Felix George Rohatyn
May 29, 1928 |
|Residence||Upper East Side New York, New York
Southampton, New York
|Education||B.S. in physics Middlebury College, 1949|
|Known for||Oversaw New York City's 1975 financial recovery as head of Municipal Assistance Corporation|
|Influenced by||André Meyer|
|Board member of||-LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton
-Rothschild Continuation Holdings
-Carnegie Hall in New York
-trustees, Center for Strategic and International Studies
-New York Stock Exchange 1968 1972
|Spouse(s)||Jeannette Streit (div. 1979)
Elizabeth Fly Vagliano Rohatyn
|Children||Nicolas Streit Rohatyn (born ca. 1960)
|Awards||-United States Ambassador to France until 2000
-commander of the French Legion of Honor.
Felix George Rohatyn (born May 29, 1928 in Vienna, Austria) is an American investment banker known for his role in preventing the bankruptcy of New York City in the 1970s, who also served as United States Ambassador to France. He was a long term advisor to the U.S. Democratic Party.
Rohatyn and his family fled Austria in 1935 for France and left in 1940, going to Casablanca, Lisbon, and in 1941, Rio de Janeiro, before arriving in the United States in 1942. Luiz Martins de Souza Dantas had helped them escape France and the Holocaust.
Career in finance
He joined the New York office of the investment bank Lazard Frères under André Meyer. He was made partner in the firm in 1961 and later became managing director. While at the firm, he was involved in numerous large deals, most notably advising the conglomerate ITT in its various acquisitions.
Rohatyn became widely known in the 1970s for successfully restructuring New York City's debt and resolving the city's fiscal crisis. While running the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the city of New York, Rohatyn continued his deal making at Lazard. Although he capped his take at the firm at 6%, Rohatyn continued to be the preeminent rainmaker at Lazard well into the 1990s, completing such deals as Sony's acquisition of Columbia.
By the time Bill Clinton was elected, Rohatyn had aspired to be U.S. Secretary of the Treasury since the 1970s. But he had supported longtime client Ross Perot's candidacy, and Clinton appointed Lloyd Bentsen instead. In 1996, the Clinton administration put forward his candidacy for the post of Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve, but a formal nomination was not made because of ideological opposition from Republicans.
In 1990, he received The Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal Award “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of New York.” Rohatyn is also the recipient of The International Center in New York's Award of Excellence.
In a January 17, 1997 interview on the Charlie Rose Show, Rohatyn stated that because of Wall Street’s new types of financial instruments (e.g., derivatives, swaps), to safeguard America’s businesses, America will never experience another recession.
In a letter to the New York Times on March 4, 2012, Rohatyn attributed New York City's fiscal turnaround from possible bankruptcy in the late 1970's to former Governor Carey, the banks, and the unions, and not former President Gerald Ford's U.S. guarantee of newly issued city bonds.
Diplomacy and foreign policy
Rohatyn was United States Ambassador to France 1997–2000 during the second Clinton Administration and is a Commander in the French Legion of Honor. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Trustee for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
While serving as Ambassador to France, Rohatyn opened a series of small diplomatic missions, called American Presence Posts, in Rennes, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Lille which brought American diplomats into contact with the people and leaders of those cities at lower cost than traditional Consulates.
He also delivered a memorable speech to D-Day veterans at Omaha Beach in 1999, on the 55th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion. He told them that a "democratic, prosperous Europe is the finest monument" to the veterans' exploits. He said, "I ask the children here today to look around - you are in the company of real heroes."
Rohatyn has been married twice:
- In 1956, he married Jeanette Streit (1924-2012), the daughter of journalist and Atlanticist, Clarence Streit. They divorced in 1979. They had three children:
- In 1979, he married Elizabeth Fly Vagliano. She had three children from a previous marriage: Anne Marie, Nina Griscom, and Leo.
