Financier: The Biography of Andre Meyer
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Financier: The Biography of Andre Meyer : A Story of Money, Power, and the Reshaping of American Business

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"A first-rate biography of an extraordinary man." --Andrew Tobias. David Rockefeller once deemed Andre Meyer "the most creative financial genius of our time in the investment banking world." Andre Meyer was also known as "The Picasso of Banking" and "The Incomparable Investor," but probably his most notable achievement was his ability to completely and single-handedly revitalize American business after World War II. Cary Reich presents an illuminating portrait of this ferociously energetic, charming, and ruthless businessman who was a trusted advisor of the Kennedys and an intimate of William Paley and Katherine Graham. Reich goes into detail about Meyer's immigration from Nazi-occupied France, his prowess on the Monopoly board of business, and some of Meyer's lasting business legacies--now household names--including Avis and Holiday Inn. Includes a new foreword by Cary Reich. Cary Reich (New York, New York) is the former executive editor of Institutional Investor. His most recent book, The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Mr.
Reich is the recipient of numerous journalism awards, including the Overseas Press Award and the John Hancock Award for Excellence in Business and Financial Journalism.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 157 x 233 x 20mm | 580g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 0471247413
  • 9780471247418
  • 1,042,700

Flap copy

Fortune magazine deemed him "the most important investment bankerin the Western world." A ferociously energetic, charming, andruthless businessman, he had, by the age of forty, helped save thefoundering auto giant Citroën, established France's firstconsumer finance company, and been awarded the Legion of Honor. Hewas a trusted adviser of the Kennedys and an intimate of LyndonJohnson, William Paley, and Katharine Graham. His numerous businessaccomplishments included the building or revitalizing of suchcorporate giants as Avis, Holiday inns, Warner-Lambert, andEngelhard Minerals & Chemicals. One of the world's savviestindividual investors, he amassed a personal fortune of well over$200 million, yet to his dying day never gave up the search for theultimate buck. André Meyer, "The Picasso of Banking," wasall this-and much more. A man of seemingly endless contradictions, he was respected and admired by many, scorned and disliked by manyothers. In this riveting, classic biography, renowned author andNational Book Award finalist Cary Reich skillfully captures themany facets of this colorful and complex figure, painting anilluminating and captivating portrait of an enigmatic icon whoclimbed his way from modest beginnings to become what DavidRockefeller called "the most creative financial genius of our timein the investment banking world." Born in 1898 in Paris, André Benoit Mathieu Meyer was saddled with adultresponsibilities early on, having to provide for his family whenhis father, an inveterate gambler, "left a vacuum at the head ofthe household." After getting his professional start at a smallParis bank, he quickly caught the attention of the eminent privatebanking firm Lazard Frères, whose prestigious ranks hejoined in 1925. Within a year, Meyer was made partner. With theadvent of World War II, Meyer was forced into exile by the Nazioccupation. Resettling in the United States, he took over Lazard'sNew York operation, building it into the most venturesomeinvestment bank in America. During the 1940s and 1950s, whenindustry was thirsting for capital for its relentless growth, hefinanced anything and everything from Texas ranchland to New YorkCity real-estate projects. In the sixties, when it became clear thebig corporations could get bigger only by gobbling up othercorporations, Meyer masterfully got the merger-and-acquisition ballrolling, and became the world's most prolific marriage broker forcountless corporate combinations. Financier brilliantly capturesMeyer's financial wizardry, a phenomenal talent that was temperedonly by the volatile tantrums, ruthlessness, and insatiable greedthat went hand in hand with his genius. Unveiling the dueling sidesof his complex personality, this absorbing account shows Meyer athis best-as a father figure for the likes of Felix Rohatyn, hismost famous protégé, and for Jacqueline Onassis inthe years after the assassination-and presents him at his worst-asa tortured and possessive father and a cruel, often vindictiveboss. Financier is a work that is as compelling, unforgettable, andmonumental as its inimitable subject.
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Back cover copy

Fortune magazine deemed him "the most important investment bankerin the Western world." A ferociously energetic, charming, andruthless businessman, he had, by the age of forty, helped save thefoundering auto giant Citroën, established France's firstconsumer finance company, and been awarded the Legion of Honor. Hewas a trusted adviser of the Kennedys and an intimate of LyndonJohnson, William Paley, and Katharine Graham. His numerous businessaccomplishments included the building or revitalizing of suchcorporate giants as Avis, Holiday Inns, Warner-Lambert, andEngelhard Minerals & Chemicals. One of the world's savviestindividual investors, he amassed a personal fortune of well over$200 million, yet to his dying day never gave up the search for theultimate buck.

