On Saturday, March 22, our beloved Kent Damon passed from this life after a long battle against cancer.
Kent was a fabulous fellow: kind, loyal, thoughtful, well-spoken, funny, and bright. He was a wonderful husband, friend, and family man.
Kent Damon was born some 71 years ago in Rochester, New York. He was a member of the Great Class of 1966 at Amherst College where he majored in Economics, was a member of the ski team, and became a brother in the Chi Psi fraternity.
Kent began his career as the energy industry analyst in the Investment Department of what is now Citibank. He was then hired away by the Atlantic Richfield Company (Arco), the giant global oil company which was later acquired by BP, to be head of Corporate Finance in the Treasury Department. He was later promoted to be head of the company's pension plan. It was in this position that Kent became a pioneer in the pension world as Arco became the first major pension plan to diversify its portfolio aggressively away from its heavy concentration in US stocks into foreign holdings. The strategy paid off fantastically, particularly through the fund's investments in the emerging Asian markets.
Kent's expertise in the booming economies of Asia resulted in Arco's creating a special position for him as Chairman, Arco Asia-Pacific, to spearhead the company's business development activities in Asia. Living in Hong Kong, Kent travelled throughout the Asian continent developing Arco's business. A major achievement was Kent's initiative in forming Arco's joint venture with Sinopec, China's giant petrochemical company, by investing in its massive refinery in the city of Ningbo, China, the first ever foreign investment of it kind in China.
In the early 2000s, Kent retired to his home in Santa Barbara and continued his passion for cooking; hosting good friends was inseparable from his life.
Kent is survived by his devoted wife Lynn, his sisters Kathy, Sally, and brother Bradley. A Memorial Service will be held for Kent on April 3rd All Saints-by-the Sea Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara.