Alan C. (“Ace”) Greenberg has died at 86 (e.g., Crain’s NY Business, Money, Bloomberg, WSJ, USA Today). A force behind the rise to prominence of Bear Stearns (which he headed from 1978 to 1993), Ace was a friend to me. He gave generously to Cardozo Law School, from which his wife Kathy graduated (in 1982), and contributed intellectually to programming I conducted there while directing the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center on Corporate Governance
Ace’s delightful little book, Memos from the Chairman, contains profound and pithy insight into business management, drawn from his famous memos to staff, that I’ll relish forever. His book about the downfall of his beloved firm is also a nice contribution to our understanding of the financial crisis of 2008.
Ace kindly wrote a blurb for one of my early books on investing, How to Think Like Benjamin Graham and Invest Like Warren Buffett. He said that the book “puts the ABCs of common sense valuation back into the business of investing” and was “the place to look for insight and guidance in the age of volatile markets and colliding ideas.”
Ace epitomized common sense and was a practical, generous, funny, and clever man. He was also scrappy, tough, shrewd, and frugal. Best of all, he was a champion of the underdog, just like me. We’ll miss Ace.