ONDER J. OLCAY

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Obituary

OLCAY--Onder John, beloved husband, father and grandfather, died peacefully at home on October 17 after a valiant battle against prostate cancer. He was 77 years old. Born in Izmir, Turkey, John graduated from Robert College, Istanbul, and received an M.A. and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School. From early on, international finance was central to his career. As a vice president of the Bank of New York, he helped establish the bank's first international office, in London. As a partner at London's W. Greenwell & Co., he became one of the first members of the London Stock Exchange not born in the U.K. or Commonwealth. In 1974 he launched a pioneering joint effort with New York's Fischer Francis Trees & Watts to advise central banks and multinational companies on their U.S. dollar portfolios. This initiative led to long associations with central banks and monetary authorities around the globe. In 1983 he joined Fischer Francis Trees & Watts and rose to be vice chairman and managing director. Since the late 1960s John has advised Netherlands-based Aegon N.V., serving on the boards of its North American subsidiaries and then on the Aegon N.V. supervisory board. In recent years he has been an adviser to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in Washington. He also was dedicated to the communities where he lived, advising nonprofit organizations in New York City; London; and Point O'Woods, New York. John loved soccer, classical music and opera, theater, fine food and the rugged beauty of the far north of Scotland. Throughout a career characterized by many enduring friendships, John especially enjoyed mentoring younger colleagues, always focusing them on the importance of ethics and integrity. The day before he died, he joined friends and colleagues at a symposium on ethics and the economy organized in his honor. There the Peterson Institute for International Economics announced an endowment for the O. John Olcay Annual Lecture on Ethics and Economic Policy. John is survived by his wife Phebe, daughters Margot and Charlotte, grandson Christopher Kaya, sister Nukhet and cousin Attila. His funeral will be held at Saint James' Episcopal Church, 865 Madison Ave., on Friday, October 24, at 3:30pm. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Peterson Institute for International Economics: O. John Olcay Annual Lecture on Ethics and Economic Policy.

Published in The New York Times from Oct. 19 to Oct. 21, 2014
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