2001 Hall of Fame

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Induction of Eunice Reich-Berman

Inducted November, 2001

Close friend and colleague Richard Wilson.
Mr. Wilson’s introductory remarks follows.

It is a great honor for me to be here tonight to pay tribute to my late friend and colleague EUNICE REICH-BERMAN. I am pleased to see her many friends and associates gathered together once again but under more happy circumstances than the last time.

We are here to recognize Eunice’s achievements in advancing the roll of the fixed income analyst and the prestige of our society in the investment world.

A quarter of a century ago most of the corporate fixed income analysts were at the rating agencies. Eunice was among the handful or two on the Street. She graduated from the University of Ohio in 1969 and then started her career at Warburg, Paribas, Becker in the investment banking area. In 1975 she moved to Loeb, Rhoades & Co. as a bond analyst and it was then that I first met her. She came to me and asked if I would write a letter of recommendation for her application to the New York Society of Security Analysts. I said most definitely I would and that began our long relationship.

Shortly afterwards a number of the Street “bondinis” including Eunice got together at Harry’s to set up a new organization for corporate senior security analysts. That informal group became FIASI (known in the early days as FIASCO). We met monthly over drinks to discuss the happenings in the bond world. We also tried to get speakers but it wasn’t easy at first. Few corporate debt issuers were interested in telling their story to a small group of unknown bond analysts. After all, once the bonds were sold they had no interest in the bond investor; their responsibility was to the equity owner. But Eunice pitched right in and got us many programs in our formative years. She, along with some of the other members, helped to spread the word that FIASI was a small but good forum for companies to tell their stories. Of course, corporate treasurers and CFOs had to tilt their presentations to the debt side and to temporarily forget about EPS and PE ratios.

Eunice was a tremendous help to the social side of FIASI. We used to have a Christmas blast and, of course, that required a Santa Clause. Who did I call on to help? No one but Eunice! She was ideal for the job and all it took was some arm twisting. After all, she was a perfect fit — she was jolly and had a twinkle in her eye. She didn’t even need a pillow as she was pregnant at the time.

In the early seventies most corporate bond analysts worked on the credit side of analysis. What issuers were going to upgraded or downgraded? Did a bond have the required fixed charge coverage for purchase by a particular institution? Where did the issuer stand in relation to its peers in the statistical rankings? However, Eunice was among a few with a broader vision. They looked beyond the credit factors and into the terms of the bond or preferred stock contract to determine the security’s valuation. Bond covenants including call and redemption features were important considerations and the proper interpretation greatly helped salesmen, traders, and portfolio managers. Eunice was among the early corporate senior security analysts and was not merely a green eyeshade credit analyst.

But let’s move on. After Loeb, Rhoades, Eunice went to Dillon Read in 1978 and in January 1980 joined the expanding fixed income research department at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets. This greatly expanded her reach and influence. Not only did she work with domestic investors, but she now had a European and Asiatic audience. These weren’t only Merrill people but foreign money managers as well. After a good ten years at Mother Merrill, she joined Citibank and in 1991 then took on the challenges at J. P. Morgan Securities. She became Managing Director and group head of Taxable Credit Research.

Eunice, a chartered financial analyst, was an active member of the fixed income community. Besides being a founding member of the Fixed Income Analysts Society, she served as one of our early treasurers. She was a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts, and the Association of Investment Management and Research, and she participated in the Financial Women’s Association, and the Wall Street Utility Group, among others. She made the first Institutional Investors Bond Team and I think she was the only woman on that coveted list that year.

During her 30 or so years in Wall Street Eunice touched the hearts of all who knew her. She influenced hundreds of people in the financial services, electric utility, telephone, and natural gas industries. She provided an example of excellence, both professionally and personally, and inspired countless numbers of people to achieve their ultimate potential. Her door was always open to all seeking her help and advice, whether it was a tier I institutional investor or Joe Schmoe from Idaho. She never failed to go out of her way to help advance (or save) the career of any analyst in need. She helped prepare resumes and followed through with every detail. She helped many get jobs and I am sure there are some here tonight who were on the receiving end of telephone calls from Eunice asking you to take a look at some person she just got through meeting with.

She brought honor and recognition to our society and profession from which we have all benefited. And even now the presence of Eunice is felt through the activities of The Eunice Foundation which is raising funds for the construction of a new classroom at Public School 1275 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Therefore, on behalf of the members and board of the Fixed Income Analysts Society, I am proud to induct Eunice Reich-Berman into our Hall of Fame and to present to Ron Berman this plaque and a check to the Eunice Foundation.

Richard S. Wilson

November 13, 2001

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