DR: Recollections by Chase Alumni – Volume II

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For Christmas 2013, the CAA presented David Rockefeller with a book of recollections and vintage photos. (Click here to see his thank you note.) We're now working on Volume II, which we expect to present to DR on his 99th birthday in June. If you have stories and/or photos (in 300 dpi, please), please send them to news@chasealum.org.

From Fawzi Malouf: The first time I met David Rockefeller he shook hands with everyone at Beirut Branch. Even with a young trainee who had joined Chase five months before. The photo at right shows DR with all the staff on March 5, 1968.

From Stan Schrager: Though I never had the pleasure of working with David Rockefeller in a business setting, I did have the wonderful experience of getting to know him during my morning workouts at the 1CMP Chase Gym. David was always gracious, always friendly, and always very interested in my personal life and family. Our lockers were right next to each other, and we would often get into a conversation, always initiated by David, as we were getting dressed after our workouts.

David would usually ask questions about my family, whom he did not know, and would often compare his childhood experiences to the times I was spending with my wife and children, such as going on family vacations. I always laughed to myself, since I could never imagine David spending a weekend at a motel in one room with two kids.

Every Christmas David would walk down to 1NYP to have a holiday lunch with a bunch of the employees in the general cafeteria. I do not know if David knew that the people he lunched with were very carefully selected rather than just randomly chosen. I would guess he really knew what was going on behind the scenes.

The first year that Art Ryan was heading up Operations, therefore hosting David at the luncheon, he went to 1CMP to escort David down to NYP for the annual lunch. Art was a little nervous; as usual, those of us in HR would be stationed around the cafeteria waiting for David to ensure all was going well. David and Art were running late, so John Scicutella, Operations HR Exec at the time, sent me down to look for them. As I was going down the escalator from the second floor, I saw David and Art going up. Nothing I could do but just continue on down. Art saw me and gave me a look of “where the h...l are you going?” And almost at the exact same time, David saw me and said across the escalator, “Hi Stan, happy holidays!!” The look on Art’s face was priceless.

To David, a perfect gentleman, my very best wishes.

Bill Flanz: My fondest memories of times with David are of the adventures we shared in the Middle East and Asia during his annual swings through each area, when I was Chase’s Area Director for those two parts of the world. We called upon many heads of state and important customers and dignitaries, but it was the weekend “excursions” we always included in these two-week trips that I remember the most vividly. Riding in a military helicopter into the mountains of Oman for lunch with a provincial governor in an area inaccessible by road in the 1970s and an elephant ride to a village in the Golden Triangle of northern Thailand in the 1980s especially come to mind. David was a great traveller, always up for something new and always enjoying the adventure, regardless of the conditions or occasional problems.

hen we rode horses into the sandstone, carved city of Petra in Jordan, I was prepared with cash in my pocket to pay for the horse rental, because I had learned at the beginning of my career that David often had no money with him. Tony Coe, my NYC District head, had a five dollar bill and desk slip from David pinned on his wall. It said,       

From the desk of David Rockefeller
       Dear Tony,
       I enclose five dollars. Many thanks for the loan.

Apparently, when a pool was raised on a duck shoot at Tony’s gun club on Long Island, David had to borrow the funds to join the pool.

To my surprise, at the end of the ride in Petra, David pulled out his wallet and insisted on paying for the horse rental. While he did not have Jordanian dinars, the stable-man happily accepted dollars.

I attach two photos of David with me. The first, the one where I still had hair, was taken 27 years ago during David’s visit to Hong Kong in 1986. The later picture was taken on November 2, 2013, when David kindly invited me to join him on a horse-drawn carriage ride in Pocantico Hills on a beautiful, sunny fall day.

At 98 David is still full of enthusiasm for exploration and adventure.

From Ken Picknell, re Israel 1994:

The Middle East was a favourite of David with regard to overseas tours. His last tour representing Chase was December 1994, a whistle-stop throughout the region. I was the country officer for Israel and needed to fill 24 hours of his trip and try to organise it from London, there being no Chase office in Israel and little likelihood of support from neighbouring countries.

