Financier: The Biography of Andre Meyer: A Story of Money, Power, and the Reshaping of American Business
A ferociously energetic, charming, and ruthless businessman, he had, by the age of forty, helped save the foundering auto giant Citroen, established France's first consumer finance company, and been awarded the Legion of Honor. He was a trusted adviser of the Kennedys and an intimate of Lyndon Johnson, William Paley, and Katharine Graham. His numerous business accomplishments included the building or revitalizing of such corporate giants as Avis, Holiday Inns, Warner-Lambert, and Engelhard Minerals & Chemicals. One of the world's savviest individual investors, he amassed a personal fortune of well over $200 million, yet to his dying day never gave up the search for the ultimate buck. After getting his professional start at a small Paris bank, he quickly caught the attention of the eminent private banking firm Lazard Freres, whose prestigious ranks he joined in 1925. Within a year, Andre Benoit Mathieu Meyer was made partner. With the advent of World War II, Meyer was forced into exile by the Nazi occupation. Resettling in the United States, he took over Lazard's New York operation, building it into the most venturesome investment bank in America. Financier captures Meyer's financial wizardry, a phenomenal talent that was tempered only by the volatile tantrums, ruthlessness, and insatiable greed that went hand in hand with his genius. Unveiling the dueling sides of his complex personality, this absorbing account shows Meyer at his best - as a father figure for the likes of Felix Rohatyn, his most famous protege, and for Jacqueline Onassis in the years after the assassination - and presents him at his worst - as a tortured and possessive father and a cruel, often vindictive boss.
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