In a beautifully worded and heartfelt tribute to the late banking legend Bruce Wasserstein, his friend Martin Lipton recounts the 6 traits that Wasserstein believed a great banker ought to possess.
From the Wall Street Journal:
1. First and foremost personal integrity — unless you have the trust of the people you advise and the people you deal with, you cannot succeed over the long run.
2. Then Bruce said, judgment is the second most important attribute — not brilliance, but judgment, judgment to bring to bear intelligence, experience and personality in deciding on how best to deal with a situation.
3. Next was salesmanship — the ability to persuade others to accept your advice.
4. Then he said being a good tactician in structuring transactions and negotiating with the parties on the other side.
5. Enthusiasm for the business was Bruce’s next point. A great investment banker likes advising people and likes outmaneuvering people on the other side and, most of all, likes winning.
6. The last point was particularly applicable to the hostile takeover battles at which Bruce excelled — helping people at a point of crisis and the thrill of bringing them through the crisis successfully.
The rest of Lipton’s eulogy is worth a read, it was delivered at a memorial service the other day in NYC.