RAUCH--Benjamin Brewster. Died at his home in New York City on Thursday April 1, of complications from Multiple System Atrophy, a rare degenerative disease. He was sixty-five years old. Born September 9, 1955, in Bryn Mawr, PA, Ben was the youngest of five children of R. Stewart Rauch, Jr. and Frances Brewster Rauch. He was a 1978 graduate of Princeton University, where he majored in Russian Studies. He also studied French at the University of Besancon in France, and Russian at the Leningrad State University. After college, Rauch planned to work on improving U.S.-Soviet trade relations, but that path closed after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Instead, he began what would be a long career in finance and executive search, working in New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. He first worked at Bank of America, and in 1988, he joined Korn Ferry, the executive search firm, becoming a partner the following year. He spent a decade at the firm, eventually heading its financial services practice in Asia and managing its Tokyo office. He moved to New York in 1997 and started his own firm. Throughout his career, Ben maintained his interest in Russia. In 1990-1991, Ben spent a year as a visiting associate at Harvard University's John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, concentrating on Japanese- Russian relations in the post- Cold War period. He also was an avid supporter of the arts. In 1991, he joined the Board of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and over the years he headed the museum's capital campaign and served as board president, representing Venice as a trustee of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. He was a founding member of American Friends of London's Royal Court Theatre, and later served on the theater's development board. Friends described Ben as a passionate lover of people and life, with a talent for bringing people together. "Ben radiated with intelligence, and yet he never acted like he had to prove he was the smartest man in the room," said his friend Barbara Demick. Ben had a rare "inner grace,'' is how friend Ian Buruma put it. "He had a natural sympathy for people. He was considerate. He put people at their ease. And all this without ever drawing attention to himself. His thoughtfulness was so natural it could almost pass unnoticed,'' said Buruma. While living in Hong Kong, Ben met journalist Margaret Scott, then an editor at the Far East Economic Review. They were married at Hong Kong City Hall in 1990. Scott, co- founder of the New York Southeast Asia Network and an adjunct associate professor at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service, survives him. They had one daughter, Isabel Frances Mei Rauch. In addition to his wife and daughter, Ben is survived by his siblings, Eleanor Rauch Crosby, Rudolph S. Rauch, Susan P. Rauch, and Sheila Rauch Kennedy. Interment will be private. A memorial celebrating Ben's life will be held at a time to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ben's memory to the following institutions will be gratefully accepted: www.multiplesystematrophy.org
Published by New York Times on Apr. 11, 2021.