David was due to arrive from Amman, where he had been the houseguest of King Hussein. Despite a peace treaty with Jordan having been signed two months earlier, no agreement had so far been reached on direct flights between the two countries. Having amassed what could be described as a heavily armed motorcade, my party sat in the King David Hotel on the afternoon of his arrival still waiting word from the United States where the flight plan was controlled as to not only when but “where” his Lear Jet would land. As it turned out, he needed to fly from Amman to Cyprus, literally touch down at one end of Larnaca’s runway, then accelerate and take off without stopping. This then satisfied various national sensitivities. We then heard that he would arrive at Jerusalem's airport (more of a rather large patio in Ramallah) instead of Israel’s main airport at Tel Aviv. So off we all went to find this airport deserted. One of our local security people found an “immigration” officer,s and we all waited out on the apron.

While there, another party arrived. Unbeknownst to us, one of the most famous Israelis ever, Teddy Kollek, had found out about the visit and also come. The late Teddy Kollek, mayor of Jerusalem for 28 years – including 1967 when the city was reunified – was a very old personal friend of David, four years his senior and widely regarded as a founder of Israel and a national treasure. The Lear Jet landed, the entourage disembarked, greetings were given and we were then told that we were going to the ‘Museum”.  David got into Teddy Kollek’s car, and we just had to follow as close as we could, as Jerusalem has two museums, one of which is actually called the Rockefeller Museum. Teddy Kollek, however, had long since formed the Jerusalem Foundation that established the Israel Museum. We just followed and hoped that we would not lose them! Our entire organisation seemed to be falling apart, the schedule was already in pieces and we had not even made it to the hotel!

At the Jerusalem Museum, Teddy Kollek proceeded to give the party the grand tour. I then overheard him telling David that they should forget their respective programmes and dine together that evening. I left by a side door and called Teddy Kollek’s office, the reason being that he was to be guest of honour that evening at a Knesset (parliament) dinner where he was due to be formally awarded the Freedom of Jerusalem. I considered that it would be better if he actually showed up! His office was most grateful for my call, spoke with his driver and put things straight. DR had picked up what was going on and most graciously talked Teddy into honouring his existing dinner date and then inviting him to breakfast with us the following morning. I subsequently learned that Teddy was starting to get a little “forgetful”, but I was also starting to see and appreciate the great humanity and loyalty to friends that David was blessed with.

The U.S. Embassy in Israel at the time was in a kind of Interregnum, and the Chargé D’Affaires was due to visit David at the hotel later that evening. No sooner had the meeting started that we received a call from the office of Shimon Peres, then the foreign minister of Israel. A meeting was offered right away. We had been unsuccessful in arranging a meeting, as Mr. Peres was that day opening a new border crossing with Jordan following the peace treaty. He had, however, made it back at a reasonable time. Apologies were made and David left for the ministry. I hoped that the U.S. official understood, but at 40 miles each way from Tel Aviv, he probably wondered if his trip was worth it!

Breakfast the following morning was to host the finance minister. Of course it now also included Teddy Kollek. David was at the entrance to the hotel at the appointed time waiting for his friend making sure that he was looked after, by himself if necessary.

The morning’s other meeting actually went close to plan, although it was clear that David was disappointed that we could not take in one or two more museums. Bank Leumi’s Chairman, Moshe Sanbar (photo at left, with Ken Picknell in left background), another old friend from the time that Mr. Sanbar was Central Bank Governor, hosted lunch at the Tel Aviv Holiday Inn. If driving through Tel Aviv is always a challenge, getting a close coupled convoy through to the beach hotel district is a sight to be seen. His office had confidently told me that David had probably never before been inside a Holiday Inn, but it was a Crowne Plaza and Bank Leumi owned it; also, it being a Friday, the bank’s own kitchens were closed. It was, however, a great occasion after which we returned to Tel Aviv airport where the Lear jet, fuelled and re-catered with some kind of stew that the crew had found in a Jerusalem market, was waiting. The party then flew directly to Kuwait without any problem or need to drive down any “”neutral” runway.

I was told that a visit by David Rockefeller was always a challenge. This is of course true, but it is also a privilege and a joy. His energy is legendary as he insists on literally hitting the ground running and making use of every moment. My lasting impression is of his kindness and humility to all, his true appreciation of all whom he meets and his ability to communicate this.

From Al Bahamonde: At the time DR visited Chile, I was the Senior Chase Officer in Chile. Harry Thether had been assigned to come to Chile as Country Manager and arrived in Santiago in early 1981. We took the opportunity of DR's visit in November 1980 to have Harry standing in the reception line, next to us. He was still living in Mexico. Don Roth and David came to Chile several months before, to help us make a presentation about the privatization of the telephone company to its Board of Directors. Chase won the mandate to be the advisor for the privatization. Due to political pressure, however, this work was not done at that time.

