In Memoriam: Oswald von Goertz
Ran Chase Luxembourg for Nearly Two Decades
The CAA mourns the unexpected passing of long-time member Oswald von Goertz at his home in Vienna on March 22, 2010, two days after his brother died.
"Ossi" suffered a pulmonary embolysm about an hour before he was to go to his country house in Kitzbühel for a short break – just two days after his brother died. Ossi had turned 87 on February 26.
He ran Chase operations in Luxembourg for more than two decades, and also ran branches in Stuttgart and Munich.
He was an enthusiastic golfer and bridge player (until the day before he died), a terrific singer and great opera enthusiast.
A funeral is planned for Tuesday, April 13, 2010 in Vienna. (Details on time and place to come.)
He is survived by his wife, Gisela (Gisi), and their two sons, Hans George and Karl Anton.
* * *
Anyone wishing to share a remembrance should send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Jean Claude Schaeffer: I worked with him in Luxembourg from March 1980 until December 1989 as his deputy. When we first met in March 1980 I wondered how the two of us would fit together. Being 27 years older, he could have been my father. Of course he was not, but Ossi behaved as if were my adoptive father.
He knew the Chase organization and all the award programs. His greatest pleasure and pride was to get me a presidential award in 1984 and Bob Hunter's Apple award in 1985. He was always willing to embark on new business opportunities (Global Custody). His attitude was never "Yes, but," but rather " Why not, let's get it done."
He was one of, if not the most, human person I ever met in my professional career. Chase Luxembourg employees all enjoyed this human aspect.
The last 20 years we continued to be close friends, and in case of need he was my consultant. It is really a pity that he left me alone. Luckily enough we spent a couple of days together in January, and it was my last chance to take him to the Opera.
I must admit that I am not a great writer for circumstances like this one, and in the past Ossie wrote them for me.
From Herb Jacobi: When I joined the Supervisory Board of the "Oesterreichische Privat & Kommerzbank" in 1968 and reported the mess found to John Haley, we sent Ossi von Goertz to the rescue. That was the beginning of a long and very happy relationship with Ossi and his charming wife, Gisi. Ossi was the picture book European-American banker: a perfect gentleman combined with an astute feeling for risk and analysis. After I left Chase in 1977 I didn't see as much of Ossie, but we always stayed in touch. It was very sad to hear of his passing. Everyone who ever got to know Ossi will miss him but also never forget him.
From Juergen Wittayer: I learned with deep regret of Ossi's death and would like to express my sincerest condolences to his family and his numerous friends. During my time at Chase Frankfurt's Treasury, I very often had contact with this unique man. Each conversation and contact was a happening. I enjoyed his presence very much on the occasion of our marketing meetings in Frankfurt when he fought for the interest of his branch. He was always able to contribute that special spice with his ideas and adorable humor, which gave a meeting a special touch. Many incidents remind me of him, but one needs to be mentioned, as it evidences his originality.
I once visited him at the Munich branch, which he managed at that time. I had to catch a flight to Frankfurt, and not too much time was left till the departure of the flight. Rather than ordering a cab, he offered me a lift to the airport. Despite rush hour and bumper-to-bumper traffic, we made it, Ossi knew every shortcut and he even drove over a few sidewalks. I caught that flight – soaking wet.
Ossi, I admired you not only for your driving skills, but also because you were one of the most original human beings I met during my time at Chase.
From D.P. Ahuja: I worked in Luxembourgh for him on a project during the 1990s. I enjoyed meeting him. I had one or two Indian meals with him and his lovely wife in Luxembourgh. He was a very interesting person to work with. May God bless his soul and his family with peace.
From Dominique Bazin: I got to know Ossi when I joined Chase in Frankfurt in 1970, but became close to him in 1973 when he ran the Stuttgart Branch to which I was assigned with the prospect of taking over in due time. That happened after some time with him kindly journeying from Munich where he had been assigned, to offer me assistance, particularly with companies he was close to. Ossi was a great banker, if not in the Chase mold (I remember him looking at a letter of credit to see whether the documents were in conformity!). But first and foremost he was a great human being, not concerned about hierachy or protocol but about seeing that the right thing was done. We spent lots of time on the roads of Baden Wurtenberg seeing clients and prospective clients. He was great company, talking about his past at Bank of America (he had a U.S. passport then!), his new and young family (he married late) to whom he was very devoted, golf (he tried to play even after the problems that a car accident caused to his back), and many, many other subjects. Indeed, he was interested in so many things that one weekend when I went to see him at his house, he was watching two TV sets, one put on top of the other! He was a great support to me during those few years. I was very pleased to follow his long career in Luxembourg which he enjoyed very much. We met too few times after I left Chase, but he always retained the same forward looking energy and optimism. I send his wife our sincere condolences.
From R D Kneller FCA: I audited Chase Luxembourg out of Paris in 1978-1984. Ossi was unforgettable. He once recounted how he still had an annual reunion with the Russian Tank Commander who captured him and his Panzer crew during the war. He certainly had “charisma” to become friends with such a foe!