In Memoriam: Warren Townsend, 88
Served Chase in East Africa, South Asia
Leon Warren Townsend (known as Warren), who served Chase Manhattan in New York and EMEA in the 1970s and 1980s, died on November 25, 2021. He had resided in Beaverton, OR, and was a month short of 89.
In January 1975, my wife and our six-month-old son arrived in Tehran, where I was to replace Warren Townsend as Chase’s Representative to Iran. Needless to say, this was both a big move for me personally and professionally. This was the first time I had met Warren, and I will never forget his kindness and thoughtfulness in helping me and family on our arrival. He spent an enormous amount of time introducing me to our local staff and key clients. He also helped in giving advice about housing, and introducing us to Tehran and the key “source” for caviar. When Warren returned to New York, he was the liaison office for me, and it was wonderful to work with a person who knew Iran and our business.
From Valerie Townsend: Warren was one of the last of the old Asia hands. This special breed spent their careers overseas, going from one assignment to the next. They needed not only strong banking skills, but also strong personal skills and an ability to operate in a variety of different cultures.
It was not the life for everyone. Warren loved it and thrived in it. In his travels, he was usually accompanied by a cat he had acquired along the way.
When Chase restructured its overseas banking operations, Warren 'retired' and turned his attention to a long-time interest of his: small business development. After spending some time in the United States developing his experience in this area, he went back abroad on assignments with USAID.
Looking back, Warren led a remarkable life. His delight in travel and living in diverse places never waned. It was on those foreign postings that he truly belonged.