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ASTROP, William Bowen, passed away peacefully at his home in Atlanta on Friday, March 15, 2013. He was 83. Mr. Astrop, the son of Robert Collins Astrop and Arretha Robertson Bowen, was born in Charleston, S.C. and raised in Richmond, Va. His father was chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Richmond, and Mr. Astrop initially followed in his footsteps, studying psychology in Richmond, where he was vice president of his freshman class and president of his junior class. Before completing his psychology studies in Richmond, Mr. Astrop switched gears and began to pursue his love of business and finance. He graduated at the age of 20. After graduating from Richmond, Mr. Astrop attended Harvard Business School, where he received the J. Spencer Love Fellowship and financed a major portion of his tuition by overseeing the school's laundry concession (a position awarded by the school) and running a Philip Morris campus distributorship. After receiving his M.B.A., Mr. Astrop served in the United States Navy and was disbursing officer on the U.S.S. Missouri and supply officer on the U.S.S. Bassett. He received the Force Commander's Award for Outstanding Service and retired as a lieutenant commander. Following his Naval service, Mr. Astrop worked for Brenco, Inc., in Richmond, and was a vice president at Florida Capital Corporation, an American Stock Exchange-listed venture capital firm in Palm Beach. He was later named the youngest vice president in the company's history at Stone & Webster Securities Corporation in New York City, spearheading sale-and-leaseback transactions for major public companies. In the '60s, he left Wall Street and returned to the southeast, working as a vice president for UniCapital Corporation, a diversified, publicly-held, mini-conglomerate. In 1970, he co-founded Atlanta Capital Management Company, growing the firm into one of the largest money management firms in the southeast. In 1982, he founded Astrop Advisory Corporation, a full-service investment counseling firm. The firm was named one of the nation's fastest growing companies by Inc. magazine and ranked #10 in the nation for equity performance for the five-year period from 1984 to 1989. The firm was an early pioneer in indexing the NASDAQ with its OTC 100 Fund, which invested in the 100 largest OTC companies. In 1981, Mr. Astrop bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, becoming one of the first non-traders to own and lease a seat. This successful investment led to a decades-long interest and commitment to investing in stock exchanges. Over the years, Mr. Astrop and his wife owned seats on the New York Mercantile Exchange, American Stock Exchange and Chicago Board of Options Exchange, in addition to the NYSE.They held many of these seats through their initial public offerings. In addition to his business accomplishments, Mr. Astrop led the High Museum's Board of Directors when they selected Richard Meier to design its new building in 1983. He also served on the original Board of Directors for Emory's Michael C. Carlos Museum, where his uncle, Dr. Boone Bowen, was involved in its founding in 1912. He was a member of the Dean's Advisory Board at Emory's Goizueta Business School, where Astrop Advisory has long sponsored a scholarship awarded to an outstanding finance student, as well as a national trustee of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He was a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, the Loose Group, the Piedmont Driving Club in Atlanta and the Bath & Tennis Club in Palm Beach. Early in his finance career, he taught night classes at New York University and the University of Richmond. He was a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and member of The Cathedral of St. Philip and The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-By-The-Sea in Palm Beach. Mr. Astrop was predeceased by his brother, Robert of Richmond, Va.; and is survived by his wife of 50 years, Jean; his sons, Bowen and Douglas; his daughter-in-law, Jennifer; his two grandsons, Maxwell and Alexander; and his beloved Golden Retriever, Baloo. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the High Museum of Art or the Michael C. Carlos Museum. A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. at The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, Ga. 30305, 404-365-1000, on Thursday, March 21, 2013, followed by a reception at the church. Arrangements by Fischer Funeral Care of Atlanta, 678-514-1000.
Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on 3/20/2013. This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.