Marc Rich : biography
Marc Rich (born Marcell David Reich; December 18, 1934 – June 26, 2013) was an international commodities trader, hedge fund manager, financier and businessman. A creator of the spot market for crude oil, he became one of history's most financially successful commodities traders. He was best known for founding the commodities company Glencore and for being indicted in the United States on federal charges of tax evasion and illegally making oil deals with Iran during the Iran hostage crisis. He was in Switzerland at the time of the indictment and never returned to the U.S. He received a presidential pardon from U.S. President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001, Clinton's last day in office.
In May 2007 Rich received an honorary doctorate from Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, in recognition of his contribution to Israel and to the university's research programs., Haaretz, 15 May 2007 He received the same honor from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel, on 18 November 2007., 11 April 2008 The Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer in suburban Tel-Aviv, Israel, honored Rich with the "Sheba Humanitarian Award 2008". Former recipients of this award include actor Michael Douglas, actress Elizabeth Taylor and former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford.
Early life, marriage and career
Rich was born in 1934 to a Jewish family in Antwerp, Belgium. February 25, 2001 His parents were working-class Jews who emigrated with their son to the United States in 1941 to escape the Nazis. His father opened a jewelry store in Kansas City, Missouri. The family moved to Queens, New York City in 1950, where Rich's father started a company that imported Bengali jute to make burlap bags. Rich's father later started a business trading agricultural products and helped found the American Bolivian Bank.
Rich attended high school at the Rhodes Preparatory School in Manhattan. He later attended New York University, but dropped out after one semester to go work for Philipp Brothers (now known as Phibro LLC) in 1954. He worked as a commodities trader for his father, who sought to build an American manufacturing fortune through burlap-sack production.
Rich married Denise Eisenberg, a songwriter and heir to a New England shoe manufacturing fortune, in 1966. They had three children, one of whom, Gabrielle Rich Aouad, died at age 27 of leukemia in 1996., New York Social Diary The couple divorced in 1996; she continued to use the name Denise Rich. Six months later he married Gisela Rossi, although that marriage also ended in divorce, in 2005.
He worked with Philipp Brothers, a dealer in metals, learning about the international raw materials markets and commercial trading with poor, third-world nations. He helped run the company's operations in Cuba, Bolivia, and Spain. In 1974 he and co-worker Pincus Green set up their own company in Switzerland, Marc Rich & Co. AG, which would later become Glencore Xtrata Plc. Nicknamed "the King of Oil" by his longtime business partners, Rich has been credited with having greatly expanded the spot market for crude oil in the early 1970s, drawing business away from the larger established oil companies that had relied on traditional long-term contracts for future purchases. As Andrew Hill of the Financial Times put it, "Rich’s key insight was that oil – and other raw materials – could be traded with less capital, and fewer assets, than the big oil producers thought, if backed by bank finance. It was this highly leveraged business model that became the template for modern traders, including Trafigura, Vitol, and Glencore...."
His tutelage under Philipp Brothers afforded Rich the opportunity to develop relationships with various dictatorial régimes and embargoed nations. Rich would later tell biographer Daniel Ammann that he had made his "most important and most profitable" business deals by violating international trade embargoes and doing business with the apartheid regime of South Africa. He also counted Fidel Castro's Cuba, Marxist Angola, the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, Muammar Gaddafi's Libya, Nicolae Ceausescu's Romania, and Augusto Pinochet's Chile among the clients he serviced. According to Ammann, "he had no regrets whatsoever.... He used to say 'I deliver a service. People want to sell oil to me and other people wanted to buy oil from me. I am a businessman, not a politician."
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