Felix George Rohatyn (/ˈroʊɑːtɪn/ ROH-ah-tin; born May 29, 1928) is an American investment banker. He has spent most of his career with Lazard, where he brokered numerous large corporate mergers and acquisitions from the 1960s through the 1990s. In 1975, he played a central role in preventing the bankruptcy of New York City as chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corp. (MAC) and chief negotiator between the city, its labor unions and its creditors.
He later became an outspoken advocate for rebuilding America's infrastructure, working with Congressmen and U.S. business leaders to craft guiding principles for strengthening U.S. infrastructure as co-chair of the Commission on Public Infrastructure. Rohatyn has been involved in efforts to form a national infrastructure bank, and assisted in the rebuilding of New York following Superstorm Sandy as co-chair of the New York State 2100 Commission.
|U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco|
September 11, 1997 – December 7, 2000
|Preceded by||Pamela Harriman|
|Succeeded by||Howard H. Leach|
Felix George Rohatyn
May 29, 1928
(m. 1956; div. 1979)
Elizabeth Fly Vagliano
(m. 1979; her death 2016)
|Children||Nicolas Streit Rohatyn|
Pierre Streit Rohatyn
Michael Streit Rohatyn
|Parents||Edith Knoll Rohatyn|
|Residence||Upper East Side, New York|
Southampton, New York
|Alma mater||Middlebury College B.S.|
|Known for||Oversaw New York City's 1975 financial restructuring as head of Municipal Assistance Corporation|
|Awards||French Legion of Honor|
Rohatyn was born in Vienna in 1928, the only son of Alexander Rohatyn, a Polish Jew, and Edith (Knoll) Rohatyn, a native of Austria. His great grandfather was grand rabbi of Poland. His father managed breweries controlled by the family in Vienna, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The family left Austria in 1935 for France. After the German invasion of France in 1940, they fled to Casablanca, Lisbon, and in 1941, Rio de Janeiro, before arriving in the United States in 1942. Luiz Martins de Souza Dantas, the Brazilian ambassador to France, provided visas that enabled them to escape France and the Holocaust by sailing from Marseille to Casablanca. He ended service in the United States Army in West Germany during the Korean War as a sergeant.
Rohatyn 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 Lazard he brokered numerous, major mergers and acquisitions, notably on behalf of International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT), where he became a director in 1966. He also served on the boards of the Englehard Mineral and Chemical Corporation, Howmet Turbine Component Corporation, Owens-Illinois Inc., and Pfizer Inc. He served on the Board of the New York Stock Exchange from 1968 to 1972.
When the City of New York ran out of money in mid-April 1975, New York Governor Hugh Carey advanced state funds to the city to allow it to pay its bills, on the condition that the city turn over the management of its finances to the State of New York. Carey appointed Rohatyn to head a blue-ribbon advisory committee to look for a long-term solution to the city's fiscal problems. The Advisory Commission recommended the creation of the Municipal Assistance Corporation (MAC), an independent corporation which was authorized to sell bonds to meet the borrowing needs of the city. While the deficit increased to $750 million, the MAC was established on June 10, 1975, with Rohatyn as chairman, and a board of nine prominent citizens.
The MAC, led by Rohatyn, insisted that the city make major reforms, including a wage freeze, a major layoff, a subway fare hike, and charging tuition at the City University of New York (CUNY). A state law converted the city sales tax and stock transfer tax into state taxes, which when collected were then used as security for the MAC bonds. Because the MAC did not create enough profit fast enough, the city created an Emergency Financial Control Board to monitor the city's finances. But even with all of these measures, the value of the MAC bonds dropped in price, and the city struggled to find the money to pay its employees and stay in operation. In November 1975 the federal government stepped in, with Congress extending $2.3 billion in short-term loans in return for more stringent measures. Rohatyn and the MAC directors persuaded the banks to defer the maturity of the bonds they held and to accept less interest, and convinced banks to buy MAC bonds to pay off the city's debts. The confidence in MAC bonds was restored, and under Rohatyn's chairmanship, the MAC successfully sold $10 billion in bonds. By 1977–78, New York City had eliminated its short-term debt. By 1985, the city no longer needed the support of the Municipal Assistance Corporation, and it voted itself out of existence.
