Richard B. Nye, International Yachtsman and Wall Street Executive, Dies at 81
Richard Barre Nye, a long-time resident of Greenwich CT and recently, Ludlow Vermont, a former Wall Street businessman and avid yachtsman, died peacefully on March 14, 2013 in Norwalk CT at the age of 81.
Richard was born in 1931 in Brooklyn, New York to Richard S. Nye and Florence Evelyn Nye. After the family moved to Greenwich CT, Richard grew up there and attended the Brunswick School before going to Dartmouth College where he received his BA in 1952 and his MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business in 1953.
After graduating from business school, Richard went to work with his father at Georgeson & Company in New York. Together, they made Georgeson one of the nation’s largest and most well regarded proxy solicitation and investor relations firms. Under their leadership, the firm played a key role in many of the nation’s largest corporate takeover battles. Known for its successful communication strategies and its ability to influence shareholders, Georgeson proved adept at both helping clients ward off unwanted “hostile” takeover attempts and acquire companies in “friendly” transactions.
Father and son’s involvement with Georgeson led to their introduction to sailing when on a whim, Richard’s father bought the yacht Vanward from Lloyd Georgeson’s estate. Father and son, with no prior experience, and despite nearly putting Vanward on the rocks their first time out, developed what would become a lifelong love for the sea. Together, they became keen yachtsmen and competitors. In 1947 the Nyes purchased the first of three yachts they would name Carina, the last two custom built to their specifications. For nearly fifty years, they made a formidable team and enjoyed numerous triumphs, including transatlantic races to England, Ireland, Sweden, Germany and Spain , the Newport to Bermuda Race, Admirals Cup team competitions off the Isle of Wight and Fastnet Races along with a myriad of regional and local successes. When not racing, Richard’s passion for being at sea was met while cruising off the coasts of Maine, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Ultimately Richard’s love of open water shifted to power boating aboard his beloved Cap’t Ezra Nye.
Richard was proud of his racing successes but he was especially proud of doing so while sailing with family and fellow amateur sailors, especially into the 70s and 80s when professional crews became prevalent. He also delighted in mentoring junior or younger sailors and gave many their first taste of “big boat” sailing. And he was also proud to represent his home club, Indian Harbor Yacht Club, particularly when competing overseas.
In addition to Indian Harbor where he was Commodore from 1992 to 1993, Richard was a member of New York Yacht Club, the Cruising Club of American, Storm Trysail Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and US Sailing. Notably, as a US Sailing member, Richard served as chairman of the rules committee for yacht racing in the United States. Richard wrote and published a memoir of his sailing exploits, Home is the Sailor, in 2012.
Richard retired to Vermont in 1995 where he became active in local affairs. He served on the board of Green Mountain College and the Black River Academy Museum, and supported, among others, Vermont Public Radio, the Vermont Historical Society and the Dartmouth Sailing Team.
Richard is survived by his children, Jonathan H. Nye and his wife Karin, Melinda H. Nye, Robert C. Nye and his wife Andrea, William H. Nye and his wife Amber, step-daughter Jennifer Leigh Taylor and her husband Todd, nine grandchildren, his two sisters, Edith Jones and Carolyn Hawe and his first wife Joyce Roper Nye.
Richard was preceded in death by his second wife, Patricia Ann Nye.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association, Vermont Chapter, PO Box 2191, South Burlington, VT 05407 (or online at www.parkinsonsvt.org/donations.php) or the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Development Office, 266 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543-1050 (or online at www.whoi.edu).