I am writing this after hearing the devastating news that Rich has been identified among the dead in the WTC. So many of us who knew him from Natwest Markets and Bankers Trust were fearing the worst but, as Im sure you were, hoping for good news and telling ourselves that if anyone could have survived it would be Rich.
Those of us who knew him, although now dispersed across the City in many different firms, have been in close contact with each other by email, phone and in person in the time since the disaster, finding that we needed to talk to others who had known Rich and understood that he was just no ordinary man.
One of the saddest thoughts for me, perhaps because I have children of my own, is that little Zachary will never personally know his Dad, and thats why I felt I should write this in the hope that when hes older he can read it and see how his father inspired so many people.
Rich taught us all to believe in ourselves. He made us set a side time, no matter how busy we were with day-to-day tasks, to consider our coals (in life, not just work) our purpose and our values. Some of us had never even thought in this way before and it helped us to overcome self-doubt and procrastination and achieve what we never would have considered ourselves capable of in our careers.
Rich was a true leader who led by example. He understood, like no manager I have known, the importance of nurturing the individual in order to achieve success as a team, and he dedicated untold hours of his time to helping us all to achieve our full potential. He also had a superb sense of humor and kept us amused and motivated through some tough reorganizations and takeovers. His generosity was also unprecedented I still brag to people about the 1st class, 5 star trip to Paris that he treated his managers to celebrate his success on the stock market.
I once had a discussion with Rich on the meaning of the work power. His view was that one mans power is defined by the number of people whose behavior he can influence. By his own definition, Rich was a very powerful man. Not just a boss, but and inspiration, a mentor and an influence on the lives of all who knew him.
I cant begin to understand the loss you must feel, but I know youll be strong enough to get through the long process of grieving and repair, and that as Zachary grows up youll smile as you recognize in him those Rich characteristics that you knew and loved.
My thoughts and prayers are with you both