Remembrances from Bill Flanz and Ruediger (Rudi) von Eisenhart-Rothe
The CAA mourns the passing of Peter Nice, who died of an aneurysm in early July 2006. He had just completed his daily 30 km bike ride when he collapsed.
Peter worked at Chase from 1972 to 1993 in the United Kingdom, in Asia Finance, Capital Markets/Middle East and Africa, Corporate Banking, and European Finance Capital.
Condolences may be sent to his wife, Norma, at their home:
15/11 Peak Avenue
Queensland 4217 Australia
Tributes may be made to Doctors Without Borders on their website using code PNICE06.
Friends who would like to share special remembrances of Peter with other members of the Chase Alumni community should contact the web site coordinator.
Below are remembrances by Bill Flanz and Rudi von Eisenhart-Rothe:
A Remembrance from Bill Flanz
I first met Peter Nice in 1976. when Richard Higgerson introduced Peter as a candidate to serve as Country Manager for Saudi Arabia. Peter was more experienced and mature than most of us then working in the Middle East, and I was delighted to have him become part of the Middle East team. His experience was also more exotic than most of ours. Peter, for example, had worked for many years in Nigeria at the Standard Bank.
The Middle East was filled with problems and opportunities for Chase during the second half of the 70�s. We had the two �oil shocks,� as the Japanese called them at the time � which created enormous financial dislocations. We had to cope with the consequences of the displacement of the Shah by Khomeini, the civil war in Lebanon, and fires (twice) that burned our branch in Bahrain (above which was Peter�s office). We received bullet holes in the art-work in our Beirut Branch, from which we learned that it is not always a good idea to locate art opposite a window. Not only can paintings be faded by sunlight, but other undesirable things may enter the window. Much worse, our Beirut Branch Manager, Henk Velders, was eventually killed when his apartment building was bombed.
Amidst all the turmoil, Peter went about his job of building our Saudi business. Peter had a very strong and determined character � some would say forceful and tough. He had a reputation for working hard, and expecting the same of his subordinates. I can remember Peter fighting for approval of salary increases and bonuses for his subordinates. I can not remember ever having a hard conversation with him about his own compensation.
Those years can be summarized by saying there was never a dull moment. Amidst all the turmoil we managed to make a lot of money for Chase, and had some fun. Milbank Tweed, arguing the �Big Mullah� theory in The Hague, won a hard-fought legal case, which enabled us to offset the (much larger) deposits of the National Iranian Oil Company against the loans (good and less good) to any and all public and private obligors in Iran. The quarter that decision was handed down, Chase�s earnings popped up, as we recognized large accrued fees and penalties against those past due Iranian loans.
When I learned that Peter had suddenly passed away, I was shocked, and felt I had lost not only an old friend, but also an important part of my own life. When I learned he died after completing a strenuous bike ride on Australia�s Gold Coast, I was not surprised in the slightest. Peter was a tall, lanky, athlete. When I think of him the picture that comes to mind is of Peter wind-surfing in the waves off the �Sheikh�s Beach� in Bahrain. For most of us a �six-pack� was something we purchased to nourish our growing beer bellies. In Peter�s case it was just like what you see on the cover of those body builder magazines.
I can still picture Peter now, wind-surfing on the reflective sea, in the late afternoon�s waning sunshine. Our prayers are with Norma and the family.
An Appreciation from Rudi von Eisenhart-Rothe
Peter was one of the most engaged and most engaging colleagues/bankers I ever met: a grassroots banker who had learned his trade the hard way.
He was one of the few who could represent the Bank to the outside world with credibility and vigour and with equal vigour represent the outside world within the Bank.
I only really came to know him after he had accepted his assignment to Istanbul. After a few months, he was on the phone weekly to convince us that the situation in the country warranted us to be daring -- with the clear possibility of making correspondingly impressive profits. Intellectual logic? He did not even try. He argued convincingly the human, social, and political aspects of why it should work, what the risks could be, and how to deal with them. Not everybody liked his approach. But how right he was.
Peter�s strong personal engagement in things he believed in would sometimes seem to hide his keen sense of what was doable. The eventual results would give him full credit. He was at the same time more pragmatic than he was normally willing to show. For example, he was the first country manager to agree (and actively support) selling loans aggressively (most often to zero), trading off present �secure� income for the mere opportunity of more income in the future. This was 1985 and it worked!!!
You could rely on his word. You could also rely on his immediate and direct feedback when you did something he did not like. He fought openly in case of disagreement. If he did not carry the day, the respect for his �opponent� did not suffer.
Peter cared beyond the call of duty for those people he respected. Many can testify to that, including his former �subordinates�.
If Peter had weaknesses, I cannot remember any. Without Peter, my life would have been a lot less exciting. It is very sad to lose an old admired friend.