Robert Greenhill

Who

Bob Greenhill is the founder and chairman of Greenhill & Co., a boutique investment bank he founded in 1996.

Backstory

Bob Greenhill is a Wall Streeter's Wall Streeter: Yale class of 1958, a stint in the Navy to demonstrate fortitude, Harvard Business School, and then 31 years at Morgan Stanley, where he founded the M&A group and later served as vice chairman and president. A mergers and acquisitions pioneer, Greenhill worked on some of the biggest deals of the day during his tenure at Morgan Stanley, including the buyout of RJR Nabisco and the merger of Conoco and DuPont. His near-perfect reputation led him into the hands to Sandy Weill, who lured Greenhill to Smith Barney in 1993 to serve as the company's CEO. Weill hoped Greenhill could inject some life into the firm's moribund banking practice. But the move didn't pan out as planned: Despite Greenhill's pricey hires, the firm continued to struggle against its larger competitors, and after clashing with Weill, Greenhill was stripped of some of his duties. Greenhill departed Smith Barney soon after, setting up Greenhill & Co. in 1996. He took the company public in 2004.

Of note

Greenhill & Co. is best known for its advisory business, which helps clients with mergers and acquisitions and restructurings. Although it's considerably smaller than its rivals—and lacks a capital markets arm—Greenhill's deep relationships have landed it a handful of plum assignments in recent years. In 2000, the firm branched out with a merchant-banking arm, Greenhill Capital Partners. (Robert Niehaus oversees the fund.) But Greenhill no longer manages the firm day-to-day. In 2007, he stepped down as CEO and handed the reins to co-CEOs Scott Bok and Simon Borrows, but remains chairman. He's also one of the company's largest shareholders: His stake is worth some $300 million.

Personal

Greenhill is married to Gayle Greenhill, who heads the board of the International Center of Photography. The have three kids: Sarah Greenhill Wildasin, Robert Greenhill, Jr., and Mary Greenhill Cagliero. The Greenhills live in Greenwich and have a vacation home in Nantucket.

Pet cause

Greenhill has been a major donor to Harvard Business School over the years. His ties to HBS run deep—all three of kids and all three of their respective spouses are graduates of the school. In 2004, he donated $15 million to HBS to establish the Gayle and Robert F. Greenhill Family Endowment for Global Research.

Toys

A certified pilot, Greenhill owns a Cessna Citation X, which at Mach 0.92 is the fastest business jet in the world. (Retail price: more than $20 million). He hasn't had as much luck with his car collection: In December 2006, Greenhill dropped his $440,000 silver Porsche Carrera GT off for some minor body work, only to have the mechanic drive it into a street pole in Westchester while returning it.