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Points of View

Rossoff & Company’s Points of View is a forum for industry experts, leading finance professionals and senior Rossoff & Co. professionals to provide insights and commentary on current news stories, financial market themes and industry dynamics.

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FELIX ROHATYN AND HIS ERA: REST IN PEACE

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Felix Rohatyn died yesterday at age 91.  “Felix the Fixer,” head of the Municipal Assistance Corporation (financial savior of New York City), first among equals at the legendary Lazard Freres, trusted consigliere to corporate and political titans, deal maker extraordinaire, pre-eminent investment banker of his generation.  Felix, as he was known on the Street, is little known or remembered by the current crop of bankers.  But in his day, he was the man.  His passing is a book...
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Ray Minella, 69

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We mourn the passing of our former partner Ray Minella, a great banker and a true friend.  Merrill Lynch & Co., envious of the profits Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. was extracting from the 1980s junk-bond boom, assigned Ray Minella to grab a bigger slice of that action. He did, but then lost his role at Merrill when junk-bond prices plunged in 1990. Led by Michael Milken, Drexel built up a vast market for high-yield, high-risk bonds starting in the late 1970s. They fueled a frenzy i...
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Dealing With North Korea

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The Trump Administration is scrambling to prepare for a possible meeting between President Trump and the leadership of North Korea, and our foreign policy experts are wringing their hands. After all, everyone knows that Trump is uninformed, undisciplined, unguided and dangerous. I’ll bet General H.R. McMaster, National Security Advisor, is having trouble sleeping. And yet, there is no doubt that this proposed meeting represents a potential foreign policy breakthrough – whether Trump deserves cre...
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Innovation Capacity as an Element of Value

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By Ivan Quijano (MS, MFA, MBA) Innovation Strategy Consultant The concept of innovation long ago moved from “invention”, especially in technology, science, and medicine, to an all-encompassing and yet elusive “solution” to challenges faced by firms, organizations, governments and supra-national bodies-- as well as for individuals and societies striving to meet their aspirations. Our contemporary discourse on innovation is arguably a natural follow up to a sequence of inventions that started wi...
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Frederick Smith, 75

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We mourn the passing of our friend and colleague, Frederick Smith—a great banker and mentor. Below is his obituary, published in the New York Times on August 16, 2017: Frederick Middleton Rotan Smith, of Manhattan, passed away on August 11, 2017, at age 75, from complications related to heart disease. Fred was born in New York City, where he attended St. Bernard's School. He graduated from Deerfield Academy in 1959 and received a B.A. in History and Economics from Yale University in 1...
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