John Gutfreund, who was proclaimed the “King of Wall Street” in 1985 for harnessing the egos and fiefdoms of Salomon Brothers into one of the most profitable investment-banking firms, only to be deposed after a 1991 trading scandal, has died of pneumonia. He was 86.
He died Wednesday at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, according to his son, John Gutfreund.
“As managing partner and later as chairman, Gutfreund (pronounced GOOD-friend) transformed Salomon from a traditional bond-trading firm into a pioneer in businesses such as mortgage-backed securities, under Lewis Ranieri, and computer-driven trading techniques, under John Meriwether. It also became the largest underwriter of municipal bonds, the department where Gutfreund got his start.”
He is most notable for
- Turning the bond firm(Salomon) into publicly traded securities powerhouse
- Overseeing the push into mortgage-backed debt, computer trading