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Monday, August 01, 2011

A Former Dreyfus CEO Dies

News summary by MFWire's editors

The mutual fund industry lost of one of its pioneering figures last week when Howard Stein passed away at the age of 84. The former Dreyfus Corporation [see profile] CEO, who played a key role in creating Dreyfus' famous TV commercials featuring a lion, died Tuesday last week in Southampton, New York from the complications of a stroke, the New York Times reports.

Stein is survived by his wife Janet, daughters Julia Stokien, Jocelyn Hayes, Jessica Levine, Joanna Stein and Jennifer Seay, and six grandchildren.

The son of Polish immigrants, Howard Mathew Stein was born October 6, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. Stein took up the violin at the age of five and years later, he went Julliard School on scholarship. He later abandoned his ambition of having a music career.

Stein took a job loading steel onto trucks when he was 23 years old and then joined Bache & Company as a trainee.

In 1955, he started working for Dreyfus Corporation as an analyst, soon becoming founder, CEO and chairman Jack Dreyfus' assistant. Stein was appointed president in 1965 and added the chairman and CEO titles in 1970. He served as Dreyfus' chief until 1994, when Mellon Bank Corporation acquired Dreyfus.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Howard Stein, former Chairman and CEO of The Dreyfus Corporation," wrote Jon Baum, Dreyfus' current chairman and CEO, in an e-mailed statement. "One of the pioneers of the mutual fund industry, Howard was a visionary who brought Wall Street to Main Street."

"Part of Howard's genius is captured still as people remember his remarkable advertising with the lion coming out of the subway. Howard's innovation and philanthropic heart are an inspiration for us all," Baum added.  

Edited by: Armie Margaret Lee

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