Michael Craig Rothberg

Michael Craig Rothberg
World Trade Center

Analytical and Autonomous

Do you know what bothered Michael Rothberg about his stationery? It listed a phone number for Cantor Fitzgerald, where he was the director of program trading, with a 1 followed by the area code and phone number. No adult sophisticated enough to call a bond-trading firm needs to be told to dial 1 before the area code, he reasoned.

This qualm was a source of amusement, not ire, and it was a small, silly display of his analytical mind. Put to serious pursuits, as it often was, this inclination was a formidable skill, and Mr. Rothberg shared its benefits with family and friends. "When Mike made a decision, you knew it was a good one," said Susan McDermott, the wife of Matthew McDermott, who worked for Mr. Rothberg.

Mr. Rothberg understood the computer systems used for program trading and the communications skills used for relating to clients. He learned at his first firm, Bear, Stearns, that leading a team offered more pay and autonomy than working behind a leader. He moved to Kidder Peabody & Company to become a leader, and later took his employees, whom he called colleagues, along to Cantor Fitzgerald.

With that experience gained, Mr. Rothberg listened three years ago as his sister Rhonda complained about running a business for a salary while the owner reaped larger profits. He encouraged her to strike out on her own, and within four months she was a business owner. "He was looking out for people," said Jamie Bolton, a friend.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 24, 2001.

Michael Rothberg, 39, of Old Greenwich, Conn., formerly of Sharon.: Managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald. Rothberg grew up in Sharon and graduated from Sharon High School in 1980. He earned his master's degree in computer science and mathematics from McGill University in 1986. He enjoyed the outdoors, boating, and kayaking. This summer Rothberg rented a house in Chatham for two weeks and hosted his parents, sister, and friends. "We had just spent a family vacation in the Cape during the last two weeks of July. It was something we had never done before," said Rhonda, Michael's sister. In addition to his sister, Michael leaves his parents, Jay and Iris, and his grandmother, Celia.

Profile courtesy of WWW.BOSTON.COM.

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