Authoritative and Calm
Amidst the frenzy of the New York Stock Exchange, Michael Beekman, 39, was a rare figure of calm. His job was righting errors from the previous day's trading. He might spend a work day with a trader or two, explaining how they had actually lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on trades they had thought were profitable. "A kill-the-messenger job," said John Furman, a co-worker at LaBranche & Company.
But Mr. Beekman would walk across the trading floor without hurrying and speak in a low voice. "He would research something until he knew it completely," said Mr. Furman. "He was very organized, with his little notes all lined up. When he presented the information, people knew he was right and so they never were angry with him."
He lived a calm and orderly life in Staten Island, too, said Theodora, his wife. He spent most of his off-duty time with her and their two children — Michael, 10, and Theresa, 8. If he went golfing, he would take his son. Occasionally he would disappear for a while — and turn up at his sister-in-law's house, playing with her toddlers.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 4, 2001.