In Memoriam: G. Robert (Bob) Hess

30-Year International Banker -- and Minister

The CAA mourns the passing of its member G. Robert (Bob) Hess, who passed away unexpectedly on December 26, 2012 in Olympia, Washington, where he and his wife, Joan, had retired.

He worked at Chase Manhattan from 1969 to 1999, in Asia finance/capital markets, Western Hemisphere finance/capital markets, real estate finance and International Institutional.

From Tim McGinnis: Bob was born and raised in Texas where he received his undergraduate degree. He then attended Yale and Oxford, where he received divinity degrees. Bob was ordained as an Episcopal minister and spent a number of years in Dallas, Texas, as a parish priest.

In 1969, Bob joined the Chase Credit Training Program and then joined the International Department, working in Canada, in Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, as Country Manager of the Philippines and, to complete his career, in Japan.

Not only was Bob an accomplished banker, but many of us also relied upon him to perform marriages, baptisms and funerals.

Bob's wife and son, Jonathan, continue to reside in Olympia, Washington, while his daughter Meredith lives in Seattle.  Throughout his life, Bob was a voracious reader, avid traveler and lover of fine wines.

Bob will be sincerely missed.


Anyone wishing to share a remembrance should send it to

From Roger Griffin: I’m very sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. I knew him as a trainee when he entered the credit programme – it always seemed a bit strange teaching cash flows to a Minister with “the presence” and an accomplished academic record – as a colleague when he worked in Asia and as a friend. It was in the latter capacity that he certified me as suitably religious, a banker’s reference I suppose, to a fellow Minister in California who was to conduct the marriage in Coronado of this unknown Englishman living in New York – I’m sure he’ll be forgiven for that. Always cheerful, always thoughtful, always reliable, utterly without “side”, he was a good man and I regret not maintaining contact with him on leaving Chase. My thoughts are with Joan.

From Joe Murphy: A week ago I read Tim's news that our friend and colleague Bob Hess had passed away. I read Roger's memories of Bob. The past week I have remembered and thought about Bob and the pleasant times we experienced traveling and meeting our Institutional clients in Asia.
    As Dona & I travel these days we reconnect with friends made through Life's Journey. I had looked at the CAA site a while ago and saw that Bob & Joan had retired in Olympia.  Unfortunately we did not have that opportunity to visit.
    My fondest memory of Bob was during our A/P days working together for the first time. Bob was back in New York after an overseas assignment. I was in Hong Kong on my first one. Bob kept peace for all of us at the Head Office.  Early on he suggested that if he needed information he would telephone me during Hong Kong business hours. He would appreciate my reciprocating this courtesy. Only later when we knew Bob better did Joan share that "calling the Rev" when he was asleep at home was somewhat of an Asia pastime at APAO and with our Country Managers. He was the "go to" guy at 1 CMP to push a credit approval through the complexities of Credit Committees or obtain scarce Met Opera tickets during home leaves.
    And a life lesson from Bob?  His love of education and learning.  During one of our many long flights together he shared memories of his first summer job as a teenager.  His uncle, a Bishop in Dallas, connected Bob to a job at Love Field. Bob spent that Texas summer handling the loading and unloading of baggage from American Airline planes.  Divinity School, followed by Bankin, became relatively easier decisions given that very hot summer. Bob's uncle must have been a masterful teacher – much like his nephew.
   Dona and I offer our prayers for Joan and their children, Jonathan and Meredith. Go in Peace.