  A  number of new issuers were developed during those years, including SOHIO, which used commercial paper placed by A. G. Becker to build the Alaskan Pipeline"

“. . . the level of meaningful detail you managed to pull together is incredible. . . a great effort on your part after laying off for so many years.”

Editor comment: Roger, thanks for this good addition to the Becker Story.

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Received: March 25, 2018

Guest: Tony Cashen

Comments/Reflections:

“I have waited to learn of your carrying forward your project . . . at 82, I guess I am such a creature of habit, that I treat a “book” differently than my computer.  I now treat my lap top and my phone as a utility . . . not the treasure that a book is for me.  I read the initial of the A.G. Becker story immediately, finding the early Chicago banking experience fascinating, making the 2007-2010 financial tsunami modest by comparison.  Gail and I have been involved in helping put together a Bicentennial history book for the Town of Austerlitz this year . . .  a town history with pictures and descriptions of the remaining 126 houses that were on a Town map of 1888 (just 130 years of the 200 years since the formal founding of the town.)  Because of a lot of pictures and planed sales for the Society, we raised $22k for the cost of printing, binding etc. . . . I probably need to grow up and adjust to one more of the transformations of technology and get a tablet . . . I do have a Kindle.  The story is terrific . . . thank you.”

Editor comment: Tony: you’re the one to be thanked for the tremendous job you did at Becker.

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Date Received:  March 25, 2018

Guest:  David Langum, Sr. (Son of John Langum)

Comments/Reflections:

“I did enjoy the story.  I am myself a legal historian, and as an historian I am glad you called your work a chronicle rather than a history.  Vast numbers of people do not know the difference.  Maybe someone, perhaps you, will assemble several such chronicles as yours and then write a true history of the brokerage industry in the 20th century.”

Editor comment: David: Maybe someone else, as you suggest!!

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Date Received:  March 25, 2018

Guest:  Arthur Winter (son of Stanley Winter)

Comments/Reflections:

“Very nice and wonderful to have.”

Editor comment:

Arthur, you father Stan, was a great colleague and an excellent analyst, and of course went on to successfully develop his own investment management business.

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Date Received:  March 25, 2018

Guest:  Tank Schiavoni

Comments/Reflections:

“During my later years at AIL, I served under Malcolm Rowe (now deceased), a Harvard Business School Grad and protege of Gen. Doriot. After some years Rowe left AIL to pursue venture capital –  an enterprise he had planned. (Rowe later met me) and insisted I should get into venture capital, which I had to admit I had never heard of.  He offered to make three introductions. One was to Phil Greer, who seemed interested, subject to due diligence and being approved by his CEO (who interviewed him at the Pierre Hotel and said OK on the spot).

Greer maintained one foot in investment banking and the other with me, but was always impatient to get some deals done. This was at an early time in U.S. Venture Capital, which was being particularly driven by the growing pace in high tech innovations.  It was only later that a useful directory of capital sources became available. Meanwhile a shoebox with cards or makeshift Rolodex had to do in an industry in which players rapidly learned (often the hard way) that capital hungry or geographically distant deals were best done through syndicates with partners that were trustworthy and supplemental in their strengths. AGB, through BTA (Becker Technological Associates), can truly be said to be one of the early, courageous leaders in the financial community to enter the fray.  This is confirmed by my being chosen along with only some 10-11 others from the U.S. to fly to England to lecture the British on the merits of embarking on high tech venture capital. (Their reaction, unfortunately, was that this form of investing was some mad form of U.S. charity!).   Additional to the few players in the U.S.

that were investment banks there were the SBICs of some major banks in NYC, Chicago and S.F., which along with some large insurance cos. (e.g. Prudential) could be relied upon to back the later, higher priced rounds of deals.

I was encouraged to expand the staff and ultimately recruited Peter Imperiale (recently deceased), Carl Hutman, Grant Inman (who later headed a VC firm in CA), Paul Ferri (who later joined Greer after his departure and then went to Boston), and George Thomassey.

After some 7 years (if I recall correctly) the decision was made to let this staff go and entrust to Dave Wicks (who, lacked the necessary technical or marketing background) the liquidation of the remaining investments. Consequently, what the return turned out to be or what it might have been in different hands is unknown to me.

Editor comment: Tank, you did an excellent job in developing BTA and although not known (not researched!!) specifically, a nice profit was made by all the investors and by AGB.

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Date Received:  March 25, 2018

Guest:  Faris Chesley, a senior executive in The Chicago Corporation and later a principal in his own investment management company.

