Donald Marron, the art collector and financier who led Paine Webber Inc. for 20 years until the retail brokerage's $16 billion sale to UBS in 2000, has died. He was 85.
He died of a heart attack in New York, according to his wife, Catie Marron. She said her husband was heading out Friday evening to a party for some of his staff and planned to come home after about 30 minutes to watch "The Irishman" with her and their son William. He never made it home.
"It was very fast," Catie Marron said. "It's my worst nightmare."
Don Marron, a lifelong New Yorker, had a Wall Street career spanning seven decades and was very active in the modern art world and philanthropy. He's best known for leading Paine Webber and selling the firm to Swiss giant UBS. His wife said he was "deeply" proud of how he handled the aftermath of that deal.
"People often lose jobs in mergers like these," Catie Marron said. "Don made sure that he held people's jobs and lives in place. He had options to sell to other places, but chose this route."
He founded at least three New York-based companies: investment bank D.B. Marron & Co., economic data provider Data Resources Inc. and private-equity firm Lightyear Capital LLC.
His namesake company merged with institutional researcher Mitchell Hutchins & Co. in 1965. As head of Mitchell Hutchins, he led the firm's 1977 merger with Paine Webber. Three years later, he was named chief executive officer of the company, marking the start of a tenure highlighted by acquisitions, growth in brokerage accounts and his fierce defense of the firm's independence.