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

Acceptance Speech of Eunice Reich- Berman


Remarks by Ron Berman November 13, 2001

Thank you Richard ( Wilson ) for your wonderful tribute to Eunice. And thank you FIASI for this wonderful honor. In addressing this distinguished group tonight I have both an easy as well as a difficult task. The easy one is talking about Eunice. The difficult one is editing my remarks to last only 10 minutes. But I’ll do the best I can.

Eunice was the best gift I ever received. A gift that just keeps giving. The wonderful memory of tonight will brighten my life forever. Although I already knew it, tonight’s honor is just more evidence of how extraordinary and successful Eunice was, both professionally and as a human being. I am sure that all of you are now familiar with what Eunice accomplished professionally, either from personal experiences or after listening to Richard. And I am sure many of you got to know her personally, and loved her for the type of person she was. Tonight I would like to address the personal side of Eunice.

I have said many times that Eunice was the best human being I ever met. I think that after you met Eunice for the first time, you felt that she was your very good friend, someone you could confide in. I must admit that she had to spread herself very thin, because everyone wanted to hear her opinion. She was smart, had feelings, was concerned, and was willing to listen. Most people who listened to what she had to say would come up with the right solution. But what was important was that she helped you come up with the right answer rather than telling you what to do. That is why I considered her an unusual mentor. Not only did she help interns and co-workers fulfill their potential at their jobs, but more importantly she helped these people fulfill themselves in their personal lives, and in many cases become better human beings. Even when she was sick, she was more interested in your problems than her own.

One thing I want to convey is that what you saw in Eunice was exactly the way she was when the two of us were alone. She never, and I stress never, had a bad word to say about anyone. She was dedicated to her employer and her co-workers. She was always interested in the future of the youngsters who worked for her. She would fight to get them raises, was certainly happy when they made the Institutional Investor All Star Team, and was even happy if they left her Firm if they were bettering their career. Many times the youngsters would ask her opinion about a competing job offer. She could divorce herself from the job of being their manager, and sincerely give them the pros and cons of making the switch. If they chose to move on, this was not in the best interests of her Firm, but she certainly passed the test of being a good human being with flying colors. And that was much more important.

The honors and promotions she received she earned. But she really didn’t dwell on the rewards. As I recall, the first time that Institutional Investor came out with their top picks in debt, all debt was lumped together, not like the many categories they have today. Eunice came in 2nd. I was thrilled for her. She really wasn’t that impressed with the honor, and she never spoke about it after the first day. After she became Manager of her Department at JP Morgan, she hired someone to follow the utilities sector.. Eunice’s name still appeared on the research reports, alone with the Analyst. That same year Eunice made the All Star team again. That night Eunice told me that her name would no longer appear on the research reports for it was not fair to the Analyst who really was deserving of the votes. I must add that although Eunice never seemed to care about awards, I am positive she would be thrilled to have her name associated with the people who previously received the honor you are bestowing on her tonight.

She helped so many people, and never asked for credit. Their success was her reward. She really didn’t think she was doing something special. She just thought that what she was doing was right. I want to interject that both Eunice and I were considered workaholics. Many, if not most nights, we would leave the office at 11 PM or later. When we got home, I would grab some food and watch the news. Eunice would go to the computer. I presumed she was finishing off some work. I was wrong. That was when she would answer her e-mails and help solve the personal problems of people who were confiding in her. After she died I heard from many people who told me of Eunice’s e-mails to them at 1 or 2 AM. And that is how I found out about her good deeds.

I remember my mother telling me that one of her friends asked her how old Eunice was when she died. My mother replied that she was 52. So young, the older woman said. My mother properly said, it is not how long you live, it is how you live that counts. In what she accomplished professionally, and as a human being, she lived a very full life.