Comments/Reflections:

“During the 70’s, in my judgment, Becker had a young management team that rivaled any of the New York majors.  Your stewardship made this happen, and over the years it was my pleasure to know a number of the key players.  I couldn’t help but wonder if remaining based in Chicago with your team, Becker would have resulted in replacing the power that finally landed with both William Blair and Goldman Sachs, who seemed to fill the void . . . (also) it seems to me that businesses get in trouble by trying to be something that they are not.  Simply put . . . if it works, why try to fix it?”

Editor comment:  Faris, you are probably right on all counts.

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Date Received:  March 25, 2018

Guest: Howard Lowenthal

Comments/Reflections:

“I worked at Becker from early 1984 until its demise.  A short time, but I met and stayed in contact with many of the superb professionals I dealt with.”

Editor comment:  Howard, glad to hear from you.

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Date Received:  March 25, 2018

Guest: Jeff Lynford

Comments/Reflections:

“I joined AG Becker in early 1978 from White Weld as the most junior person in a three person real estate corporate finance group led by Richard Ellwood. I remember attending meetings with you (PRJ), travelling in NYC cabs to meetings with you, and that you owned or were building a home on Nantucket! Over the next six years rose to become Managing Director and stayed until the very end in 1984. Made several, life-long friends at AGB, including Bill Cockrum with whom I still work and will see for dinner shortly, and Barry Friedberg.  Also still have several friends from SGW and Paribas.”

Editor Comment:  Good to hear from you, Jeff.

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Date Received:  March 25, 2018

Guest: Donald P. Grasso

Comments/Reflections:

“Thanks so much for preserving the history of the firm. I joined A.G. Becker in 1982 as an associate in the corporate finance department in Chicago. In 1983 I was promoted to Assistant Vice President. I was one of two Chicago corporate finance employees to be hired by Merrill Lynch Capital Markets. I have great memories working with Bob Karlblom (briefly) on Cargill. I remember being "challenged" by Christian Y. Weiser-Pratt and finally receiving his approval.  Steve Deli became one of my mentors at Becker and through his and my transformation into entrepreneurs.  (In 1994, I purchased and still own Rytec Corporation). One last memory, I was at the fax machine when the fax came through saying that the firm had been sold to Paribas. Dan Good's secretary grabbed the fax out of my hand. I was then summoned to Dan's office to be sure that I had not told anyone about the sale.”

Editor comment:  Donald: Glad you found your calling as an entrepreneur.

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Date Received:  March 25, 2018

Guest: Robert Lee

Comments/Reflections:

“I had the opportunity to work closely with the author on one of his last Corporate Finance roles at Warburg Paribas Becker - advising the MacArthur Foundation. The one thing I learned from him on that assignment was about "integrity" – about how to deliver advice to clients. One of those life lessons obtained from him at AGB.”

Editor comment:

Bob: I remember that very interesting assignment, working with you and Dave, and the good work and judgments you produced together.

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Date Received:  March 25, 2018

Guest:  Bob Walsh

Comments/Reflections:

“This website is a fabulous tribute to a great investment firm.  A lot of great memories of a long list of great people that I was privileged to work with for over 15 years as a broker (3 years in the Milwaukee office) then (13 years) as  analyst and part of the stock market investment strategy team which included Don Hahn and Paul Blaney  These were the highlight of the over 50 years that I have been in the investment business which ended in Houston, Texas, this past year with Oxbow Investment Advisors. Thanks to my start at A.G. Becker, I enjoyed the best years of my working life!”

Editor comment:

Bob, thanks much. During those years with Paul and Don, you made a great contribution.

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Date Received:  March 25, 2018

Guest:  Ken Paneral

Comments/Reflections:

“I consider the period 1967-1980 --13 years – as an A. G. Becker Analyst, the most fruitful and enjoyable time of not only my business life, but of my life. You did a wonderful job of running a rather complicated firm that some employees thought had two Home offices. I know having worked in New York and Chicago.”

Editor comment:

Ken, warmest thanks. Yes, I think we developed the organization in New York (which was and still is the center of US securities industry) in a way and with a leadership group, that had quite ample decision-making authority.  Throughout the firm, we were all subject to same policies, procedures, practices, accountabilities, and cultural precedents.

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Date Received:  March 25, 2018

Guest:  Josianne Courteheuse

Comments/Reflections:

I was hired as an executive secretary on March 1, 1969,  to help open the Geneva office. At that time Thierry van Esche and Jean Jacques Bethmann were in charge on the Office.  Max Bosshard and all the team of the Hirsch company were hired in 1970. I left the firm in February 1984 after 15 years .ae

Editor comment:

Josianne: Thanks for your 15 years of service and helping the Geneva office achieve such a strong market share.

