ROBERT SHIPPEE thanks ROBERT STRONG
PHIL SORACE thanks JERRY SULLIVAN, JIM BRENNAN,
PETE BAILEY, TONY TERRACCIANO, MIKE CASSIDY,
RON KEENAN, ALDEN SMALL, TIM MCGINNIS,
BARBARA O'NEAL, JACK WOODS, PALMER TURNHEIM,
WOLF SCHOELLKOPF and TOM O'REILLY
EDITH ORENSTEIN thanks DAVID M. MORRIS
The week of November 22, 2021: Top row–David M. Morris (joining from London, U.K. where he was vacationing with his wife, Mary Elaine Morris, Edith Orenstein, Peggy Capomaggi, Bottom row–Miriam Haimes, Mark Riley
The Accounting Policies and Procedures (“AP&P”) division of Corporate Controllers at The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. in the late 1980s/early 1990s was a fantastic base from which many talented people were nurtured and grew into significant roles throughout the bank. I would like to pay tribute to then-AP&P Director, David M. Morris, a Senior Vice President at The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., for his outstanding leadership of the division, including his wise choice and development of the VPs reporting to him who led the various specialized groups in AP&P (groups that specialized in credit and lending, derivatives and FX, emerging accounting and reporting issues, and more).
I benefited greatly not only from David’s leadership and mentorship, but also from the leadership of the VPs whom he cultivated in turn as managers of the five subgroups in the division (a total of about 30 staff in AP&P’s heyday). Although there are many names I may remember and many I am afraid I will forget, some of the top names that come to mind among the VPs that David nurtured who were excellent and supportive managers – and went on to leadership roles in the bank (including Bob Krug, Mark Reilly and Lisa Wegweiser) or at other respected financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley (Peggy Capomaggi), TD Bank (Miriam Haimes) and AIG (Mary Molloy).
And it is just this aspect of David developing managers and staff who reported to him, so they could grow into roles they personally desired – even if it meant leaving the AP&P division or ultimately the bank – that I would like to focus on.
I will always be grateful for the wide range of interesting and highly dedicated people David introduced me to through assigning me work outside the division, even outside the bank–e.g., projects interacting with staff of the American Bankers Association, New York Clearinghouse Association, Financial Executives International and the American Institute of CPAs– which helped grow my understanding of and interest in industry-wide advocacy organizations.
I am certain that my experience at Chase played a major role in my reaching the next steps in my career. This included opportunities that David provided in AP&P to work on projects such as industry-wide comment letters on proposed regulations, helping proofread his many speeches and presentations (given his leadership role of the ABA Accounting Committee, AICPA Banking Committee, and various Bank Administration Institute (BAI) programs); and in supporting the work that David led, in turn supporting industry leadership roles held by then-CFO Mike Esposito, and then-Corporate Controller Les Stephens. It was really an exciting time to work for Chase! I also benefitted from David’s mentorship, and in turn through the support of the group managers who reported to him, by being given the opportunity to support ad hoc working groups within the bank, such as the cross-functional task force the FDIC Improvement Act of 1991 (“FDICIA”). Another great memory is being given the “opportunity” to join a team pulling an all-nighter at the printer (then, RR Donnelly in lower Manhattan), as we proofread successive drafts for a particular filing scheduled for the next day. (Isn’t it true that some of our best memories are from some of the hardest projects?)
In all of this work, David encouraged positivity and a cohesive staff, emphasizing quality, teamwork and the Chase mission, vision and values. (In fact, I remember it was during this time in AP&P that the bank also rolled out a Total Quality Management or TQM program, which was very much tied to Chase’s mission and vision, and I am grateful to have participated as part of the “Alpha Delta” team!)
Most exceptional of all in terms of David’s mentorship, was the fact that I was able to express my desire to one day work in a function such as Government Relations or Corporate Philanthropy at Chase–and the fact that my career interest was outside AP&P and Corporate Controllers. While other leaders may have taken a negative view that holding interest in growing into another part of the bank, or a role outside the bank, was “disloyal,” David did not have that view at all; in fact, he set out to introduce me to people who worked in those roles at Chase so I could speak with them informally about my career interests. And, when I said I was considering a Congressional staff-related internship with The Conference Board, he agreed to support my application. In addition, when I asked if I could take a day off to attend Congressional hearings and speak with a staff person of a Congressional committee in Washington, DC about my career interests, David had no problem with that whatsoever and encouraged me to explore my dreams in terms of potential government-relations type careers, as well as my involvement recruiting other Chase teammates to participate in corporate volunteer projects (including the March of Dimes team walk) – but all-the-while emphasizing directly (and through his managers who I reported to directly) to also not lose sight of my “day-job” in AP&P.
I am certain that David’s mentorship led directly to my later careers, working for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and then for Financial Executives International (FEI). In each of those jobs, I would occasionally interact with industry groups that met with the SEC or FEI, and it was always a pleasure to see David when he participated in those groups.
I’d like to extend my thanks to David and all the group VPs who managed me directly under his leadership for supporting not only my career but also supporting me as a person, even before the term “work-life balance” and the focus on employee’s holistic health came into vogue. They were all exceptional and ahead of their time, and most of all, great mentors and great human beings.
LAURENCE DeVAN thanks PETER HOLZER, BILL HIGGINS and JACK HOOPER
Giving Thanks to Mentors, Part 3
►Dé Pham Lifvenborg thanks Liz Flynn and David Baggs, Carter Booth, Peter Lighte and
►Monica Altmann thanks Richard Guariglia
►Barbara Tsarnas thanks Steve Friedman
►Hugh Balloch thanks Peter Nice
►Gillian van Schaick thanks Bob Russo
►Sally Ballweg thanks Scott Blatterman & Ed Nelson
►Larry Bloom thanks Anthony J. Annucci