I was in charge of the work and organization for DRs visit to Santiago since NY management neither authorized the hiring of local public relations help nor gave me any help. I had to use all my credit and marketi
ng officers and my wife to coordinate all the events. Luckily, DR's visit to Santiago was a "national event" in Chile.

The reception was held with over 1,000 atendees on November 5, 1980 at The Unión Club of Santiago. Mr. Rockefeller's New York companions were: Robert Douglass, Jim Bergford, Kevin Corrigan and Jerry Van Dorn.

On November 6, early in the morning we attended a breakfast at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence with several General Managers and CEOs of several U.S. multinational companies. U.S. Ambassador George Landau and his wife, Mary, were the hosts.

Thereafter, we visited the Chase branch located at the corner of Mc Iver and Huerfanos. Mr. Rockefeller was greeted by all personel, including porters and security people. We met at the conference room, next to my office, with all the senior people of the branch. Later on we attended a lunch in honor of Mr Rockefeller, offered by Sergio de Castro, Minister of Finance and Sergio de la Cuadra, President of the Central Bank. This lunch was attended by DR and visitors, Harry Tether and the undersigned, as well as ministers and senior goverment officials. Mr. Pinochet was not present.

In the afternoon, David Rockefeller held a press conference at the Carrera Hotel.

I would like to note that Mrs. Peggy Rockefeller also visited Chile and was hosted by Mrs. Agustin Edwards. They visited the Chiloe Islands in the south of Chile.

From Manuel Pena-Morros: During my tenure as country manager of Chase, Mexico, I had the pleasure of receiving DR on four different occasions, from which I have fond memories. Three specially come to mind. The first one was after our visit to the Governor of the Central Bank known as Banco de Mexico. The bank is located one block from the National Theater and David asked us if we wanted to see the mural the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera started painting on one of the walls of Rockefeller Center during its construction.

The painting includes the face of Lenin, the Hammer and Sickle of the Soviet Union and some Mexican revolutionary passages.

After observing and admiring the masterpiece, David turned to Bob Murphy and me, and said: "This is what this gentleman wanted to paint in my building, can you imagine? We paid him in full as if he had concluded the work and sent him home."

Another anecdote was during a scheduled visit to his friend Emilio Azcarraga, who had recently opened an art museum. We arrived somewhat late at the wrong museum, and as soon as we got out of the car, we realized no one was expecting us and acknowledged we had gone to the wrong place.

We rushed out and the two motorcycle police escorts stopped the traffic and sped the motorcade going the wrong way in the heavy traffic of Reforma Avenue. Said David: "This is the way to travel.”

The third anecdote was having dinner at my home in his honor with influential Mexican businessmen at the time, who included Carlos Slim, Antonio Madero Bracho, Pepe Serrano and Miguel Rincon.

During dinner we had a pianist playing some light music in the adjoining living room, and when David began to share some remarks after dinner, the pianist stopped playing. As soon as David concluded his brief comments, he approached the pianist and apologized for interrupting his music.

From Harry Tether: David visited Chile and Argentina several times between 1980 and 1989, when I was Country Manager.  Among several recollections from these visits, two are outstanding and exemplify David’s warm and admirable character: his loyalty and keen interest in the lives of his friends, despite their political fortunes, and his ability to put people at ease with engaging and personal conversation.

David had an influential Chilean friend, Augustin Edwards, who was owner and executive at El Mercurio, Chile’s leading newspaper. By policy Chase would not extend credit to newspapers and there was never any suggestion that we should do so to El Mercurio. We did extend credit to Mr. Edwards’ bank, Banco A. Edwards, based on satisfactory credit analysis. In meetings in Santiago or New York, David’s first question was, “How is Doonie doing?” As a leading Chilean figure, his friend Doonie had suffered greatly from the socialist regime of Salvador Allende, and he was continually concerned about his well being under the military regime of General Pinochet.

Similarly in Argentina, David was concerned for the personal struggles of José Martinez de Hoz, Argentina’s Minister of Economy from 1976 to 1981. Martinez de Hoz had attempted to open Argentina’s closed economy to foreign imports and investment in order to benefit consumers and modernize industry. But Argentina’s Peronist political institutions frustrated his intentions, and he was forced from office. David was concerned that his visit to Martinez de Hoz might attract negative attention to the bank. So he made an unaccompanied visit to his friend, and there were no bank repercussions. 