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Date Received:  April 2, 2018

Guest:  Bob DeMichele

Comments/Reflections:

“Great remembrances from the 9 years I spent at A.G. Becker. Reviewing the names on the biography list makes you realize how much time has gone by and how much talent we had at the firm.”

“After selling the public mutual fund and advisory company, Lexington Global Asset Managers, to ING Group, in 2000, I started Strategy Asset Managers. I sold it two years ago to a West Coast company and stayed on as Co-CIO. That was much more fun than being responsible for HR, compliance, accounting, etc.  --- just manage money for and meet with clients. I am no longer on public company boards – only Weeden Securities which is a private business, where I am a director.”

Editor comment: Bob, right on!!

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Date Received:  April 2, 2018

Guest:  Mary Donahue (spouse of John (Jack) F. Donahue, Jr., deceased)

Comments/Reflections:

“Thanks for great trip down memory lane. . . Jack was so proud of being part of the A G Becker family. He had great respect for his mentors and co- workers (and), yes, he would have added some comic relief on some of the daily situations! Thanks again -- the family loves it.”

Editor comment:

Glad you family has enjoyed the Story.  I’m sure that Jack would have also!!!

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Date Received:  March 30, 2018

Guest: Amos Hostetter (cable vision and communications industry pioneer)

Comments/Reflections:

"Just had a chance to spend some time with your magnum opus.  What a gargantuan undertaking!  Coodos for getting it done.  You have to be relieved and proud.  It’s an important work that covers a really important interval and function in US commercial history . . . in my business life I interacted extensively with both Jim Ackerman and David Wicks,  two real gentlemen – who were proud to represent AG Becker to the communications industry."

Editor comment:  It was great to hear from Amos, who had early funding from BTA, and went on to become a leading organization-builder and investor in the CATV and communications field.

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Date Received:  March 30, 2018

Guest: Joan Wicks (spouse of David Wicks, deceased) (via Phil Oppenheimer and another associate)

Comments/Reflections

"(It was nice to know about the) AG Becker history . . . sent  to me.  I enjoyed looking at some of the biographies of people I remember, and love the picture of David (one I do not have!) . . .  The biography's listing of David as a vice president came as a bit of a surprise as he was a Managing Director by 1977 or '78 and was a general partner of two venture capital partnerships.  This was reported in the profile on him when we was awarded the Vanguard Award by the National Cable Television Association in 1978.  But who knows what Paul Judy's source of information was regarding David.  At least he was included. "

Editor comment: Thanks, Joan, for your comments, indirectly received.  Somtime after about 1982 (see the Story),  all Vice Presidents received the title "Managing Director."  Dave was  probably a Vice President in 1977  when most of the biograpical information is based.  You might be interested in Amos Hostetter's comments about Dave earlier reported.

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Date Received:  April 2, 2018

Guest: Jerry Levin of the Chicago Jewish History Society

Comments/Reflections:

Thank you for sending us the information on the this wonderful website.   I will (soon) be setting up our next season's lecture series. Would you be interested give a 90 minute lecture  on A G Becker &Co.?

Editor Comment: Yes, I would be happy to do so.

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Date Received:  April 4, 2018

Guest:  Lee Fryer

Comments/Reflections:

Some very interesting (material) . . . great job with all the details and the movement of the firm through the years.

Editor Comment:  Thanks.

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Date Received:  April 9, 2018

Guest: James E. Greenebaum, II

Comments/Reflections:

It's a great hIistory of a fine organization..  I learned from here that my mother was a first cousin of "Jimmy" Becker.  If she knew it she never mentioned.  He managed her portfolio after my father's death and his foresight was amazing.  I hold four of his selections of seventy years ago and they still provide substantial returns and huge appreciation.

Editor Comment:  Great news.  It is not a surprise that Jim Becker inherited from his father the skill of identifying good investments.