Rohatyn, as the chairman of the MAC and the chief negotiator between the city, the unions, and the banks, was widely given credit for the success of MAC and the rescue of New York City from bankruptcy, despite the large social costs. He also drew the fire of some critics, who accused him of bailing out the banks, while slashing workers' wages and benefits and reducing the power of municipal unions. As Rohatyn wrote in the MAC annual report, however, "The alternative to such cutbacks would have been bankruptcy for the city, which would have generated infinitely greater social costs". 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 1970s to the leadership of former New York Governor Hugh Carey and to the cooperative efforts of the City's banks and unions, though not to President Gerald Ford's belated agreement to federally guarantee the newly issued city bonds.
By the time Bill Clinton was elected, Rohatyn had aspired to be U.S. Secretary of the Treasury since the 1970s. He had supported longtime client Ross Perot's candidacy, however, 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.
According to The New York Times, in the 1990s, Rohatyn described derivatives as "financial hydrogen bombs, built on personal computers by 26-year-olds with M.B.A.s". On January 27, 2010, Rohatyn announced his return to Lazard as Special Advisor to the Chairman and CEO, after a short role at Rothschild.
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. He also delivered a 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".
As ambassador, he also organized the French-American Business Council (FABC), a 40-member council of U.S. and French corporate chief executives that met annually, with meetings held alternately in the United States and France. FABC meetings included President Clinton, President Chirac and Prime Minister Jospin, as well as U.S. cabinet secretaries and French government ministers and meetings continued during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Nicolas Sarkozy. While ambassador, Rohatyn also worked with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to establish a TransAtlantic Conference of Mayors that gathered U.S. and European mayors to discuss urban and economic issues and build ties among their cities. In addition, Mrs. Elizabeth Rohatyn founded the French Regional and American Museum Exchange (FRAME), a consortium of 26 French and North American art museums that works together to sponsor major, bilateral exhibitions and education programs. After the Rohatyns left the ambassador's post in Paris, FRAME became an independent, non-profit organization, which Mrs. Rohatyn continued to co-chair. FRAME remains vibrant and active today.
The New York Times columnist, William Safire, once wrote about "the infrastructuralist Felix Rohatyn", due to Rohatyn's long-time advocacy of rebuilding America's public infrastructure to strengthen the country's economy and global competitiveness. In 2007, Rohatyn and the late Senator Warren Rudman co-chaired the Commission on Public Infrastructure, a bipartisan council of governors, members of the U.S. Congress and U.S. business leaders sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). It drew up guiding principles for strengthening U.S. infrastructure. Its members included then U.S. Senators Christopher Dodd and Chuck Hagel; based on the Commission's work and findings, Dodd and Hagel introduced Senate legislation to create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank. When they left the Senate, sponsorship of the Bill was assumed by then Senators John Kerry and Kay Bailey Hutchison. Rohatyn also worked with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who has authored a House bill to create an infrastructure bank. Rohatyn testified in both the House and Senate in support of the law.
His book, Bold Endeavors: How our Government Built America, and Why It Must Rebuild Now, argues that a national infrastructure investment program would have transformational impact and lift the U.S. economy, as did historic federal projects such as the Transcontinental Railroad, the GI Bill, Land Grant Colleges and the Interstate Highway System. After Superstorm Sandy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Rohatyn co-chair of the New York State 2100 Commission, which developed strategies for rebuilding after the hurricane. Rohatyn also serves as co-chair of the New York Works Task Force on Infrastructure.
In 1979, he married Elizabeth Fly Vagliano. His wife died on October 10, 2016 at the age of 86. She had a daughter, Nina Griscom from a previous marriage. She worked as chairwoman of the New York Public Library.
|url=(help) (2nd ed.). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. GALE|K2587516862. Retrieved 2012-01-08. Gale Biography In Context. COPYRIGHT 2007 Keter Publishing House Ltd.