On a personal note, David had a Sunday dinner at our home…what he called Family night. He recalled to my wife that he had not seen her at his last visit to Mexico a few years before, remembering that she was in the States with her ailing father. He asked my 10-year-old son how he was doing, to which he replied, “I lost my tooth today.” David quickly responded, “I am having trouble with my teeth, too, but I am not going to get any new ones!” At dinner he discussed his upcoming trips, where he was planning to meet with countries' leading authorities. While not a bank executive, he remained an outstanding business ambassador for Chase.

These brief anecdotes evidence David’s wonderful personal qualities. 

From Charles Kovacs: Back in 1977, I was AGM in the Beirut Branch. The branch was reopened around January after the first Lebanese Civil War and conditions in Beirut remained unstable There were sporadic clashes, in spite of the presence of a pan-Arab peacekeeping force, and a couple of times there was a dash for the airport to get out of the country on the first available flight to anywhere; we were issued blank airline tickets on MEA, the only airline flying to and from Lebanon. All the same, David came over for a visit to see the branch and to talk to the government. The schedule was conventional, but the situation was not.

The branch itself was located in the No Man's Land between the Christian and Moslem parts of Beirut. This used to be the main business and financial district, and still functioned as such until 2 pm or so. From then on, it emptied rapidly and was to be avoided until the next morning. David's visit required extensive security precautions and consultations with the Lebanese authorities, who provided a large security detail. All went well in the morning: visits to the government and then a tour of the branch, with David talking to the staff in his usual affable manner. It was then time to leave for the airport and the staff came out in front of the branch to see David off. He was supposed to walk quickly to his limousine (possible snipers), but as he was coming out, he spotted a group of employees he had not seen earlier. He turned around, went to talk and shake hands with them and left only afterwards. The security detail was very nervous – they thought there was real danger – but this clearly did not impress David, who must have been briefed on the dangers of his visit. 

I had a few other occasions to to talk with David, but I will always remember this gesture in Beirut - it was pure DR, leadership and noblesse oblige.

From Nancy L. Lane: One evening I was at a special black tie event and happened to see Mr. Rockefeller, apparently sitting by himself, and so I went over to introduce myself and briefly chat.

"How do you do sir, I am sure you won't recognize me, but my name is Nancy Lane, and I'm a former Chase officer," I said to him. Then, shortly afterwards I saw a friend and I encouraged him to come over and join us, and I said, "Oh yes, Mr. Rockefeller, and let me introduce a friend of mine to you, and he's also a former Chase officer."

DR then instantly replied, "Well, yes, hello, and by the way, I'm also a 'former Chase officer too.'"

We all laughed because, yes, we were Chase officers, but he, of course, was the ultimate "former Chase officer."

rom Simon Steward: I was Country Manager of Southern Africa, which included South Africa, between 1985 and 1986 and then again when Chase re-opened in 1995. DR opened the Chase office in 1995 after sanctions and the State of Emergency had been lifted and SA was on the official calling list again.

Before that, in 1984, DR visited South Africa and met with Prime Minister PW Botha, one of the late architects/implementors of apartheid, when there were just four of us in Botha’s Cape Town-based office. (Tony Coe, the then-Country Manager, was too ill to travel, unfortunately.) Dr. Roux was the other person present. (Dr. Roux was an ex-Minister of Prisons!)

Most of the conversation between DR and Botha revolved around an explanation by Botha of why the Government embarked on its chosen path, especially the Forced Removals policy. After DR had vigorously stated, diplomatically of course, that apartheid but, in particular, this policy had been repudiated by all of the world’s democratic governments, the meeting was terminated after two hours of discussion (which was extended by one hour).

Before this visit, I had taken DR to all the major corporations plus, inter alia, the Reserve Bank of SA, where we met Governor De Kock. After the visit to Cape Town, we flew back to Johannesburg where the last dinner event of his visit was held at Brenthurst, the residence of Harry Oppenheimer (the ex-Chairman of the largest – at the time – company in SA, Anglo American of South Africa Limited, which his father, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer started in 1917).

I was invited to repeat the main part of the discussion with Prime Minister Botha earlier that day. The guests (which included Zach de Beer, also of Anglo American) were horrified by what they heard (“that most of the Blacks agreed with the policy”). Not true!

In 1995, the previous apartheid regime had “resigned” and Nelson Mandela was the new President – what a difference! SA had, finally , gotten a Constitution that was the envy of most democratic global countries. The problem with it was always going to be the implementation process – a country where before 1990 every racial group had been divided! The challenge goes on today.

