NEW YORK, July 25 Alan "Ace" Greenberg, the
former chairman and chief executive officer of Bear Stearns Cos
Inc, died on Friday at the age of 86 after a bout with cancer.
Greenberg has been credited with engineering the rise of
Bear Stearns in the second-half of the 20th century, when it
became one of the largest standalone investment banks on Wall
In 2008, when the investment bank's exposure to toxic
mortgage bonds brought it to the brink of collapse, JPMorgan
Chase & Co rescued Bear Stearns and kept Greenberg on as
vice chairman emeritus of its global wealth management business.
"It's hard to imagine a financial services industry without
Ace," wrote JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon and
asset management chief Mary Erdoes in a note to employees on
A spokesman for JPMorgan said Greenberg had still been
coming to his office at the bank up until this week.
Greenberg's 65-year career on Wall Street began in 1949 when
he joined Bear Sterns as a clerk. He rose through the ranks to
become trader, partner and, in 1978, chief executive. Upon Bear
Stearns' initial public offering in 1985, Greenberg was named
chairman of the company.
He ceded his role as CEO to Jimmy Cayne in 1993 and his role
as chairman of the board in 2001, though he held onto the
position of chairman of Bear Stearns's executive committee.
In March 2008, as the subprime mortgage crisis was
intensifying, Bear Stearns' share price began plunging, and the
Federal Reserve Bank of New York helped engineer JPMorgan's
rescue of the bank. That deal closed in May 2008 and JPMorgan
later stopped using the Bear Stearns name.
Born in Oklahoma City in 1927, Greenberg attended the
University of Oklahoma on a football scholarship before
suffering a back injury and subsequently transferring to the
University of Missouri. He graduated from the school with a
degree in business in 1949.
He was the author of the 1996 book "Memos from the Chairman"
and, along with Mark Singer, of the 2010 history "The Rise and
Fall of Bear Stearns."
Greenberg's hobbies included performing magic tricks and
playing bridge. He was a member of the Society of American
Magicians and was also a national U.S. champion bridge player,
along with Cayne.
(Reporting by Peter Rudegeair; Editing by Tom Brown)