André Meyer, "The Picasso of Banking," was all this--andmuch more. A man of seemingly endless contradictions, he wasrespected and admired by many, scorned and disliked by many others.In this riveting, classic biography, renowned author and NationalBook Award finalist Cary Reich skillfully captures the many facetsof this colorful and complex figure, painting an illuminating andcaptivating portrait of an enigmatic icon who climbed his way frommodest beginnings to become what David Rockefeller called "the mostcreative financial genius of our time in the investment bankingworld."

Born in 1898 in Paris, André Benoit Mathieu Meyer wassaddled with adult responsibilities early on, having to provide forhis family when his father, an inveterate gambler, "left a vacuumat the head of the household." After getting his professional startat a small Paris bank, he quickly caught the attention of theeminent private banking firm Lazard Fréres, whoseprestigious ranks he joined in 1925. Within a year, Meyer was madepartner.

With the advent of World War II, Meyer was forced into exile by theNazi occupation. Resettling in the United States, he took overLazard's New York operation, building it into the most venturesomeinvestment bank in America. During the 1940s and 1950s, whenindustry was thirsting for capital for its relentless growth, hefinanced anything and everything from Texas ranchland to New YorkCity real-estate projects. In the sixties, when it became clear thebig corporations could get bigger only by gobbling up othercorporations, Meyer masterfully got the merger-and-acquisition ballrolling, and became the world's most prolific marriage broker forcountless corporate combinations.

Financier brilliantly captures Meyer's financial wizardry, aphenomenal talent that was tempered only by the volatile tantrums, ruthlessness, and insatiable greed that went hand in hand with hisgenius. Unveiling the dueling sides of his complex personality, this absorbing account shows Meyer at his best--as a father figurefor the likes of Felix Rohatyn, his most famousprotégé, and for Jacqueline Onassis in the yearsafter the assassination--and presents him at his worst--as atortured and possessive father and a cruel, often vindictiveboss.

Financier is a work that is as compelling, unforgettable, andmonumental as its inimitable subject.

Railblazers Rediscovering the Pioneers of Business

Critical praise for Financier: The Biography of AndréMeyer

"A first-rate biography of an extraordinary man." --AndrewTobias

"A fascinating mix of financial history involving household namesof the corporate scene, gossip at rarefied altitudes and big bucks.The focus is on people, mutual back-scratching, wheeling anddealing through the conglomerate jungle." --The Wall StreetJournal.

"This book is fun to read. Mr. Reich, while prudently avoidingheavy legal and accounting exegesis, has a talent for the clearexplanation of essential technical detail." --New York Times BookReview.

"Hard-edged and uncompromising . . . a lucid and well-researchedaccount." --The New Republic.
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Table of contents

A Tale of Two Financiers. The Picasso of Banking. Up and Coming. Starting Over. Gold Under the Asphalt. Andre and Ferd. Friends. The Women in his Life. The Avis Saga. Sins of Pride. Zeckendorf. The Incomparable Investor. Money Hungry. Madeleine Malraux. Life at Lazard. Pierre the Duke. The Sage of the Carlyle. Merger Making. Cashing in. Jackie O. A Rendezvous with LBJ. Tidying Up. Eddie Gilbert ... Again. A Deal Under Fire. The Vise Tightens. Fighting for his Life. Adrift. The Torch Passes. The Final Tally. Notes on Sources. Interviews. Sources. Index.
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About Cary Reich

CARY REICH is the former executive editor of Institutional Investor. His most recent book, The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Mr. Reich is the recipient of numerous journalism awards, including the Overseas Press Award and the John Hancock Award for Excellence in Business and Financial Journalism.
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Rating details

38 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 39% (15)
4 42% (16)
3 13% (5)
2 3% (1)
1 3% (1)
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