I was given a book “The Nelson Rockefeller Collection – Masterpieces Of Modern Art” in which DR wrote “with many thanks for his sensitive and efficient handling of a most exciting and successful visit to South Africa. With warm regards and best wishes , David Rockefeller “. This volume remains one of my most treasured and well read books, as it reminds me of the discussions I had with DR when I was in New York and in South Africa.

One such discussion that sticks in my memory was when I was in DR’s midtown office and he asked me and my wife, Di, to a closed invitation to the Museum of Modern Art. The only problem was finding Di in New York! And she had to go back to change on Roosevelt Island and then find her way to MoMA! She made it with minutes to spareThe visit was spectacular and enthralling. Di, who was in the Guggenheim, I seem to recall, and whose main outside interest is art, would not have missed it for anything!

Other documents, mainly letters, passed between us in which I tried to present my view of the future; some of the letters, as a whole or some contents, were passed on to either Chase senior management or the U.S. State Department. Several of my predictions for South Africa (1984-2006) have been accurate, unfortunately. Hopefully these letters succeeded in influencing some key figures!

One of the off-site events was when Harry Oppenheimer lent us his game reserve resort. We were invited as a family (Di and two of the children, Nicola and Henrietta) to go. DR was accompanied by his daughter Peggy Dulaney, Jack Davies and Gordon Bradford, together with his main security person, Walter Bothe.

On his exit from the airport, Tony and Penny Coe gave DR a a card signed by all in the Chase Office and a beautifully woven Lesotho rug that was made close to where I lived in Basutoland and that Di had chosen.

So ended a very pleasant period of my life. I wish DR every warm wish and regret not having seen him recently.

From Philip Young: In 1981, I was serving as the President of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic in addition to my “day job” as the Chase Country Manager when our Chamber Board of Directors asked me to invite David Rockefeller to be our guest speaker at one of our monthly luncheons. While acknowledging that I had not yet had the honor of personally meeting our Chairman, I promised to contact him about the idea on behalf of our Chamber.

The opportunity soon arose near the end of a management seminar in upstate New York, when Mr. Rockefeller landed on the lawn in a helicopter to greet all the attendees. Upon being introduced to David, I extended the invitation and was delighted that he graciously agreed to be our guest speaker as soon as a trip to Santo Domingo could be arranged.

During months of preparation for a visit in July, I learned that David would be accompanied by Gustavo Cisneros, a prominent Venezuelan industrialist who was a member of the Chase International Advisory Council. Soon after, an assistant to Gustavo arrived in my office to ask how the Cisneros organization might be of assistance. Having no prior experience planning a Rockefeller visit, I was both astonished and thrilled when Gustavo’s assistant offered to transport three Cisneros helicopters from Caracas to the Dominican Republic to facilitate the entourage with travel from the Santo Domingo airport to the Chamber lunch and later to Gustavo Cisneros’ Dominican beachfront estate at La Romana.

Local excitement about the visit was elevated when President Ronald Reagan appointed David and Gustavo as representatives of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative charged with seeking ways to revitalize the economies in the region. Extensive Dominican media coverage of this high level appointment fueled speculation about the potential for new U.S. aid to the country’s struggling economy and heightened interest in the AMCHAM event. There was, of course, a huge turnout of local business owners, multinational executives and government representatives at the Chamber luncheon.



After David’s speech, which was warmly received, we immediately participated in a press conference with the local TV stations. Having heard about David’s proficiency in various languages, I was extremely proud of our Chairman as he responded to a barrage of reporters’ questions in fluent Spanish.


We then toured our local banking operations. Knowing that Chase was fortunate to have an excellent team of well trained Dominican bankers, David made sure to greet each employee at our main branch with a hearty handshake and words of appreciation for their dedication. The staff was, of course, delighted at his interest in meeting them personally and gratified by our Chairman’s visit to their country.

From the branch, we drove to the Presidential Palace for a lengthy meeting with President Antonio Guzman along with his financial ministers and U.S. Ambassador Yost. Sr. Guzman had wo
n a pivotal election in 1978 by handing President Joaquín Balaguer his first electoral defeat, marking the first time in the Dominican Republic's history that an incumbent president peacefully surrendered power to an elected member of an opposition party. President Guzman, a populist rancher, was clearly charmed by David’s knowledge of the Dominican Republic and his ability to converse with him in Spanish in a relaxed manner on a variety of subjects important to the country.

