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20 Things You Didn't Know About Roger Altman

Roger Altman

Investment banking is one gold mine in the world today. Most people in the business are wealthy, and Roger Altman is one successful investment banker. He served in the national treasury as the assistant secretary during the administration of Clinton. Altman and Clinton's friendship started when they were still young. They supported each other politically when they were in school, and the bond between the two kept growing. Altman was not initially interested in politics, but the interest soon developed, and he now is a member of the Democratic Party. Get to know more about this investment banker by checking out these facts about him.

1. He attended Georgetown University

Roger Altman is an alumnus of Georgetown University where he met Bill Clinton. They were active in school politics and vied for positions of leadership together. Bill Clinton assisted him while he was vying for the presidency in the student's body, and he helped him the following year. In one interview, Roger says that most people thought that the two were classmates, but they were just great friends. During his senior year, Altman took part in competitions within the University before graduating and enrolling at the University of Chicago in 1969 for his master's in business.

2. He was President Bill Clinton's best advisor

Having been friends since their university times, Altman became Bill Clinton's best advisor during his reign as president. It was during that time that they made various trips together and formed mergers with other countries. Roger seemed to be the one running the economy in the United States back then because Clinton believed in him because of his previous work in investment banking. Roger's invaluable input assisted in the approval of free trade in North America and the passing of the Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. He describes Clinton as a man of conviction.

3. He paid more attention to golf and girls in University

While at the University, Altman concentrated on golf and girls. He used to play golf with his friends, and he was one of the best players. His love for girls started later when Altman was about to finish his studies. He used to hang with all sorts of girls he met at the University and neglected his studies at some point. Roger, however, realized that he was laying the foundation of his future and began concentrating on his education.

4. His hobbies

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Altman is not just a businessman and a politician, but when free, he concentrates mainly in playing some of the games that include fly-fishing jogging, skiing, and playing tennis. He also keeps fit by jogging almost every day. Roger once collapsed due to an irregular heartbeat in 1992 after jogging, but still, that does not stop him from doing what he loves for physical fitness.

5. His favorite quotes

Most of Altman's quotes are about business. As per Brainy Quote, most of his quotes describe the state of the economy. In some of the quotes, he talks about the collapse of the currency of a major nation. He says that a great country will collapse if it cannot access lenders to assist them financially. Another quote by Roger describes the importance of embracing technology in oil fields in Russia to increase production. Additionally, one quote describes oil production in America that has been declining and is yet to rise to make America the biggest producer of oil.

6. He began investing in banking in 1974

Altman ventured into investment banking in 1974 at Lehman Brothers. He became a general partner of the group the same year thus becoming the youngest person to occupy that position since World War II. Later in 1977, Altman became assistant secretary of US treasury and served for four years. He then returned to Lehman and became a member of the management committee. It was during his time in the finance sector that he started learning about leadership. Unlike those who believe that leaders are born, Roger says that there is no formula to leadership and anyone can become a good politician without practicing.

7. He is committed to improving education

Altman sees that the only way to improve the living standards of people is by ensuring that the population is well educated. He says in Chicago Booth that the current radical changes in technology and globalization require the youth to have skills that are only available in school. He is, therefore, striving to have a high rate of people completing school in America since some of them do not embrace education.

8. He launched Evercore in 1995

Altman is a successful entrepreneur who utilizes the ideas he gets from friends. In 1995, he began Evercore, a financial institution to improve the services to clients. He finds Evercore the most meaningful thing he did in business. The firm now has 1,400 employees, 80 partners, and does millions of transactions daily. Roger's appetite for continuous growth has steered him to succeed in business. He never gets tired of doing business as he understands challenges that face different kinds of companies.

9. He receives compensation of $9,451,010 at Evercore

Being the founder of Evercore, Altman is the highest-paid executive in the company earning $9,451,010. The lucrative pay is due to the high returns from the transactions done by the firm. The other executives are paid depending on their positions. Roger's paycheck secures him a spot on Forbes list of the top-paid executives.

10. He has a net worth of $180 million

Investment banking is a sector that is dominated by the wealthiest people in the world. According to Money Inc., Altman has a net worth of $180 million. His most significant source of wealth is Evercore which has made transactions worth $14 billion since its launching. Evercore's success is from having leading companies such as General Motors as its clients. Roger is ranked the ninth most prosperous investment banker in the world by Forbes. Another source of his wealth is his career in the treasury and as an advisor to the government.

11. His father died when he was 10

Altman's father, who worked as a food broker passed away when Altman was ten. He had to stay with his mother, who raised Altman and his brother single-handedly. The loss of his father was a big blow to the family, but Roger's mother wanted the best for her children. She ensured that the two got access to the best education, and they finally became successful. She also gave her two sons a firm Christian upbringing since Altman grew up as a Catholic.

12. He has been married twice

Sometimes even Prince Charming finds that the girl he kissed was not his Snow White and they do not live happily ever after. Altman has been in two marriages since things did not go well in the first marriage resulting in a divorce. He later remarried in 1981 a journalist Kazickas Jurate. Reverend James of a roman catholic church in Washington DC presided their marriage ceremony in a church in the Bahamas. Altman and Jurate have a large family; they have two children together, and three more are adopted.

13. He resigned from Whitewater after a political scandal

In the 1980s, Altman was part of a political scandal of a land deal that involved Hillary and Bill Clinton. Altman was in charge of the figures in the agreement that resulted in fraud, and he decided to resign from Whitewater. Roger faced much pressure after the Whitewater affair, making him also resign as the assistant secretary in the treasury. He saw that by leaving, he was assisting to ease the controversy of the scandal. The Clintons were however not prosecuted for the scandal. After Roger quit, the committee asked him to rejoin the firm, but he declined the offer and went ahead to start his firm. It must have been fate's way of pushing him towards the top. We would not have Evercore had he accepted the offer to go back to Whitewater.

14. He was honored at New York's child center

Altman received recognition in an event in Manhattan for his excellent work. During the event, the Child Center acknowledged his leadership in business, his charitable contribution to health care, and his outstanding work in conserving the planet. According to the official site of the Child Center, Altman says that his support for the organization represents everything necessary to him and his wife.

15. He is in the council of foreign relations

Altman sits as a member in diplomatic relations committee of the US. He is always keen on globalization since he believes that the country cannot achieve its full potential without the assistance of other countries. In the council, Altman assists in fighting terrorism. In one of his speeches, he says that Iran is a threat and should stop carrying out activities that promote terrorism. The board also advises the government over specific issues that may affect the regular running of the government, such as international debts.

16. He raised money for Clinton's campaign in school

One of the rough memories that Altman has is raising money that Clinton used for the political campaigns. It was a difficult task to raise funds for another candidate at first since the candidate was from Arkansas. When Clinton started making rounds in New York, he became famous, and the task of raising funds became simpler.

17. He is not a classical liberal

For Altman, classical liberalism is not the right way to go because he finds it wrong politically. Despite his strong stand against the philosophy, some of the candidates today still practice classic liberalism including Governor Howard. He has never advocated for the approach, and as an advisor to some of the politicians, he tells them how to leave aside the policy. Roger also advised Clinton to avoid the plan which he did, so it is no wonder that Roger finds him to be the best politician.

18. He stole $46 million from taxpayers

Roger Altman is part of a deal that led to soliciting money from taxpayers. When General Motors was nearly bankrupt, he received $46 million, and he went ahead to ask for a success fee amounting to $17.9 million. According to one article by Daily Bail, there are six ways of surviving in Washington, one of which is by working for the president. Altman perfected it and has been criticizing for licking people's boots. Evercore, Altman's company was the official advisor of General Motors and despite the company not landing a purchaser for General Motors, Altman was bold enough to still ask for the success fee. What angered people more was the hypocrisy that Altman portrayed by thanking the president yet all along he had engineered the deal.

19. He is in the board of various committees

Altman serves on multiple committees as a board member due to his experience in business and politics. In 2006, he sat on New York-Presbyterian Hospital's board of trustees. American Museum of Natural History also has him as the chairman of the board. Additionally, he serves in the council of foreign relations and in the advisory committee of the Hamilton Project, which is an initiative of economic policy. He is also a member of a controversial group of government leaders and influential businesspersons that meet annually in secret to negotiate on businesses between North America and Europe. He has been part of nearly all conferences organized by these boards.

20. Clark wrote a book describing Altman in business

Roger's is a successful businessman whose financial wisdom has been put into writing through a book authored by Clark. Clark's book, Field Guide to Conservation Finance, revolves around the experiences that Altman goes through in business and as an advisor in various boards. It outlines the process of borrowing money, raising money, and reducing the rate of transactions. With such insight, the book can be instrumental for anyone looking to venture into investment banking.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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