Alan Cohn, Morgan Stanley Manager Who Supported Jazz, Dies at 84

Alan D. Cohn, a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney executive who spent 61 years at the brokerage and its pre-merger entities while forging a second career as a promoter of jazz music, has died. He was 84.

He died yesterday at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan after a brief illness, according to his wife, Betsy L. Cohn.

Cohn, an avid pianist, was a founding board member of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the organization led by musician Wynton Marsalis, his wife said today in a telephone interview. He was the board’s treasurer and chairman of its finance committee. He received an award for leadership at the group’s 25th anniversary in 2012, Betsy Cohn said. Jazz at Lincoln Center aims to expand the genre’s global reach “through performance, education and advocacy,” according to its website.

“He had a passion for jazz,” his wife said. “He just loved living in New York. He could go out every night. He said he never wanted to leave.”

The Harvard University-educated wealth manager was a managing director at New York-based Wertheim & Co. before it merged several times to become Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in 2009. Three years later, the unit was renamed Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Cohn was a senior vice president.

He worked for 14 years at merged companies owned by London-based Schroders Plc, which sold its Wertheim division to Citigroup Inc.’s Salomon Smith Barney investment-banking unit in 2000.

Alan David Cohn was born on Oct. 31, 1930, in Paterson, New Jersey, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Midtown Manhattan, to Bertha and David Cohn, his wife said. His father was a dentist who later ran the family clothing business and became a banker. His mother was a homemaker.

Harvard Years

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1951 and earned a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School two years later.

Cohn was a founding board member at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and was a director of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women. He also supported the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera.

His survivors include his second wife, the former Betsy Levitt; two daughters from his first marriage, Deborah and Susan; five grandchildren; and a brother, George L. Cohn. His first wife, the former Nancy Deitsch, died in 1972 after 21 years of marriage.

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