C. Roderick O’Neil, a former banking executive at Manufacturers Hanover whose bid to build a money management firm with former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan fizzled in the 1980s, has died. He was 81.
Mr. O’Neil died on Saturday, according to his wife, Nancy. The cause was complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the nerve disorder known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago, Mr. O’Neil, known as Rory, rose to executive vice president in charge of the personal trust department at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., part of today’s J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. In 1977, he became a director and chief investment officer of Travelers Corp.
In 1984, he co-founded and became CEO of Greenspan O’Neil Inc. His partners in the new investment firm were Mr. Greenspan, who was then chairman of economic consultant Townsend-Greenspan, and talent agent Marvin Josephson, who owned International Creative Management, now ICM Partners, until 1992.
A news release announcing the firm’s startup said it would manage pension and endowment fund assets for major institutions “based on strong economic and investment research and will make use of the most modern investment techniques to provide appropriate management of investment volatility.”
However, the firm won only one significant account — a portion of Gulf & Western’s pension fund — and peaked at $60 million under management.
Greenspan O’Neil closed on Jan. 31, 1987. Four months later, Mr. Greenspan was named chairman of the Federal Reserve by President Ronald Reagan.
In a statement through his assistant on Tuesday, Mr. Greenspan said of Mr. O’Neil’s passing: “I am saddened. He was a valued associate.”