WESTPORT, Conn. -- David A. White, who was killed June 7 in a bicycle accident, will be remembered as a pioneer of alternative investing, colleagues said.
The 52-year-old executive vice president of sales and marketing for AIG International Asset Management Inc., Stamford, Conn., died shortly after he was struck by a car while participating in a 62-mile National Multiple Sclerosis Society Bike Tour bike-a-thon in Easton, Conn.
Mr. White is survived by his wife, Frances Stair White, and children, David M. and Jordan C.
"He was a very, very smart individual, in terms of these complicated investment strategies," said Bob Shultz, senior vice president at Pine Grove Associates Inc., Summit, N.J.
"David was always at the forefront at putting on the table new and innovative ideas. I always looked forward to hearing his comments," said John MacMurray, vice president of pension and benefit investments at RJR Nabisco Inc.
In a letter to the firm's investors and colleagues, AIG President Andrew W. Gitlin wrote, "David has been a valued member of the AIG International Asset Management team since 1994. David leaves behind his wife and two children and more than 40 colleagues here who will miss him terribly."
Mr. White joined AIG from the Rockefeller Foundation, New York, where he was chief investment officer for the then $2.1 billion fund and was widely recognized for his use of alternative investment products.
With Mr. White at the helm, the foundation invested in TransEuropean Property LP, a European real estate fund; a derivative investment product called "SuperTrust"; and a private real estate investment trust called the AMB Current Income Fund. The foundation, along with the pension funds of U S WEST Inc. and Hughes Aircraft Co., also joined Bridgewater Associates in co-founding a merchant bank in China. It was the first known instance of institutional investors owning such a venture in China.
Before he left to work for Rockefeller in 1991, Mr. White was the director-capital management and trust investments at Unisys Corp., Blue Bell, Pa.
When he was hired by AIG in 1994, Mr. White told Pensions & Investments that he joined the firm "because it's an exciting opportunity. AIG is, in my mind, on the cutting edge of alternative investment activities."
Charles Service, account manager and partner at Brinson Partners, Chicago, worked closely with Mr. White for four years as "David's No. 2" at Unisys. Mr. White was an innovator, who wasn't afraid to challenge the thinking of pension fund executives, Mr. Service said.
"I appreciated his ability to teach his staff . . . I am an example of that and there are other individuals that 'studied' under David," he said.
Philip Halpern, chief investment officer at the California Institute of Technology, met Mr. White at various conferences. Mr. White, Mr. Halpern said, "contributed a lot to the industry. He was very creative and had an excellent career. He will be a major loss."
Mr. White was active in organizations such as the The Investment Fund for Foundations; the Financial Executives Institute; and the Stamford, Conn., Investment Forum.
He was a graduate of the University of Michigan and earned an MBA from the University of Michigan business school.
A memorial service was held June 11 at the Unitarian Church of Westport. Memorial contributions may be made to: Stand for Children, c/o Laura Faer, 1834 Connecticut Ave., Washington, DC 20009.