John Cayne – Wall Street Executive
Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, better known by his stage name Caine, was an internationally acclaimed British actor. His impressive list of credits included over 100 films and an Academy Award nomination for his role as a conflicted British sleuth in Alfie (1966).
Caine was renowned for his warm Cockney charm. Additionally, he authored several highly successful books on acting that remain in print today.
Early Life and Education
Cayne was born in Evanston, Illinois and attended Purdue University before leaving to join the United States Army. Following that he worked as a traveling salesman selling scrap iron and municipal bonds.
Caine had an aptitude for bridge, which led him to a position as a stockbroker at Bear Stearns. By 1985, he had achieved the title of president of the firm.
He was a member of Kappa Beta Phi, an organization dedicated to instilling honor and virtue in young men. Additionally, he served on the board of directors for World Bridge Federation.
Caine’s relationship with the British Jewish community dates back to his youth. He wrote a book on anti-Semitism which earned praise from some of London’s’most intelligent and influential members of the respectable Jewish community’, as well as visiting Russia on behalf of Jews.
James Cayne began his career as a traveling salesman selling scrap iron and municipal bonds. Eventually, his skill in the game of bridge earned him a full-time job at Bear Stearns stockbroking firm Alan Greenberg’s attention.
Cayne served as president and CEO of Cayne Electric from 1985 until 2001, serving as its chairman until 2008. During that time, his contributions to the company’s growth were immense;
In July 2007, two of Bear Stearns’ hedge funds failed, precipitating the demise of mortgage-related securities, creating a liquidity crisis and prompting banks to reprize globally. Cayne defied conventional wisdom by arranging for JPMorgan Chase to purchase his shares at just $2 per share – breaking with longstanding industry practices.
By 2008, he had lost 95% of his wealth due to the collapse of his company. Time magazine named him one of the 25 people most responsible for this financial crisis.
Achievements and Honors
John Caine is a two-time Oscar winner who has starred in an array of films. His credits include Dressed to Kill, Deathtrap, Educating Rita, Hannah and Her Sisters and The Cider House Rules.
Caine was nominated for an Academy Award in every decade of the 20th century, and his face on screen has been recognizable since The Man Who Would Be King (1975). Additionally, he wrote several bestselling books that remain classic bestsellers to this day.
In addition to creating numerous endowed scholarships, the Caynes have shown their support for Washington University’s School of Law through donations and their involvement in the Leadership Together campaign. Recently, they made a $2-million gift which will create and endow the Howard and Caroline Cayne Professorship in Law at Washington University.
John Cayne’s personal life is quite distinct from that of many Wall Street executives. He has a wife, children and an assortment of pets.
He is an acclaimed bridge player, having won world championships and competing against top players from around the world.
When not playing bridge, he enjoys golfing and watching sports with his family. Furthermore, he loves to travel.
One of his fondest memories is a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, where he spent a lot of time with his children. He loved being out in the sun, being near the ocean and relaxing by the beach.
He has a close friendship with Alexandra Lebenthal, granddaughter of the late Sayra Lebenthal and owner of municipal bond house Lebenthal & Co. She has asked him for advice on whether to sell the firm or not.
Cayne, born in Evanston, Illinois, attended Purdue University before leaving to join the Army. Afterwards he sold scrap iron and municipal bonds.
As New York City faced a financial crisis in the 1970s, Cayne recommended that Bear Stearns purchase distressed municipal bonds from other Wall Street firms. Lewis and Greenberg approved his recommendation, leading Cayne to become president in 1985, CEO in 1993, and chairman of the board (while still serving as CEO) by 2001.
At the height of Bear Stearns’ success, Cayne’s net worth was estimated to be $900 million. Unfortunately, that fortune took a dive in 2008 when his firm went under and he was no longer included on Forbes’ annual list of the world’s richest people.