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.
| U.S. Ambassador to France
Howard H. Leach
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Howard H. Leach (born June 19, 1930) is an American diplomat, college administrator and philanthropist. He served as the United States Ambassador to France from 2001 to 2005.Investir
Investir was a French language monthly business magazine published in Paris, France, between 1974 and 2011.Lazard
Lazard (formerly known as Lazard Frères & Co.) is a financial advisory and asset management firm that engages in investment banking, asset management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients. It is the world's largest independent investment bank, with principal executive offices in New York City, Paris and London.Lazard was founded in 1848 and operates from 43 cities across 27 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. The firm provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, strategic matters, restructuring and capital structure, capital raising and corporate finance, as well as asset management services to corporations, partnerships, institutions, governments and individuals.Lazard's New York City headquarters spans the top thirteen floors of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, including Room 5600, the former offices of the Rockefeller family dynasty.Le Parisien
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The following is a list of some notable Légion d'honneur recipients by name. The Légion d'honneur is the highest order of France. A complete, chronological list of the members of the Legion of Honour nominated from the very first ceremony in 1803 to now does not exist. The number is estimated at one million including about 3,000 Grand Cross.
Sitiveni Rabuka (b. 1948) Former Prime Minister of Fiji
Rainier III, Prince of Monaco
Fidel V. Ramos
Axel Rappe (b. 1838)
Satyajit Ray, prominent film maker and artist from India. Mr. Ray was also awarded the Oscar as a Life Time Achievement Award by the Academy of Motion Pictures, USA.
Robert Redford, American actor
Richard Redgrave, British artist and administrator
William Hoey Kearney Redmond
Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840), French painter.
Gordon Reeves (1912-2003), Major in British Army during World War II, liaison officer on General Koenig's staff in North Africa
Major Gordon Michael Reeves
William Edward Moyses Reilly
Jean Rémy (1899-1955), French colonel, Companion of the Liberation during World War II, Grand Officier of the Légion d'honneur
Géraud Réveilhac (1851-1937), Général de division of World War I, Grand Officier of the Légion d'honneur
Jacqueline de Ribes (b. 1929), French socialite and fashion designer.
Robert C. Richardson, Jr.
Frances "Rusty" Rice (b. 1920), American US Army Nurse in Bastogne, France during the "Bulge" WWII awarded Chevalier December 27, 2014AD
William Thomas Rickard (1828-1905) QMS British Royal Navy Gallantry in Crimea 1854-1856
Edward Vernon Rickenbacker (1890-1973), American captain, U.S. Army Air Service during World War I
René Riffaud (1898-2007), Tunisian veteran of World War I
Frédéric Rimbaud (1814-1878) Captain of Chasseurs, father of the poet, Arthur Rimbaud
Jean-Pierre Rives, captain of the national rugby union team, sculptor
Jeanne Robert, member of the French Resistance
William Roberts (veteran)
Thomas Bilbe Robinson
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Pierre Louis Roederer
William Allen Rogers (W.A. Rogers) (1854-1931), American Illustrator (famous for Uncle Sam cartoons in the New York Herald during WWI)
Paul Rohmer (1876-1977) French physician, Officier of the Légion d'honneur
Manfred Rommel (b. 1928), German politician
Charles Rosenthal (1875-1954) Australian World War 1 general
Alphonse James de Rothschild
Alfred de Rothschild
James Mayer de Rothschild
Marie-Hélène de Rothschild
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Alex Rowe (b. 1966) British national serving in the French Foreign Legion
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James Earl Rudder
Sir Edward Ruggles-Brise, 1st Baronet
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Status–income disequilibrium (sometimes abbreviated SID) occurs when a desirable high status job has a relatively low income. It is a variation on the sociological term status inconsistency. The phrase was coined by The New York Times columnist David Brooks in his 1996 article "The Tragedy of SID". He wrote:
The sufferers of this malady, have jobs that give them high status but low income. They lunch on an expense account at The Palm, but dine at home on macaroni. All day long the phone-message slips pile up on their desks—calls from famous people seeking favors—but at night they realize the tub needs scrubbing, so it's down on the hands and knees with the Ajax. At work they are aristocrats, Kings of the Meritocracy, schmoozing with Felix Rohatyn. At home they are peasants, wondering if they can really afford to have orange juice every morning.
David Brooks characterized the "sufferers" from SID in a long list, which includes TV news producers, museum curators, classical music performers, White House aides, and politicians, among others. Other journalists applied the term to "authors and academics", journalists, writers, "British middle classes", and even to the British MPs.Walter Wriston
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|Envoy Extraordinary and|