Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ian Fleming, Wealth Manager

1933: You're a well-schooled young Brit (Eton, Sandhurst), covering the Soviet Union for Reuters. The family wants you to get a real job.

Despite the Great Depression, Ian Fleming chose what we call wealth management:
I decided I ought to make some money, and went into the banking and stock-brokerage business– first with Cull & Company and then with Rowe & Pitman. Six years altogether, until the war came along. Those financial firms are tremendous clubs, and great fun, but I never could figure out what a sixty-fourth of a point was.
Geoffrey Hellman of The New Yorker gathered that quote in 1962, at a two-martini lunch with Fleming. The interview is summarized here, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the first James Bond movie.

Like most English-speaking persons of note, Fleming was a Scot, grandson of Robert Fleming, founder of Flemings. A few years before its decline and acquisition by Chase in 2000, Robert Fleming & Co. operated in 44 countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Americas and Africa.

1 comment:

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