G. Moffett Cochran, co-founder and chief executive officer of Silvercrest Asset Management Group Inc. (SAMG), a New York-based firm catering to wealthy families, which went public in June, has died. He was 63.
He died yesterday at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut, near his home in New Canaan, said his daughter, Lee Cochran. She said he survived 10 years with a neuroendocrine tumor on his pancreas, then his liver, because of experimental treatments with Robert L. Fine, a doctor at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center.
Cochran raised more than $1 million for the Robert L. Fine Cancer Research Laboratory Foundation Inc., his daughter said.
Silvercrest, of which Cochran was also chairman, advises families, endowments, foundations and other institutional investors and had $14.6 billion under management as of Sept. 30. The company was the 17th-largest manager of family wealth, according to a ranking in the September issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine.
Family offices, as such firms are known, offer financial counseling and basic investment management as well as advice on markets, investing and estate planning.
“The business of tax preparation and bill paying is a lousy business,” Cochran told Bloomberg Markets in 2012. “You can’t lever it up. We do it, but we insist we get paid for it properly.”
Silvercrest canceled a planned initial public offering in 2012, citing market conditions. The firm went public on June 27 and began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
The company said today in a statement that, consistent with Cochran’s wishes, Richard Hough, president and chief operating officer, was named acting CEO.
George Moffett Cochran V was born on Oct. 15, 1950, in Staunton, Virginia. His father, George Moffett Cochran IV, was a Virginia Supreme Court justice from 1969 until 1987 following a 20-year career in the state legislature.
“He helped spearhead the movement for desegregation in the state,” Cochran told the Richmond Times-Dispatch when his father died in 2011. “He said the state couldn’t remain segregated -- it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t right. He saw that, and even though it wasn’t a popular position, he was a leader in moving Virginia forward.”
His mother, the former Lee Stuart, is a former chairwoman of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Board and a former member of the University of Virginia board of visitors.
At Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, Cochran, a sprinter and the anchor of the mile relay squad, was part of an undefeated track-and-field team in 1969. The school inducted the team into its hall of fame in September.
He graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 1973 with a degree in English and stayed on to earn a law degree.
He moved to New York City to work for J.P. Morgan & Co., then for Bessemer Trust Co., where he became senior vice president and director of client banking as well as a member of the management and executive committees.
In 1992 he joined Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and became chairman and chief executive officer of DLJ Asset Management Group. Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group AG bought DLJ in 2000, and Cochran became president of Credit Suisse Asset Management LLC, overseeing a $300 billion asset-management business, according to a biography on the Silvercrest website.
Silvercrest opened in April 2002 as an independent, employee-owned registered investment adviser.
“He was always very measured, so he was respected, regardless of whether you agreed with him or not,” Lee Cochran said today in an interview. “He was a great man in every aspect of his life.” Lee Cochran works in global communications for Bloomberg LP, parent company of Bloomberg News.
His interests included fly-fishing, hunting, golf and cooking. A painter since college, he had a studio at his Connecticut home.
“He’d go out in the woods and find a vine, whittle it and paint it. Now it’s a snake on our mantle,” Lee Cochran said. “He built a table we have in our TV room. I consider him sort of a Renaissance man.”
He was chairman of the board of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation and a trustee of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, in Richmond, Virginia.
In addition to daughter Lee, survivors include his mother; his wife, the former DuPre Cates; a second daughter, Peyton Cochran; and a brother, Stuart Cochran.
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