Bob Strong and I joined Chase Manhattan Bank a few months apart from each other in 1971. I spent some time as a corporate relationship manager and then joined the International Department, where I had assignments in Hong Kong, Tokyo and London. In the meantime, Bob was climbing the corporate ladder at Head Office.
     In 1992, I was looking to relocate from London back to New York. Bob had been installed as the head of the commercial real estate division, which was struggling under the weight of a huge, troubled loan portfolio (including defaulted loans made to a now former U.S. president). Bob put me in charge of the Eastern division and then, a year later, named me as his successor.  
     In 1995, Bob was promoted to chief credit officer. When the merger with Chemical Bank was announced, I was nervous about my future at the bank since the commercial real estate portfolio had largely been wound down, and I was working on a special bank restructuring project. Bob appointed me to a safe position as the chief risk officer for the merged banks' large custody and trust businesses.  
     In 2001, Bob left JPM-Chase and moved to Bank of America. Not long afterwards, Bob hired me to work for him there. I spent three years in New York and three years back in London before retiring in 2007.
     Bob was the most important mentor during my Chase career, but more importantly, he has been my friend for 50 years.
And here's a photo of Bob Strong (on the right) with me (on the left), along with two other former Chase colleagues, David Weisbrod (next to me) and Bill Foulke. We were together at a golf outing in Florida in 2019.
Now that I live in Colorado, the four of us only get together once or twice a year. The other three see each other more often.






There was no one mentor who shaped my career. Perhaps I was fortunate but, I think not. Here, at Chase Manhattan, there were many who guided and broadened my career and experience. Each encounter added and supplemented the other. People like Jerry Sullivan and Jim Brennan who cultivated “people skills” and ways of mining for understanding and enlightenment. Others like Pete Bailey, Tony Terracciano and Mike Cassidy, who saw that a pathway lay open for career transitions, and Ron Keenan, my "number one” in GCT who guided and opened doors from Global Credit Trainee to Government Banking Division Executive. There was Alden Small, who taught me the business end of real banking and Tim McGinnis (photo left), who cultivated an appreciation for the art of customer relationships and self-inspection and awareness; and of course, Barbara O’Neal, who showed me what true teamwork and partnering was all about. There was Jack Woods, who gave me the opportunity to travel the world exploring the depth of lending done rightly and wrongly; of policies that worked or failed; of monitoring systems that were valid or not; and, not the least, mentoring and instructing new would-be bankers and financial analysts. I owe Palmer Turnheim, who showed me there was always "another way to skin a cat” and to Wolf Schoellkopf, who opened the world of global money markets and products and the art and science of asset/liability management. So, for me there was no one mentor but, a bank full - The Chase Manhattan Bank, NA. These were just a few of the most impactful people in my career. There were so many more in the International and Institutional and Treasury departments who influenced my thinking and performance.
     Thank you and especially to Tom O’Reilly, who took a chance on an inept kid just out of college and gave him a chance.


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.


John Philpot (photo left) and George Perry were senior credit officers and just unbelievable mentors to us young act’s in the 1970s. If I could ever meet these two men again (probably will have to be in heaven), I would like to thank them so much for being so nice and caring to a young new Chase guy in the International Credit Department–a first generation college grad with little or no experience in finance who was trying hard to fit in. Though they were many many levels above me (John a senior vice president, chief international department credit officer (what a great guy) and George, executive vice president and chief credit officer of Chase (just as great a man), they were like fathers and taught me so much. Thank you guys. I have not forgotten. PS Thank you Bob Aberlin and Tim McGinnis and Don Chafee: You were also the best mentors to a young guy just starting out. Really appreciate it.   


I was fortunate to have two mentors during my time at Chase (1969-1990). The first was Dave Boyce, who guided me in my move from Loan Servicing to a support position in the Real Estate finance lending group in 1973. The second mentor was Stan Burns as a leader in the RE group. Stan was a class act and taught many of us how to balance high quality lending with good manners. 


Peter Holzer (photo left) was Head of the Global Credit Department when I was a Unit Manager there. Peter was very intelligent, good at delegating and a valuable coach when it came to selecting my next assignment within the bank.
Bill Higgins was Corporate Banking Department Staff Credit Officer when I was an AT in the Land Transportation Division. Bill possessed a great breadth of knowledge in business and credit. He was tough minded but fair; one had to be prepared, but he was a person you could reason with. I learned a lot from him.
Jack Hooper was Vice Chairman and Senior Credit Officer of CMB with whom I had an unusual number of opportunities to interact as the junior banker on the GM relationship, due to its size. Jack is one of a handful of people I have admired most in my business career.


Giving Thanks to Mentors, Part 3

Thank you to the mentors who influenced generations of superb Chase bankers (and those of Chemical and MHT and other heritage institutions). These were men and women who shaped careers, values and interests, superiors who went beyond just being a boss.
If your story didn't make it into this first batch, or if you want to say more about someone cited by a colleague, please send your comments to
Because of the number of submissions, we've divided the tributes into three parts:

Part 3

►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
►Gary Olson thanks John Philpot, George Perry;      also Bob Aberlin, Tim McGinnis, Don Chafee 
►Dick Hay thanks Dave Boyce and Stan Burns
►Lawrence DeVan thanks Peter Holzer, Bill Higgins     and Jack Hooper



  CLICK FOR Part 1

►D. Sykes Wilford thanks Robert Slighton
►Ted Klingos thanks Cornelius (Neal) Howland
►Dede Gotthelf thanks Tony Woodward
►Robert C. Sutton Jr. thanks Chuck McCoy
►Martin Poole thanks Tom Harkins
►Frank Tallerico thanks Jane Magdasy
Jack MacPhail thanks: Laura Calhoun, Lee North,
   Larry Toal, John Vaughey, Palmer Turnheim, Tony
   Terracciano, Frank Stankard, Bob Hunter, Peter
   Greer, Bill Flanz, Robert Binney, Mike Esposito,
   Mike Urkowitz, Bob Douglass, Bob Murphy, Arjan
   Mathrani and Michael Kruse
►Anonymous thanks John Ward
►Janin Campos thanks Rudi von Eisenhart-Rothe

►Dé Pham Lifvenborg thanks Liz Flynn and                 David Baggs, Carter Booth, Peter Lighte and 

   Ro Fallon

►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