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Date Received:  April 2, 2018

Guest: Iveta Kyselova

Comments/Reflections:

I would like you to know how much I enjoyed reading  "The Chronicle of A.G. Becker & Co., Inc."  I found it very inspirational and educational - especially reading about the remarkable live of A.G. Becker.  I started, as you recommended, with reading the appendices, to get a better understanding about the historical background of the business environment and the commercial paper market in this time period.  I found it really fascinating to read about A.G. Becker's life and how he kept to his principles like honour, integrity and family. He was a pioneer and real visionary - one of only a few that every generation produces.  I also realized that especially in those turbulent times that he lived in, success and failure came always very close together and indeed many successes were born out of failures.  It is always sad to see when great organisations fail and often the cause is the influence from outside which impacts negatively a company's culture and/or changes its business model.  I would like to congratulate you to this fascinating piece of writing and can only imagine how much work and effort went into researching and compiling such a comprehensive chronicle.   Thank you for inviting me to read this great story and to contribute my thoughts to your remarkable work

Editor Comment: Lovely analysis, Iveta.  Thanks much.

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Date Received:  April 16,  2018

Guest:  Jim Anderson

Comments/Reflections:

I was at Becker from 1970 to 1977.  I started with the firm working for Tom Camden in HR.  Jeanne Martin and I were in the same class at Grad school at Loyola and she recruited me as her replacement when she transitioned to Funds Evaluation.  In late 1971 or 1972 I was recruited by Stu Gassel to work initially for him on special projects and quickly began working for Henry Tan.  In 1972, I was the Revenue And Information System Manager with Bob George and Jan Eddy reporting to me.  In those years most of my time was spent ensuring that we were receiving proper credit for FED trades.  In 1973, I started the relationship that Stu Gassel uncovered with Data Resources.  I worked with Jack Wing to set up a system whereby Data  Resources customers would trade with us and pay for their subscriptions via stock trades.  My role was to periodically renegotiate a contract with DRI setting up contractual payments to them which closely mirrored DRI Services costs.  During this time I transferred to the sales group and reported to Don Scudder and later directly to Bob Brehm.  My picture is in the upper left hand corner of Bob's collage taken at the meeting at the Clock Tower Inn in Rockford.

It is truly amazing how often I have bumped into AGB alumni at other settings --Bud Wolf and Harty Mckeown at the 1990 US open--Tim Thomas at his Tobacco store --Stu Porter running a Crap Table at a Member Guest outing at his Country club--Bill Brock, Bill Bullion and John Gardner at Grand Central Station--Bob Karlblom at Geneva National Golf course just to name a few.

Working and learning from such a highly talented group of individuals was truly instrumental in any of the successes I have enjoyed in my career.

Editor Comments:  Jim, thanks for your review while at AGB.   Many in the organization will rememember you and your contribution to the firm's success.

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Date Received:  April 16, 2018

Guest: Josh Kaufman

Comments/Reflections:

I came across your wonderful website and was excited to find additional information about Nathan Becker, who is a relative of mine (brother of my great-great-great grandmother, Sarah Becker Benedict). I have been researching this Becker family for many years (http://www.jewgenpedia.com/families/becker.html,  I only recently discovered the connection to Nathan. I have read, with great fascination, about his son A. G. Becker on your website and the incredible company that he established.

In particular, do you have or know of anyone that has a picture of Nathan and also a picture of his gravestone at Rosehill cemetery?

Editor Comment: Josh, as I have emailed you, yes, I think the A.B.Becker & Co. archives at Newberry have a characterization of Nathan Becker as well as some other interesting family items, which I will identify when I am next at the Library and bring to your attention. It is very rewarding that the Website has brought out your interest in the Becker family and I will bring it to the attention of James Becker's daughters.

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Date Received:  April 16, 2018

Guest: Nan Weiss (spouse of Burton Weiss, deceased)

Comments/Reflections:

"Burt always loved the Firm and would be pleased to scross through the this Chronicle.  Best
to all our friends."

Editor comment: Nan, so good to hear from you.  Yes, Burt would have enjoyed the Story.

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Date Posted: April 20, 2018

Comments/Reflections:  Below at the instigation of Bob Brehm are lisits of former Becker personnel who founded, co-founded, or who otherwise have worked in the investment managemenet business either in the investment or marketing aspects of the business.

Former Employees of A.G.Becker & Co. who are known to have founded, singularly or with others, an
Investment Management Business/

Stephen Weiss and Phillip Greer (Weiss, Peck, & Greer)
Stuart Porter (Weiss, Peck, & Greer)
Richard Gilder (Gilder, Gagnon, Howe, and Co.)
David Booth (Dimensional Fund Advisors)
Richard Elden (Grosvenor Capital Management)
Richard Driehaus (Driehaus Capital Management)
David Heller (Advisory Research, Inc.)
Frank Meyer (Glenwood Partners and Citidel)
Leonard Zacks (Zacks Investment Research)
John O'Brien (Leland, O'Brien,& Robinson)
Robert Wilson (Wilson & Associates)
Don Hahn and associates (Hahn, Holland & Grossman)
John Mabie (Mid-Continent Capital)
Robert DeMichele (Strategy Asset Managers)
Philip Oppenheimer (Oppenheimer + Close)

 

Former employees of A.G. Becker & Co..other than the above, who are known to have been employed in the Investment Management Business.

