Ivan F. Boesky, Rogue Trader in 1980s Wall Street Scandal, Dies at 87 - The World News

Ivan F. Boesky, Rogue Trader in 1980s Wall Street Scandal, Dies at 87

Ivan F. Boesky, the brash financier who came to symbolize Wall Street greed as a central figure of the 1980s insider trading scandals, and who went to prison for his misdeeds, died on Monday. He was 87.

The death was confirmed by his daughter Marianne Boesky. She did not provide further details.

An inspiration for the character Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s movie “Wall Street” and its sequel, Mr. Boesky made a fortune betting on stock tips, often passed to him illegally in exchange for suitcases of cash. His guilty plea to insider trading in November 1986 and his $100 million penalty, a record at the time, sent shock waves through Wall Street and set off a cascade of events that marked the end of a decade of frenzied takeover activity and the celebration of conspicuous wealth.

As federal investigators closed in on Mr. Boesky, he agreed to cooperate, providing information that led to the downfall of the investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert and its junk bond king, Michael Milken.

Mr. Boesky brought an aggressive style to the once-sleepy world of arbitrage, the buying and selling of stocks in companies that appear to be takeover targets. Sniffing out impending deals, he amassed stock positions at levels never seen before.

At the top of his game in the mid-1980s, he had a net worth of $280 million (about $818 million in today’s currency) and a trading portfolio valued at $3 billion (about $8.7 billion today), much of it financed with borrowed money. His home was sprawling estate in Westchester County, N.Y., its main house adorned with a Renoir and carpets embossed with his monogram, “IFB.” (The estate was once owned by the Revson family, founders of Revlon cosmetics and, before that, the family behind Macy’s, the Strausses.)

Besides a Manhattan pied-à-terre, there was a retreat on the French Riviera, a lavish Paris apartment and a condo in Hawaii. Through his first wife, Seema Boesky, he was part owner of the celebrated Beverly Hills Hotel, a lush pink concoction favored by Hollywood stars as well as by titans of finance attending the Predators’ Ball, Drexel Burnham’s annual get-together.

A complete obituary will be published shortly.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *