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From Everything.Sucks

John Halle Gutfreund (14 September 1929 – 9 March 2016) was an American banker, businessman, and investor. He was the CEO of Salomon Brothers Inc, an investment bank that gained prominence in the 1980s. Gutfreund turned Salomon Brothers from a private partnership into a publicly traded corporation, which started a trend in Wall Street for investment companies to go public.

Cathy Horyn for the Washington Post mentioned the rise and fall of John Gutfreund, "However one looks at Gutfreund, he is a mass of contradictions. On the one hand, he professes to loathe the social scene. "A charity dinner is like a cocktail party for four hours," he told Institutional Investor in February. Yet he and his wife were known, and savaged in the press, for their extravagant parties. He reportedly spent $15 million (or rather Susan did) to decorate their Fifth Avenue apartment. But it annoyed him to have to spend $10 for two diet sodas at the Plaza Athenee in New York when he met with, and fended off a hostile stock bid from, Revlon Chairman Ronald Perelman. He owns a beautiful apartment in Paris, yet by his own estimate barely spends 20 nights a year there. He is said to be unpretentious, modest about his own abilities and highly principled. But he managed to get sued by his neighbors for using their terrace to hoist a 22-foot Christmas tree into his living room."


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