Goodbye, Rich

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Richard Stanley's death has shocked and saddened so many, even those outside DBS. -- ST PHOTO: ALBERT SIM

ONE day, on his way in to work, Richard Stanley was stopped at the DBS Tower One lobby by a new security guard who did not recognise who he was.

Instead of flying off the handle, the late chief executive of DBS Bank simply gave the guard a wink and a big pat on the shoulder, before passing him his namecard with a hearty laugh.

Stories like these - related to The Sunday Times by a DBS manager - represent what the bank, South-east Asia's largest lender, will miss most about the affable 48-year-old American, who insisted that people should just call him 'Rich'.

'His sincerity has touched many,' said Mr Eric Ang, head of capital markets and a long-time stalwart of the bank. 'With trust and friendship as his hallmark, he won the respect and admiration of many who rallied behind him.'

Added another bank employee: 'Rich came across as a more personable CEO. During staff townhall meetings, he would share anecdotes about his family and throw in some Singlish for laughs.'

This was a contrast to his predecessor - fellow American Jackson Tai - whom many DBS staff described as being 'all business.'

It also explains the hundreds of get-well messages Mr Stanley received from staff when news of his illness broke in January, and why his death has shocked and saddened so many, even those outside DBS.

Within hours of the news of his death, the chiefs of local banking rivals United Overseas Bank and OCBC Bank both offered deep condolences.

Long time friends and former colleagues like Citigroup chiefs Piyush Gupta and Jonathan Larsen said they knew him as a fighter and were confident he would overcome his illness.

In fact, just days after he was admitted for treatment in January, colleagues said they saw a set of free-weights in his hospital ward - a sign that the native New Yorker was not going down without a fight.


Not too sure what kind of CEO Rich was when he was alive. Now then hes gone, looks like DBS really lost a good personal leader.

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