Many executives who had been employed or mentored by Mr. Komansky adopted him to Wall Road’s highest echelons, amongst them, along with Mr. Gorman, Laurence D. Fink, the founder and chief govt of BlackRock, the world’s greatest asset supervisor; and Andy Sieg, who runs Financial institution of America’s wealth administration division.
Mr. Komansky even befriended rivals, together with Henry M. Paulson Jr., the previous Treasury secretary and chief of Goldman Sachs. The 2 would joke about crisscrossing the globe to fulfill shoppers, typically touchdown in cities inside days of one another.
“He was a really robust competitor who I nonetheless thought of a pal,” Mr. Paulson stated in an interview. “His individuals expertise had been legendary.”
David Herman Komansky was born on April 27, 1939, in Mount Vernon, N.Y. His father, William, a son of Russian Jewish immigrants, labored nights as a postal employee. His mom, Mae, got here from a big Irish-Catholic household and later transformed to Judaism. Mr. Komansky saved a reminder of his humble roots on his desk: a photograph of the tenement constructing on the Grand Concourse during which he grew up.
He took an uncommon path to the highest. After dropping out of the College of Miami, Mr. Komansky did stints within the Coast Guard and held odd jobs earlier than going to work for a neighborhood brokerage in New York.
He was employed by Merrill in 1968 as a monetary adviser trainee in Queens and started climbing the ranks, working gross sales in Detroit and New York after which nationwide for Merrill’s non-public consumer group.
After finishing a administration program at Harvard College, Mr. Komansky was promoted by Daniel P. Tully, the chief govt on the time, to handle capital markets companies, together with equities and debt. He grew to become president and chief working officer in January 1995 and chief govt in December 1996. He was named chairman the next spring.