- 1983: The Twenty-year Century: Essays on Economics and Public Finance. - New York: Random House. - ISBN 978-0-394-53450-3
- 2003: With Béchat, Jean-Paul. - The Future of the Transatlantic Defense Community: Final Report of the CSIS Commission on Transatlantic Security and Industrial Cooperation in the Twenty-first Century. - Washington, D.C.: CSIS Press. - ISBN 978-0-89206-425-0
- 2007: Cohan, William. - The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co.. New York, N.Y.: Broadway Books. - ISBN 978-0-7679-1979-1
- 2009: Bold Endeavors: How Our Government Built America, and Why It Must Rebuild Now. - New York: Simon & Schuster. - ISBN 978-1-4165-3312-2
- 2010: Dealings : A Political and Financial Life - New York: Simon & Schuster. - ISBN 978-1-4391-8196-6
- Weinberg, Steve (January 10, 2011). "Memoir reveals a likable businessman" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). USA Today. p. 05B. GALE|A246150326. Retrieved 2012-01-08. Gale Biography In Context.
- "Cityfile: Felix Rohatyn". Gawker Media. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
- "WEDDINGS; Jeanne Greenberg, Nicolas Rohatyn". New York Times. September 14, 1997. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- Kampel, Stewart (2007). "Felix G. Rohatyn" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). In Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Encyclopaedia Judaica (2nd ed.). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. GALE|K2587516862. Retrieved 2012-01-08. Gale Biography In Context. COPYRIGHT 2007 Keter Publishing House Ltd.
- Elizabeth Rohatyn, Felix Rohatyn and Hugh Carey (December 21, 2000). Charlie Rose - A discussion about the life of Felix Rohatyn. Retrieved 2012-01-08. "A conversation with businessman, investment banker, and U.S. Ambassador to France Felix Rohatyn about escaping from the Nazis as a child, returning to France as an adult, his mentors, his career, and his philosophy. His wife, Elizabeth Fly Rohatyn, vice chairman of the board of Channel 13 and chairman of the New York Public Library, and former New York Governor Hugh Carey join in to give their perspectives."
- "Rohatyn returns to Lazard as special adviser". Seattle Times. The Associated Press. January 27, 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- Dahle, Stephanie (March 3, 2009). "Felix Rohatyn -Investment banker, former U.S. ambassador to France and author of Bold Endeavors". Forbes.com. Forbes Magazine.
- State Dept Biography
- "Felix Rohatyn named trustee of Middlebury College". Middlebury College. May 9, 2005. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- Herbert, Bob (April 11, 2005). "Acts of Quiet Courage". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- Cohan, William D. (May 27, 2007). "FIRST CHAPTER ‘The Last Tycoons’". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- Haberman, Clyde (February 23, 1996). "NYC;Talent Lost to a Failure Called Politics". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- Mort Zuckerman, Felix Rohatyn, Lawrence Summers and Richard Darman (January 17, 1997). Charlie Rose - A conversation about the American economy. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- Kakutani, Michiko (June 15, 2009). "Books of The Times: Greed Layered on Greed, Frosted With Recklessness". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- Phillips, Ian (June 7, 1999). "Vets Mark 55Th Anniversary Of D-Day". Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
- New York Times obituary on legacy.com: "JEANNETTE S. ROHATYN Obituary" April 29, 2012
- Team page, Rohatyn Group website. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
- New York Post: "FELIX THE CAT - 9 LIVES, WOMANIZING UNCOVERED IN BOOK" By RICHARD WILNER April 8, 2007
- Embassy of France in the United States: "Amb. Felix Rohatyn 'Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur'" - Speech by Ambassador François Delattre on May 30, 2012 published July 2, 2012
- New York Times: "F.G. Rohatyn Weds Elizabeth Vagliano" June 01, 1979
- Charlie Rose Show, 12/21/2000 The Life of Felix Rohatyn, 53 minutes, with Felix and Elizabeth Rohatyn and Hugh Carey.
- Rohatyn talk on New York City fiscal issues at Columbia University
- Namebase Entry (Archive)
- Rohatyn author page and archive from The New York Review of Books
- Rohatyn biography from Center for Strategic and International Studies
|U.S. Ambassador to France
Howard H. Leach