Memos from the Chairman

Front Cover
Workman Pub., 1996 - Business & Economics - 156 pages
Introduction by Warren Buffett. Since taking over as chairman 18 years ago, Alan C. Greenberg--a cigar-smoking, shirt-sleeved trader from the old school--has transformed Bear Stearns into one of the most profitable investment banks in the financial industry. Many believe that periodic messages from the man who sits in the middle of the firm's trading floor set the tone at Bear Stearns. Now collected in "Memos from the Chairman, here they are: humorous, sometimes biting, always inspiring memos that, taken together, comprise a unique--and uniquely simple--management philosophy. On bureaucracy: "Forget the chain of command! If you think somebody is going off the wall or his/her decision-making stinks, go around the person, and that includes me." On telephone manners: "Transferring a call seems to require more athletic ability than some of our associates possess. Be prepared for spot checks. . .those who flunk will get private lessons from me." On success: "Remember that the Green Bay Packers won because they executed the fundamentals better than their competition. Trick plays make headlines, but winners execute the basics." On arrogance: "Conceit and complacency are dangerous, particularly in our line of work. If I ever feel that the people at Bear Stearns start thinking their body odor is perfume and I cannot convince them otherwise--I will sell my stock."
66,000 copies in print

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Memos from the chairman

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When Greenberg became chair of the investment banking firm Bear Stearns in 1978, he began the practice of communicating to his staff via memos. While this is accepted practice in the business world ... Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Alan C. Greenberg (born 1927) is a former Chairman of the Executive Committee of The Bear Stearns Companies Inc.He began work at Bear Stearns in 1949 as a clerk. He served as Chairman of the Board of Bear Stearns from 1985 to 2001, and as its CEO from 1978 to 1993. Greenberg serves also as a director of Bear Stearns and a non-executive director of Viacom. He is the author of Memos from the Chairman, which is a compilation of humorous but meaningful memos he issued to the associates of Bear Stearns during his tenure as CEO.Alan Greenberg is married to Kathy Greenberg, who is the Board Chair of Cardozo School of Law and the founder of the New York Legal Assistance Group.

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