(pictured: Gilbert Kaplan)
The founder of Institutional Investor (II) magazine, now a listed company with varied media interests, Gilbert Kaplan, who went on to become a world renowned classical conductor, has died aged 74.
Kaplan started II in 1967 to cater for, primarily, fund managers which were mushrooming around Wall Street in particular. He fostered its development as an international publication which also catered for asset owners and for the development of many spinoff titles and events.
After pocketing what is believed to have been between US$50 million and $70 million for the business’s sale to broadcaster Capital Cities in 1984 and, ultimately, the listed Euromoney, Kaplan went on to increasingly explore his main passion, which was a classical work by Gustav Mahler, known as ‘The Resurrection’, which is said to have consumed him for the last 25 years.
He stayed with II post its sale but increasingly devoted himself to Mahler’s work, including establishing a scholarship paid for by sales of the republication of the original piece of music. He retired as II’s publisher in 1990.
Kaplan conducted more than five dozen renowned orchestras in his time, usually including ‘The Resurrection’ in their performance. One of those performances was for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 1994, which was followed by a dinner in the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria, hosted by the Prime Minister, Paul Keating, who was also a Mahler aficionado.
According to the Financial Times: “Kaplan is described by someone who knew him for his media and musical accomplishments as “a very focused sort of man: exciting company” in whatever he did. This person adds: “He spotted a gap in the US market and ran rings round the established financial publications. He made a point of fine writing, high production values, high-class gossip . . . His parties were the ones you wanted to get invited to.” He also lured prominent figures to discuss their favourite music on the New York radio show he hosted.”
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