P. Richard Bauer ’59 was a lawyer, investment banker, and corporate executive who specialized in turning around failing companies and assisted some of the first Japanese companies entering U.S. capital markets after World War II. He passed away on February 6, 2011, at the age of 80.
Bauer graduated from Cornell University and served as a U.S. Navy carrier pilot before entering Columbia Law School. He began his legal career in New York City with Hughes Hubbard & Reed, after which he took a position as an investment banker with Smith Barney & Company. It was there that Bauer became involved with raising equity and debt capital for corporations and government agencies both at home and abroad, including Japanese companies making their first forays into U.S. capital markets following the war.
Bauer left investment banking in 1968, becoming a corporate executive turnaround specialist at various companies, including Consolidated Water Company, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York, and Fleming Companies in Oklahoma City. When he arrived at Fleming as CFO in 1972, the corporation had registered $750 million in sales and was enduring limp earnings. When he left the company in 1980, its annual sales topped $3 billion and its profits were climbing. He later returned to investment banking as a senior vice president with E.F. Hutton.
Bauer was an active supporter of the Law School up until his death. In a 1964 letter to Dean William C. Warren, he said he was grateful for being allowed to continue his studies in absentia when family circumstances required him to be in Florida.
An avid skier, Bauer spent his retirement living in Denver and Vail, Colo. Previously he maintained homes in New York City and Warren, Vt.