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Ivan Boesky is dead. The prototype of Gordon Gekko from the movie “Wall Street”, the author of the words “greed is good”

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Ivan Boesky is dead. He died at the age of 87 – Reuters reported, citing the New York Times. Boesky was a financier credited with coining the “greed is good” mantra and who went to prison in one of Wall Street's biggest scandals of the 1980s.

Boesky was one of the inspirations for the character Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film “Wall Street.” At the peak of his career, the financier was considered a genius of risk arbitrage – speculation on takeover stocks, and his fortune was estimated at $280 million – Reuters reported.

He coined “greed is good”. Ivan Boesky is dead

“I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good,” Reuters quotes Boesky as saying in a 1986 commencement speech at the University of California, Berkeley, business school.

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Just months later, the man known on Wall Street as “Ivan the Terrible” was indicted on charges that brought him into disrepute and led to bankruptcy and prison, Reuters reported.

He added that Boesky has become a legend for investing huge sums of money in potential mergers, trying to capitalize on the small but predictable profits that follow takeover rumors.

However, the US Securities and Exchange Commission proved that Boesky obtained tips from investment bankers regarding prepared transactions and used them illegally before the information was made public.

He managed to get a reduced sentence by cooperating with a government investigation into “insider trading” and allegedly recording conversations with business contacts, Reuters explained.

Ivan Boesky in 1983Bettmann/Getty Images

Who was Ivan Boesky

Boesky was born on March 6, 1937 and grew up in Detroit. His parents owned a restaurant. The financier recalled that at the age of 13 he bought a truck and drove it without a driving license to city parks, where he sold ice cream.

He earned a law degree from Detroit College of Law and served as a law clerk to a U.S. District Court judge before joining the accounting firm Touche Ross.

In 1966, Boesky moved to Wall Street, where he joined LF Rothschild as a securities analyst. In 1975, with capital of USD 700,000, financed by his wife's family, he founded his own company specializing in risk arbitrage.

The death was confirmed to the New York Times by Boesky's daughter, Marianne Boesky, Reuters wrote.

Main photo source: Bettmann/Getty Images



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