Felix Rohatyn spoke at The Common Good on April 2, 2009.
About Felix Rohatyn:
Felix George Rohatyn, born in Vienna, Austria, is an American investment banker known for his role in preventing the bankruptcy of New York City in the 1970s, who also served as United States Ambassador to France. He was a long term advisor to the U.S. Democratic Party.
He joined the New York office of the investment bank Lazard Frères under André Meyer. He was made partner in the firm in 1961 and later became managing director. While at the firm, he was involved in numerous large deals, most notably advising the conglomerate ITT in its various acquisitions.
Rohatyn became widely known in the 1970s for successfully restructuring New York City’s debt and resolving the city’s fiscal crisis. While running MAC for the city of New York, Rohatyn continued his deal making at Lazard. While capping his take at the firm at 6%, Rohatyn continued to be the preeminent rainmaker at Lazard well into the 1990s, completing such deals as Sony’s acquisition of Columbia.
Rohatyn was United States Ambassador to France 1997–2000 during the second Clinton Administration and is a Commander in the French Legion of Honor. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations,American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Trustee for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
While serving as Ambassador to France, Rohatyn opened a series of small diplomatic missions, called American Presence Posts, in Rennes, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Lille which brought American diplomats into contact with the people and leaders of those cities at lower cost than traditional Consulates.