In Memoriam: Francis X. Stankard, 83

Senior Executive at Chase for 17 Years

Francis X. Stankard, who served as executive vice president for international banking at Chase Manhattan from 1975 to 1991, died on April 23, 2015 at the age of 83. He had resided in Durham, NC.

Stankard was also chairman of the board at Chase Manhattan Overseas Banking Corporation from 1987 to 1992.

He joined American Express Bank, Ltd., in 1994 as vice chairman.  Stankard served as the board chairman at FXS, Inc. from 1991 to 1994 and was a member of the board of directors at LXE LLC beginning 1991.

A 1953 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, he was a Holy Cross Trustee from 1984 to 1992, Stankard also  served as gift chair for every reunion year for the Class of 1953 and as a class agent. He was a member of the Holy Cross Advisory Board since its inception in 2006, national chair of the Holy Cross Fund from 1980 to 1983 and an inaugural member of the Holy Cross Leadership Council of New York, established in 1998.

He was a Knight of Malta – an elite Roman Catholic Knighthood headed by a Grandmaster who works at the behest of the Pope.

Stankard was also a trustee emeritus of The Asia Society.

Stankard is survived by his wife, Elsa, and three sons.

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From Tony Terracciano: Frank Stankard treated everyone with respect.That is what made him a great leader.We were all lucky to have known and worked with him.Very,very lucky!

From Bill Kaufmann: Frank was certainly an important part of our life at Chase.  Tony T. got it right...we were very fortunate to have worked closely with Frank.  A wonderful guy and leader - bright, quietly tough, modest and supportive.  He encouraged us to make decisions and take chances, humorously celebrating our victories and taking our setbacks in stride - after, of course, providing strong, candid guidance.  His unique leadership traits surely influenced our own management styles – just one small example of the many legacies Frank left throughout.his admirable and valuable lifetime.

From Carl D. Gustavson: I was saddened to read of Frank’s passing. He was one of the guys that made Chase the great place it was.He was also a fellow US Marine, a true leader and a real Banker/Businessman on the 17th Floor. I am so glad I spoke with him a few years ago after his retirement in North Carolina.

From Peter Gross: We spent many memorable days together during his visits to South Africa and Singapore. Frank was a no nonsense manager, supportive when needed, demanding and fair in his judgments, and above all a great person to work for. Our sympathy goes to Elsa and the children. RIP.

From Tony Lord: During my relatively short tenure with Chase, I had the privilege of working with the most capable people I came across over my entire career. Frank was right up there with a small group of senior officers for whom I had both great respect, and great admiration.
     One brief story. While in the Philippines, my son experienced a "mysterious" medical issue, and we had been unable to find out what the problem was. Frank called me out of the blue, and advised me as follows;
     "I understand you have a medical issue relating to your son. I've spoken with the head of Pediatrics at Columbia Medical Center, and when you are ready, let me know and we will make all the necessary arrangements to bring your family to New York for as long as it takes to resolve this issue."
     Frank was a very effective leader of the bank's international business, and I regard it as a great honor having been one of "Franks Boys", if only for a few years. 

From Hans van den Houten: Frank was a great leader and also open to suggestions. He was also a realist, as I remember, when I quote: "Whatever decisions I made yesterday, after arriving in the Far East from New York, they are all rescinded the next day. One cannot make decisions properly after a long day of travel." He was an early supporter of the CAA and we appreciated his presence at our gatherings. May he rest in peace.

From Tsutomu Ishii, Japan (86 tommorow, May 6, 2015): I sincerely wish to express my own prayer for Mr. Francis X. Stankard. This very sad news reminded me of my own one day at Chase Japan.
     During the latter part of the Union negotiations at Chase Military Banking Offices in Japan, later involving Japan Commercial Branches, I was one day called by. Mr. A. Cushman May, GM, to come to his office to meet with Mr. Francis X Stankard, then visiting Japan.  In a very private meeting between Mr. Stankard and myself, and after lots of his Qs and my As, Mr.Stankard said to me, “I put you, Ishii, on the spot”. This word made the union negotiations proceed a lot smoother, leading finally to settle the long outstanding union issue before Expo ‘70.  

From Tony Walton: Frank represented everything I loved about Chase.

From Gus Costakis: Frank was a real gentleman.

From James Himoff: Frank was a great role model for many of us at Chase. I learned so much from him. We started in Commodity Financing at the same time. He was the Division Executive and I was the lowest level officer. He called me into his office and told me we both had a lot to learn. I could ask the simple questions that he could not and he expected me to learn everything. He had a special and unique way about him that taught me so much. I have treasured my relationship with Frank since the day I met him. He was truly a special person who will be missed by so many.

From Andrew Pucher: Frank was an exemplary  leader who led by precept and example. One benefitted in large or small ways from each and every meeting with him.

From Amb. Joseph Reed: Francis X. Stankard was a valued colleague and a friend with a capital F.

From George Antipas: I was lucky to work for Frank Stankard for many years, both at Chase and at American Express.
He was always unbiased, willing to listen, to guide, and offer his support. An experienced banker, a leader and above all a kind human being. My deep condolences to his wife Elsa and family. God Bless his Soul. 

From Bob Deak: Prior to my first international trip, I met with Frank. He said, "Take less luggage, and more money."  I have been happily traveling light ever since.

