Alan C. Greenberg
Alan C. "Ace" Greenberg (born September 3, 1927) is a former Chairman of the Executive Committee of The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc.
Greenberg was raised in Oklahoma City in an upper middle-class Jewish family. His father Theodore owned a woman's clothing store. He was part of an extended family that operated clothing stores in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Greenberg first attended the University of Oklahoma on a football scholarship. Later injuring his back, he transferred to the University of Missouri receiving a B.A. in business in 1949. After graduating, Greenberg decided to pursue a career on Wall Street which was difficult given that he did not have an Ivy League degree. The only offer he received was from Bear Stearns. He accepted a position as a clerk receiving a salary of $32.50 per week.
Greenberg rose through the ranks of Bear Stearns eventually serving as its CEO from 1978 to 1993 and Chairman of the Board from 1985 to 2001. Greenberg also serves as a non-executive director of Viacom. He is the author of Memos from the Chairman, which is a compilation of memos he issued to the associates of Bear Stearns during his tenure as CEO.
While serving as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Bear Stearns, Greenberg oversaw the collapse of the company in March 2008. He was subsequently involved in the talks with JPMorgan Chase which eventually bought out the failing company. Fortune reported that Greenberg agreed to join JPMC as vice chairman of Bear’s retail business.
In 1969, while a bridge neophyte, Greenberg hired fellow player James Cayne as a stockbroker at Bear Stearns. By 1993, Cayne was CEO of Bear Stearns, a position he held until January 2008 just before the firm's demise in March 2008 and was succeeded by Alan Schwartz.
Alan Greenberg has been married twice:
- His first wife was Ann Greenberg whom he divorced in 1976. They have two children:
- Lynne Koeppel who was the first woman to own a seat on the American Stock Exchange. She later gave up her seat to focus on raising her two children, Allison and Melissa Frey. In 1991, she divorced her first husband Jonathan Frey. Jonathan and her father, Alan Greenberg engaged in a very public lawsuit over unpaid interest on a loan Greenberg had made to Frey for the purchase of the newly married couple's first home. Greenberg eventually lost the lawsuit. Lynne is remarried to Caleb Koeppel.
- Ted Greenberg who works, like his father, in risk arbitrage at Dresdner Kleinwort, a subsidiary of Dresdner Bank in New York City. Ted is a graduate of Harvard University and was also a writer in the 1980s for Late Night with David Letterman on NBC. Ted is married to Kathleen Marie Cigich (maiden name Durst).
- In 1987, he married 40-year-old Kathryn A. Olson who is the Board Chair of Cardozo School of Law and the founder of the New York Legal Assistance Group.
Greenberg is an avid bridge player, having won the Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams in 1977. In 1981, he won the Maccabiah Games teams bridge tournament and was second in the Reisinger later that year.
Greenberg is a member of the Society of American Magicians. In 1998, Greenberg was the subject of a 999-word profile in People Magazine that trumpeted his $1 million donation to New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery to underwrite Viagra prescriptions for financially needy, impotent men.
"You do some nutty things," Greenberg stated and he told People that his wife Kathryn told him, "you've made your money, and you can spend it any way you want." That philanthropic gesture topped the time Greenberg paid to repair the bathrooms at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
- New York Times: "WHERE THE ACE IS KING" By Sarah Bartlett; Sarah Bartlett covers Wall Street for The Times June 11, 1989
- New York Times: "Private Sector; Tapping the Wall Street Melting Pot" By Patrick McGeehan (COMPILED BY RICK GLADSTONE) November 25, 2001
- FRONTLINE interview: Inside the Meltdown Retrieved 26 Feb, 2009
- "JPMorgan plays its Ace - Daily Briefing", Fortune (formerly archived at money.cnn.com), April 24, 2008.
- New York Times: "WEDDINGS; Kathleen Cigich, Ted Greenberg" October 21, 2001
- New York Observer: "Three L.A. Mensch -keteers–Ginsburg, Shapiro, Siegel" By Frank DiGiacomo March 9, 1998
- Jeffrey Modell Foundation: "The Couple of the Year - JMF Salutes Lynne and Caleb Koeppel Spring 1999 - retrieved August 8, 2012
- Bridge: United States Team Gains A Strong Victory in Israel
- Era ends: Bear Stearns chairman exits; Street won't soon see another Ace Greenberg