President and CEO of investment manager Rockefeller & Co. found dead in Mass.
MARK PRATT Associated Press Writer
12:08 PM CDT, September 15, 2009
BOSTON (AP) — James S. McDonald, president and chief executive of investment management firm Rockefeller & Co., has died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, Massachusetts authorities said Tuesday.
McDonald, 56, was found in his vehicle at about 3 p.m. Sunday behind a car dealership in Dartmouth, about 50 miles south of Boston, said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol district attorney's office.
There was no note, but McDonald "made a phone call to his wife earlier in the day," Miliote said Tuesday, without getting into specifics of the call. The death is still under investigation.
Barclay McFadden III, a longtime friend, said McDonald "took his own life," and added that neither he nor the family had further comment.
McDonald had been president and chief executive of the New York investment manager since 2001. The company was started in 1882 by John D. Rockefeller to manage the family's assets.
Rockefeller & Co., which also has offices in Boston, Washington and Wilmington, Del., offers wealth and investment management services to families, foundations and endowments. The company had $25 billion in assets under administration at the end of last year, according to its Web site.
"Jim McDonald was an exceptional individual, who provided strong leadership of Rockefeller and Company for over eight years," board Chairman Colin Campbell said in a statement. "He will be missed by all of us privileged to have known and worked with him."
Austin Shapard, the company's chief operating and financial officer, has assumed day-to-day leadership of Rockefeller & Co.
McDonald, a New York City resident, was also on the board of stock exchange operator NYSE Euronext. He was formerly on the board of CIT Group Inc.
"The NYSE Euronext community offers our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Jim McDonald, an outstanding and accomplished individual who served our capital markets and NYSE Euronext with great commitment and integrity," spokesman Rich Adamonis said.
He had been on the board since 2003 and headed the audit committee.
McDonald earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1974 and a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1977. Prior to joining Rockefeller & Co., he served as chief executive at Pell Rudman Trust Co. in Boston.
Funeral arrangements are pending, McFadden said.