From Stephen P. deGot: I only just learned of his death as I called him to say hello and his wife, Elsa, and I had a long chat.
I worked for Frank both in Commodity Finance and in Asia(NY and Japan). Probably 7-8 years.
     I have many memories, all good! If I had to single out one it is that Frank defended the guys that worked for him – period. At the same time he would not be shy about telling you the error in your ways, but that was direct and private.
     He had a tough ending which is too bad.

From Chris Matlon: Frank was a leader who looked after his "troops" and will be remembered by many as a wonderful human being. RIP

From Ed Riegelhaupt: I second the remarks of Tony Terracciano, Bill Kaufman, Hans van den Houten and others. Frank was truly a wonderful guy. Remember well when Frank took over the International Department from Bill Ogden. He wanted to continue to build the world wide presence of Chase on all the continents. He was tough, fair and very smart. If I remember correctly Frank grew up on Long Island and, as he characterized it, “the son of a cop”.  Following Holy Cross he joined the Marine Corps  (imagine Frank as your Marine Lieutenant..!), which was followed by serving as a White House Fellow for a year or two.
     As head of the International Department, following several years running the Asian Banking Group as Al Wentworth’s successor, he took over from Bill Ogden when Chase was facing strong competition from Citibank, Morgan and the large European banks.
     Frank made two particularly important strategic contributions to Chase’s position over the next years. He pushed us to create the International Private Banking Group, which put Chase squarely in the middle of the new, burgeoning Private Banking arena. As we know, Bill Kaufman was Frank’s choice to run the new worldwide group. The domestic private bank only followed later.
Secondly, he worked with us to create the Chase Merchant Banking Group based on CML in Hong Kong and on the old CMTC trust group in London, and chose Otto Schoeppler to run the new group, supported by Chet Brauch in Hong Kong. Frank wrestled with Milbank Tweed, the Glass Steagall Act and the Management Committee for months to arrive at a structure – within the law – which we all know grew into Chase’s (and now JP Morgan Chase’s ) vaunted investment banking arm. Jamie Dimond take notice.
    Frank was tough but loving and he knew to get the best out of all the people who worked for him. It was a privilege and a pleasure  to work with Frank, and I will miss him sorely.

From Susan Davidsen DeVoss: Frank Stankard was an inspirational leader. He exhibited the highest level of ethics and always cared about all of the employees within his area of responsibility. He was a mentor and friend to many of us. He will be sorely missed.

From Jack MacPhail: Always thought of Frank as a "man of the trenches". Someone said he stood up for his troops, which is spot on. I particularly remember two things about Frank:
  • He disliked "power point" presentations; preferred face-to-face contacts and explanations. Once told me, "I don't like desks between people; they only get in the way."
  • I worked with him several times, one being during the Long Range Strategic Search project of the later 1970s. We (Chase) were recovering from some real estate/LDC/securities lending/you-name-it misadventure, and Frank said to me: "You know when we started to get in trouble around here? It's when everyone started into JOGGING. We used to hang out with our customers (not "clients") in the bars at night and knew exactly what was going on. Now...we haven't a clue 'cause everyone's JOGGING.
On all points above, and many more, FXS had something to say.

From Anna S. Gilhuley: I am very sorry to learn of the passing of Mr. Stankard. My division reported to him. He was a very intelligent, wholesome and employee-oriented leader, and he will be missed by all of those who had the privilege to know him, His death is a great loss to all of us. Our thoughts are with him and his family.
From Robert P. McDonald: Frank was a great leader, committed to backing his people, a friend and, most importantly to me, a mentor.  He gave me two huge opportunities, one by sending our family to London, at CML in 1975 when he was the head of International, and then taking the chance of letting me initiate and develop the Latin American merchant banking business from New York in 1985 when he became head of the global Investment Bank. He never rebuked me for questionable decisions or actions in front of others, but boy, did he let me have it in private! That’s why I looked up to him as a mentor.  This is also why his passing had had such an outpouring from many old friends and colleagues: Frank was also a mentor to many others, and his purposeful guidance stayed with me later at Standard Chartered and the American Red Cross. It's ironic that his passing was within a few months of David’s 100th, because there was such a special relationship between the two leaders, as Chase committed itself to international banking in the 1970s and 1980s. To paraphrase what others have said, having Frank as a boss made it easy to come to work at Chase each morning. 

From Bill Flanz: Frank was my boss for more years than any other during the various positions I had in Asia and the Middle East.
      Those of us who had the privilege of working for Frank would all agree that he was one of the best bosses one could ever have. He would always respond, that "We" screwed up when asked on the 17th Floor about something that had just gone badly – but on the other hand, Frank always gave the credit for good things to the specific people in the field who conducted the business. Frank was a real stand-up man, to whom I have always looked up.
       Although at times Frank had a “cool”, Marine Officer demeanor, we all knew that inside beat a very warm and caring heart. He was also very comfortable giving us clear, constructive (sometimes blunt) criticism, something we (young at the time) International Department officers needed – myself included.
      It was a great privilege to have worked for one of Chase’s finest managers and human beings. I am glad I had a chance to visit Frank and Elsa at their home in North Carolina after his retirement. I will miss him, although I will always try to remember and apply the lessons he taught me.

From Giacinto Giuliani: I am really sorry for the departure of Mr. Francis X. Stankard. I knew him while serving Chase in Milano and Rome. My deep sympathy to his relatives.