After completing the official business, we arrived at the airport for the “icing on the cake” part of the visit, where Cisneros’ team had arranged for their helicopters to take us on a tour of the beautiful island en route to an overnight stay at his lush seaside property in La Romana. Cindy, my wife, who was invited to join us, was waiting for us at the airport with Wendell, our Dominican-born son. Once again, David demonstrated his wide range of people skills in comforting our teary eyed 18-month-old before we all hopped aboard the helicopters for a sunset flight and a delightful dinner with David
and Gustavo at the Cisneros residence.

er that year, with mixed emotions, Cindy and I transferred from our beloved Dominican Republic, our favorite country assignment, to Hong Kong, where Jeffrey, our second child, was born soon after our arrival. When I next met our Chairman at a Chase reception in Hong Kong, David, gracious as always, asked me how our family was adjusting to our new surroundings.

He then asked about the Dominican President, who shockingly took his own life a year after
our visit, during the latter part of his presidency. David, who had established rapport with Sr. Guzman during his visit, was sincerely saddened by the news.

 In 2003, Cindy and I had another opportunity to talk with David at the reception for his autobiography book signing in New York, where we shared fond recollections of his 1981 visit to the Dominican Republic. 



From Chris Matlon: During my career at Chase, I was privileged to travel with David Rockefeller in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. One of our more memorable trips was in 1984 to Pakistan, where David opened a new Chase branch in Lahore. The Chase contingent included Frank Stankard, Archie Roosevelt, Clem Reedsdale, John Colvin and Country Manager Ron Watt, so you know a good time was had by all.

President Zia Ul Haq accorded David the status of a visiting Head of State. A military escort led our caravan of Mercedes from Peshawar through the rugged mountains up to the Khyber Pass, where we had a dramatic view of Soviet-controlled Afghanistan. Note the photo of David wearing a Pashtun ceremonial knife, discreetly shielded by his sportcoat!

Back in Islamabad, David noticed William Casey, Director of the CIA, at breakfast one morning, and a most fascinating discussion about the Soviet presence in the region ensued.

In Karachi, Presiden Zia Ul Haq and his Cabinet honored David at a State Dinner. It was a warm night, so the immense windows of the ornate State Dining Hall were open. To our surprise, out on the lawn the Pakistani Naval Band, in full regalia, played songs from Cabaret, Oklahoma! and South Pacific and other Broadway show tunes!

Because of David, many of us Chase bankers experienced and learned about a remarkable world that we would not have seen without him. Thank you, David!

From Steve Hirsch: It was probably in 1971 or 1972.  I was a 2nd VP in charge of operations for Unit-Card, a nine-state credit card business acquired by Chase in 1969.  We had a grand opening celebration for our new 2000 Marcus Avenue building in Lake Success on Long Island. David Rockefeller was invited to attend the grand opening. 

As I'm walking down a hall, I see Mr. Rockefeller talking to Lou Lazarus, the building's owner. As I passed Mr. Rockefeller and Mr. Lazarus, David excused himself from his conversation, came over to me, introduced himself and told me how much he appreciated the work I'd done to successfully establish all operations in the new building. 

That gesture of recognition was a factor, probably a major factor, in establishing my loyalty to Chase over the following 30 years. 

Thank you, David, for that special moment more than 40 years ago.

From Jim Barkas: During the 1979 World Bank / IMF Conference in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Mr Rockefeller was a prime attraction and thus a high value target. Consequently the host country’s security service assigned a hardy team of invisible body guards under the command of a genial rough tough Colonel Knizelic. Establishing a quick rapport, he introduced me to several of his undercover squad. Later, while walking next to Mr. Rockefeller through the dense pre dinner crowd along the narrow rustic Skardalija street, I was able to spot a couple of these secret police who were protecting our chairman. This was quite an unusual experience to one who had spent a number of previous visits in communist Yugoslavia occasionally wondering about the discreet presence of close and deep “tags”.
At the end of the conference we had a Chase party in a hotel room. Colonel Knizelic was on guard outside the open door where he and I were chatting. Mr. Rockefeller noticed us and came out to invite the Colonel inside, where we had a friendly engaging conversation. (Mr. Rockefeller is renowned for his ease and interest in conversing with a wide range of people.) Upon leaving, this Colonel of a communist security service was beaming with joy after talking with one of the world’s most famous capitalists.  

From Mike Esposito