Hotchkiss Mourns the Passing of Frederick Frank '50, P'12, Former Board President and Trail-Blazing Wall Street Investment Banker
Fred Frank '50, P'12

Frederick Frank '50, P'12, a Wall Street legend whose illustrious career encompassed more than 60 years and innumerable successes, died on September 11, 2021. Frank was a former president of the Hotchkiss Board of Trustees and stalwart supporter of the School. He was 89. 

Born in Salt Lake City, UT, on May 31, 1932, he came to Hotchkiss at age 16, arriving as an upper mid. In his Misch II comments for his 50th reunion at Hotchkiss, he wrote: "My first recollection is fear. I took a train from Salt Lake City to New York by myself, having never been fifty miles east of home until that time. Then, a train from Grand Central Station to Millerton, New York. Finally, arriving at Hotchkiss, not knowing a sole boy or teacher as an upper mid, where, of course, everyone knew everyone else. ..." He lettered in football and basketball and served as both president and secretary of his class. Being on the football team "eased my acceptance into the Hotchkiss community," he wrote.

Frank later observed that adjusting to the Hotchkiss learning curve when starting as an upper mid was "a more formidable undertaking" than his experience in athletics at the School. "One observed and absorbed quickly that Hotchkiss had a standard of excellence that was both demanding and fair," he said. "It is that duality that is necessary in order to sustain the legacy of an institution dedicated to the spirit of 'preparing' its students for the next four years of education and an attitude of intellectual integrity and curiosity that fashions a lifetime of character."

"When I am asked, 'where did you go to school?' my response always begins with Hotchkiss," Frank said. "The School is an all-encompassing experience that provides a lasting set of values and a code of conduct..."

After Hotchkiss, Frank earned his B.A. in philosophy with departmental honors from Yale in 1954. He served with the U.S. Army for two years in Europe, stationed with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, and he earned an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business before beginning his business career in 1958.  

Wall Street was enjoying a bull market when he began work with the investment banking firm of Smith Barney. After his training, he was assigned to research, working for the head of the department who was also the drug and chemical industry analyst. The placement was prophetic. Frank suggested to his boss that he cover pharmaceuticals exclusively; soon he became Wall Street's first dedicated pharmaceutical industry analyst. By 1962, he had expanded the scope of his work to include medical devices, diagnostics companies, and healthcare services. "He was only thirty years old and relatively new to Wall Street," noted an article in the Summer 2012 issue of LSF Magazine, "but he had already established a reputation as an innovator and trend-setter."

He became a vice president and director of Smith Barney while still in his mid-30s. In 1969, he left to join Lehman Brothers. There he transitioned from equity research to investment banking, served as vice chairman, and became the first partner ever to join the firm from the outside. He later served as vice chairman at Barclays Capital and  Peter J. Solomon, and as chairman of Burrill Securities. In 2014, he founded EVOLUTION Life Science Partners, where he served as chairman until his passing.

In 2012, LSF Magazine called him "the first life sciences specialist in investment banking and the most prolific. ...Frank has served as the lead underwriter in more than 125 initial public offerings. He has negotiated more than 75 mergers and acquisitions, including some of the largest and most important transactions in the history of biotechnology."

Frank was a chartered financial analyst, a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts, and a past president of the Chemical Processing Industry Analysts. He served as a director of numerous organizations, including Applied Biosciences International and Diagnostic Products International; as chairman of the National Genetics Foundation; and as an advisory board member of the Yale University School of Management, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Biomedical Innovation, and the Salk Institute.

He received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Albert Einstein Award from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2004; the 2006 Gilda's Club of New York City Visionary Award; the 2019 Richard J. Bolte Sr. Award for Supporting Industries from the Science History Institute; and in 2021, the Biotechnology Heritage Award from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization and the Science History Institute. He also received the Biotech Hall of Fame Award at the Annual Biotech meeting in 1997, and was named among Reed Elsevier's "Top 100 Living Contributors to Biotechnology."

His service to Hotchkiss included volunteering as a class agent and as a Centennial Campaign executive and serving as a non-trustee member of the trustees' Investment Committee, overseeing management of the School's endowment. He was elected as a trustee in 1991, first serving as chair of both the Budget and Finance Committee, the Committee on Trustees, and as a member of the Education Committee. He later served as chairman of the Education Committee, a member of the Admissions and Buildings and Grounds and Executive Committees, and as chairman of the Development Committee. He was the Board president from 1999-2001 and was elected a Trustee Emeritus after stepping down.

An enthusiastic and well-informed supporter of the School, Frank established the first lead charitable trust at Hotchkiss in 1983. He chaired the School's Town Hill Society for several years, beginning in 2007. His support made possible the construction and furnishing of the Frederick Frank House, which is the residence of the head of school. A biology lab and biology classrooms in the Griswold Science Building are named in his honor, and he also donated a music practice room. A library endowment fund established by Mary Tanner was given in her husband's name. In 2000, an anonymous donor created the Fred Frank '50 Scholarship. 

He is survived by his wife and life-long business partner, Mary Tanner; son Frederick Seller Frank '12; daughters Jenny Frank Goldsmith and Laura Frank; and two grandchildren, Gregory Goldsmith and Emma Goldsmith. He was predeceased by brother Thomas Frank, a member of the Class of '57, sister Susanne Goldsmith, and cousin Roger Seller Meier '44.

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