F. Barton Harvey Jr. dies at 79

led Alex. Brown

He rose from broker to CEO and chairman

May 16, 2000|By Frederick Rasmussen | Frederick Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

F. Barton Harvey Jr., who led the venerable Baltimore banking house of Alex. Brown & Sons Inc. through a spectacular period of growth, died yesterday from complications of Parkinson's disease at his home in the Woodbrook section of Baltimore County. He was 79.

Mr. Harvey was a former chairman and chief executive officer of Alex. Brown, which had one Baltimore Street office when he arrived in 1946 and 20 offices nationwide when he stepped down as managing partner in 1986.

His career took him from stockbroker to head of the firm, which was founded in 1800 and bills itself as "America's oldest name in investment banking."

Alex. Brown & Sons Inc. was acquired by Bankers Trust Corp. in 1997. The new company, BT Alex. Brown, was acquired by Deutsche Bank AG in June 1999 and is called Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown.

Mr. Harvey had a 50-year business career, during which he became a highly respected figure in the investment banking industry.

"In a word, he was an absolutely terrific businessman and leader," said Benjamin H. Griswold IV, managing director of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown and an associate of Harvey's for 33 years.

"Under his tutelage, the firm expanded dramatically when he took over as managing partner and went from [an annual revenue of] $10 million, plus or minus, to $260 million by the end of 1986. He was key to the firm's growth during that period," he said.

Mr. Griswold added that Mr. Harvey was "a wonderful role model for young people coming into the firm."

"He was very bright and very competitive," said Edward K. Dunn Jr., past president of Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Co. and chairman of the board of Johns Hopkins Medicine. "He and Ben Griswold were the leaders of Alex. Brown in its golden period."

Dorsey Yearley, a longtime Alex. Brown partner and Roland Park resident who retired in 1989, described Mr. Harvey as a "born leader."

"He had tremendous energy and was outgoing and very friendly. However, he could be a hard businessman when he had to be. He made his way early by being an excellent salesman," said Mr. Yearley, who began his career at the same time as Mr. Harvey.

After joining Alex. Brown, Mr. Harvey quickly earned a reputation for bringing in new accounts and for years was the firm's biggest producer of business.

He was named a partner in 1953 and managing partner 13 years later. In 1983, he oversaw the incorporation of the company and was named chairman and chief executive officer. He retired in 1986 but remained a limited partner until 1997.

Mr. Harvey had also served as a governor of the New York Stock Exchange and was vice president of the Investment Bankers Association of America.

Born in Woodbrook, he was a 1939 graduate of the Hill School in Pottstown, Pa. He earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1943, where he had been captain of the baseball team, a halfback on the football team and a wrestler. A second baseman, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds but declined the offer, instead enlisting in the Marines during World War II.

During the invasion of the Pacific island of Saipan in 1944, Mr. Harvey, fighting with the 4th Marine Division, was dubbed "One Man Army" by fellow officers. He led 200 men in the first assault wave to land on the beach.

Enduring constant shelling and engaging in hand-to-hand combat with Japanese soldiers, he and his unit -- which had dwindled to 31 -- were credited with being the first to reach their objective. He earned the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart and was discharged as a captain at war's end.

Mr. Harvey served on many boards, including those of Southern Airways, the Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad, Commercial Credit Co., Canton Co., P. A. & S. Small Co., Savings Bank of Baltimore, Baltimore Ice Sports Inc. and Bell Atlantic.

A philanthropist who was involved in civic affairs, he served on the boards of the Community Chest, Villa Julie College, the Alton Jones Science Foundation Center and Keswick Home. He had been a founding director and longtime trustee of Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

In 1997, he and his wife gave $1 million to the genetics center at GBMC, which was then named the Mr. and Mrs. F. Barton Harvey Institute for Human Genetics.

Athletically competitive for most of his life, Mr. Harvey was Maryland tennis doubles champion and a national badminton champion. In the early 1960s, he won the badminton world championship held at Gilman School.

He had been president of and was a member of the Elkridge Club. He also belonged to the Maryland Club, Fishers Island Country Club, Lyford Cay Club and the Brook Club.

Mr. Harvey was a longtime communicant of Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., Baltimore, where services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Grace Walker Locke; two sons, F. Barton Harvey III and Jack Locke Harvey, both of Baltimore; two daughters, Grace Walker Harvey Tigue and Rose Harvey Gwathmey, both of New York; two brothers, Robert D. H. Harvey and Judge Alexander Harvey II, both of Baltimore; three sisters, Rose Finkenstadt of Paris, and Ellen Harvey Kelly and Jean Harvey Baker, both of Baltimore; and nine grandchildren.

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