Thursday, February 18, 2021

Obituary - Roy C. Smith



Roy C. Smith

My friend, colleague, and co-author of this blog passed away on November 15, 2019 in Naples, FL. Roy was born in Norfolk, VA in 1938. He lived most of his professional life in Montclair, NJ and spent summers in Chatham, MA and winters in Naples, FL.

Roy was a bigger-than-life individual in virtually every way, his career bridging multiple professions. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, he served as an officer in the Atlantic Fleet on the USS Decatur, taking part in the Cuban Quarantine Operation in 1962. He was a graduate of the Harvard Business School (M.B.A. 1966). He served as a long-time investment banker and General Partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co., specializing in international investment banking and corporate finance. At Goldman, Roy established and directed the firm’s business in Japan and the Far East, headed business development activities in Europe and the Middle East, and served as President of Goldman Sachs International Corp. while running the firm’s London office in the early 1980s.

In 1988 he retired from Goldman as a Limited Partner joined what was then known as the Graduate School of Business of New York University. Before long he became the Kenneth Langone Professor of Finance and Entrepreneurship and Professor of International Business. He taught at NYU Stern for 30 years. 

Roy was a dedicated practitioner-scholar – an internationally published author of six books and co-author (with me) of another eight, plus nearly 100 articles on global banking and financial markets, entrepreneurship, corporate governance and business ethics. He became one of the media’s favorite “go-to” people for incisive commentary on financial events of the day.

Roy was a founding member of NYU’s Center for U.S. - Japan Business and Economic Studies, now the Center for Global Economy and Business. Outside NYU Stern, he was a popular lecturer and visiting professor of finance at several universities and institutes in Europe, including INSEAD in Fontainebleau, IESE in Barcelona, Luigi Bocconi University in Milan, NYU Abu Dhabi and, for shorter stints, at Kiel University, Swiss Banking School in Zurich and IMD in Lausanne.

Roy will be missed. His contributions to this blog covered a wide range of subjects, and he was happy to call a spade a spade. He greatly enjoyed some of the controversy he inevitably generated. His productivity in terms of blog contributions spiked during his winter months in Naples where he had a ready audience of accomplished senior residents who, he said, harbored much wisdom - to test his ideas. 

Roy cannot be duplicated as a contributor to this blog. But his spirit will live on as we continue with new contributors, to be announced. Stay tuned….

Ingo Walter


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