James Mabie (William Blair; recently co-founding his own company)
Robert Brehm and Charles Klimkowski  (The Chicago Corporation)
Roger Brown (Harris Associates)

A large number of former Becker employees, particularly from the Funds Evaluation Group, became highly successful marketing personnel for investment management businesses including being founders. These personnel would include: Richard Frodsham; Steve Golann; Al Pisterzi; Richard Abramson; Christian Frankenhoff; Larrt Klotz; Larry Speith.

(The author believes there are many other former Becker employees who have founded, co-founded, or otherwise worked as investment or marketing personnel in investment management businesses.  If you are such a person. please let the author know via the Comments/Reflections messaging section.)

(The above lists were compiled primarily by Bob Brehm, supplemented  by Paul Judy, and will be added to from time to time.)

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Date Received: April 26, 2018

Guest: Barry Friedberg

Comments/Reflections:

"You have documented a great legacy for all of us.  I was grateful for the time that the AGB team had together, and I believe that most of us during the 20 years that I was there share that sense and valued your principled leadership.  What I learned about integrity, teamwork, investment banking, and client focus were the foundation of my years at Merrill."  And further:  . . . "what you have done . . . raised my sense of pride for the AGB years. Reading the events and the names of my colleagues in the recent history was simply moving. I owe so much to the talented and motivated professionals with whom I worked and your Chronicle gave me an enhanced perspective on the debt that I owed to those that built the firm.  Fortunately, I still have contact with many of my friends from these years."

Editor comment: Thanks, Barry, for these very sincere thoughts.

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Date Received:  April 24, 2018

Guest: David McCarthy

Comments/Relfections:

"Your AG Becker site is fascinating. Kudos for you for saving the Becker archives and placing them at the Newberry for future researchers.
"I came to the site for the Henry Greenebaum materials.  My wife was a descendent of Henry’s brother, Michael, who I’ve researched quite a bit.  As you know, Michael plays a small role in the story of the Greenebaum banks — he was a partner briefly, and in the federal criminal case, some of the counts related to related party loans to Michael.  In researching Michael, I had seen quite a bit on the Henry Greenebaum saga.  It’s nice to see the story laid out so well in a linear fashion.
"If you ever go back to edit the piece, I have a few amplifications and corrections you may want to consider. Some of it is additional information you may find interesting."
Editor Comment:  David, thanks so much for all your suggestions -- they were extensive and most all of them have been
incorporated into the Henry Greenebaum story, via foot notes, as mentioned above in Enhancements.
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Date Received: April 29, 2018
Guest: Linda Yoder
Comments/Reflections:
"It was a wonderul read . . . and a great privilege to have worked for Becker in two separate periods in the 1970s, in Chicago and New York. I had nothing but respect for the individuals (many of them named in the Chronicle) for whom I worked or with whom I was acquainted because of my employment in Corporate Communications. The early history of Becker was fascinating to me as an employee, and it was thrilling to have been part of the "Album" my department created.  I was happy that the objective story was followed by meaningful reflections by the author. I was especially taken by the reflections on the European merger. Paul Judy was known, somewhat jocularly, as the guy carrying three briefcases. As an employee, I held him in high regard, and I think he has done an astonishing job of telling the story of a remarkable firm. . . I worked for one other investment banking firm - E.F. Hutton - before leaving for other corporate, then non-profit, work. As it turns out, I left both Becker and Hutton just in time - in other words, before the "end of days."
(If it's any consolation, Hutton's demise was much worse, and the subject of a pretty salacious book.)  I would highly suggest reading the appendices ahead of the Chronicle, just as he suggested. They are filled with wonderful examples and accounts of the history of Becker through some perilous periods of history."
Editor comment:  Linda:  I well remember you and your good work and thank you for you memories.
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Date Received: April 28, 2018
Guest: Jim Green
Comments/Reflections:  AGB was my first job out of Notre Dame, working in cost accounting 1971-1973.
Editor comment:  Jim, thanks for your note. We had a pretty good cost accounting system! I hope you
learned something while at Becker, and that you have had a successful career over the last 40 or so years!