Edouard Stern

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Edouard Stern (died in 2005) "was born in 1954 to one of France’s wealthiest families, the owners of Banque Stern, a private investment house. He was a highly intelligent, combative child, adored by his mother and neglected by his father in apparently equal measure.

"He studied at the Ecole Supérieure des Sciences economiques et Commerciales in Paris, rejecting his luxurious family home for a studio in a working-class district. In 1976, before graduating, he became head of the ailing Banque Stern, by persuading his two uncles to oust his father and allow him to take control himself. He successfully revived the bank’s fortunes, but he and his father Antoine did not speak to each other until shortly before the latter’s death in 1995.

"Stern sold the bank in 1985 for more than F 1 billion.It had been in his family since 1823.

"Stern’s ruthlessness towards his father swiftly became a hallmark of his way of doing business. “He’s a brute without morals or laws,” one of his opponents said. Others saw the positive side of his infamously aggressive methods. “No one else of his generation has made so much money in such a short time,” Lindsay Owen-Jones, chairman and CEO of the cosmetics giant L’Oréal said.

"Stern played as hard as he worked. A karate black belt, he also ran the New York marathon and was a keen hunter.

"In 1983 he married the art historian Béatrice David-Weill, daughter of Michel David-Weill, controlling shareholder of the private investment bank Lazard Frères. Stern became a senior partner with Lazard in 1992, and was for a time regarded as its heir apparent but in 1997 he left Lazard and set up his own private equity firm, Investment Real Returns (IRR) Capital.

"His predatory tactics were not always successful, and they made him many enemies. Swiss police are examining his recent deals in Eastern Europe, possibly involving the Russian mafia, as one line of investigation regarding his death.

"Edouard Stern is survived by his wife, Béatrice, from whom he was separated, and their three children. " [1]

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