Joseph Mathai

Joseph Mathai
World Trade Center

Thinking Forward

Words like "gentle" and "unassuming" are not often used to describe those who work on Wall Street or in the financial services industry. But colleagues of Joseph Mathai were struck by his humor and modest, unpretentious demeanor.

"We have an open-door policy and I could always hear his laughter," said Eric-Jan Schmidt, a colleague at Cambridge Technology Partners in Massachusetts, where Mr. Mathai was a managing partner.

His pleasant nature was matched by an insatiable interest in business technology. Using algorithms, Mr. Mathai, 49, developed a system to detect insider trading after the New York Stock Exchange scandals in the mid-1980's.

He read so much that 20 magazines a week came to the family home in Arlington, Mass. "He knew more about the underpinnings of the stock market than almost anyone I ever met," said Doug Brockway, a former colleague at Fidelity Investments.

Married, with two children, Mr. Mathai divided his time between New York and Boston during his career. The World Trade Center had been a signpost for his personal and professional life. He had dated his wife, Teresa, at Windows on the World, where he was attending a conference on Sept. 11, and he started his first commercial venture at the World Trade Center after getting his M.B.A. from Columbia University in 1976.

"He was definitely a forward thinker, one of the few guys I know in the technology business who had the ability to sift through the tea leaves of the present and discern the direction of future events," said Larry Scott, a former colleague at Cambridge Technology Partners.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 26, 2001.

Joseph Mathai,

high-tech executive

By Globe Staff, 9/21/2001

Joseph Mathai, a technology executive who worked for some of the nation's leading financial and high-tech firms, died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. He was 49.

A resident of Arlington, Mr. Mathai was born in Trivandrum, India. He was a managing partner with Cambridge Technology Partners.

Mr. Mathai earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1973 from Kerala University in Trivandrum and a master's in business administration in 1976 from Columbia University.

Mr. Mathai worked for a year in Arlington, Va., as a consultant for American Management Systems. He then moved to New York, where he remained for 17 years and worked for Paine Webber, Merrill Lynch, and the New York Stock Exchange.

Mr. Mathai moved to Boston in 1994 to work for Fidelity Investments. He began working at Cambridge Technology Partners in 1998.

Mr. Mathai was active in local technology circles and won the Cambridge Technology Award in 1999, 2000, and 2001. He was a contributing author to "Artificial Intelligence Applications in Capital Markets," published in 1995. He also served on the technology advisory committee at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, which his children attend.

In his spare time, Mr. Mathai enjoyed astronomy, said his brother, Cherian Mathai of Long Island City, N.Y.

Mr. Mathai leaves his wife, Teresa; a son, Robert; a daughter, Michelle; his mother, Aleyamma; and four brothers, Cherian, Jacob, John, and Mathai.

A funeral Mass will be said at 9 a.m. tomorrow in St. Eulalia Church in Winchester. Burial will be in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Arlington.

Editorial Obituary published in THE BOSTON GLOBE on September 21, 2001.

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