Although Eunice is not here physically tonight, she is here through so many people who she touched who are here tonight, and who think about here often. I know we could stay here for hours telling Eunice stories. I also know that when you know someone for an extended period of time, you can build a strong relationship. But Eunice was unique in that she built these relationships quickly. Although Eunice died about 1 year and 8 months ago, I want to tell you two stories that occurred within the last month. The reason I selected these 2 events is because it involved people who only met Eunice once. In order to fully understand these stories I briefly have to tell you about the Foundation which I started in Eunice’s memory. Just like Eunice was a mentor to so many youngsters, The Eunice Foundation was established to help children afflicted with cancer. Presently New York City Public School 1275 is located in Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center. The school is for grades kindergarten to 12th grade and has between 50 to 70 students at the present time. There are 3 full time teachers who help both the inpatients and outpatients with their studies. The children bring their own books from their local public schools. The purpose of the school is to make the children feel that their illness is only temporary, and that they will resume a normal life as soon as they are better. As a result they have no fear of falling behind in their class work, and they have classmates who are understanding and in a similar situation. The first project for The Eunice Foundation is to build and support the school classroom in the new pediatric wing at MSKCC. I am sure that those of you who knew Eunice will agree that I really could not have picked a better way to continue her good deeds, than by helping these deserving children.

Now to my 2 stories.

I met a person in 1965 when I was in Law School and on a skiing weekend. We keep in touch, and he subsequently became a client. But we never socialized. When I was first separated from my wife, this friend, and the woman he was living with were very supportive. I knew they would be thrilled to know of my happiness with Eunice, so I invited them to our wedding.

That was the only time they met Eunice. When she was diagnosed with cancer in 1996, I told these friends. Once again they were supportive and they started to write letters to Eunice, send her cards, and occasionally speak to her on the telephone. Apparently they had been touched by Eunice. After she died, I put this couple was on the mailing list for the Eunice Foundation. One month ago today this couple got married. When they sent out their wedding invitations they stated that they did not want any wedding gifts. But if anyone was so inclined, the couple requested that instead of a gift for them they should send a check to The Eunice Foundation, and they described what the Foundation was attempting to do. There were 25 couples invited to the wedding, and 25 checks were received by the Foundation. I am sure you will agree with me that this couple made a wonderful gesture. But I also believe that it was Eunice’s inspiration which helped these two people fulfill themselves as good human beings.

My second story involves a married couple in their late 30s from California who are also my clients. Ten years ago they came to New York for a week. They came over for brunch during the weekend. After the meal the husband and I went into another room to discuss their finances for about one half hour, and then they left. Again 1996 comes around and Eunice has cancer. I told these friends, and they were very supportive. The wife wrote to Eunice often, sent her cards, and occasionally called her. One time I told the woman how much I appreciated how nice she was to Eunice. She said that Eunice had more influence on her life than anyone she had ever met. I said you only spoke with her for ½ hour. She said she spoke with Eunice about all of the important things, and that she was able to understand her own feelings, and she was able to solve her own problems. After Eunice died, I put those clients on the mailing list as well. Just a few weeks ago the woman called me and asked that I transfer $3,000 from her small personal account into The Eunice Foundation. I suggested that she transfer the money from the much larger joint account. She said she had been contemplating divorce, and did not know what to do. She thought about seeking professional help, but instead thought of her conversation with Eunice from 10 years ago. Everything suddenly became clear, and she knew what she should do, and she wanted to make this donation to the Foundation in appreciation. I do not know what this woman will end up doing. But I am sure you will agree with me that her gift was from the heart, and it was inspired by Eunice, and in a way Eunice had made this woman a better human being.

In closing, I wanted to thank FIASI for two things; one they know about, and one they do not. The first is for this wonderful honor that they have bestowed on Eunice. The second has to do with the letter I received telling me of this honor. I sent a copy of that letter along with an article about the Foundation which appeared in my Firm’s monthly news bulletin to the people on the Foundation’s mailing list. An anonymous person was so touched by the article and the award that they have offered to make a matching gift of up to $200,000 for any donations I receive from the day they received my letter and ending one year from tonight. Words can not express my gratitude to your Society and to this human being. Thank you all for listening. And if any of you have your own favorite Eunice story, I would love for you to put it in writing and send it to me so that I can pass these stories on to Eunice’s future generations.


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