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