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David Gill’s Washington Fost Obitrary

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David Gill’s Washington Fost Obitrary

GILL DAVID BERTRAM GILL Born 1926 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, passed away on February 23, 2019 at home in Easton, MD surrounded by family. David leaves behind his wife, Lena; his children Christopher, Sarah, Melissa and their spouses Alison Hall, Paul Higgins and Mathias Lilja; and his grandchildren Thomas, Charlotte, Viggo and Maxwell. By age 14 he had crossed the Atlantic by ship 14 times, as his father moved between Hamilton, Ontario and London, England for his business. In 1938, the family finally settled in Dorking, England a town between London and the South Coast. Consequently, they had a ringside view of the air “Battle of Britain”. David went to Cambridge University before volunteering for the Royal Navy at age of 17. He trained as an Observer (navigator/radar operator) in the RN Fleet Air Arm in Trinidad in 1945, getting his “wings” the month¬†World War II¬†ended. Returning to Canada to finish his degree at University of Toronto, David continued to fly in a reserve squadron. He retired from the Royal Canadian Navy as a Lieutenant Commander after 17 years. In 1952, David joined the investment banking firm, Nesbitt Thomson and Company Ltd and worked in Toronto, Montreal, then New York. In 1969, he was instrumental in getting Nesbitt Thomson accepted as the New York Stock Exchange’s first foreign member. The same year he married Lena (nee Holmberg of Gothenburg, Sweden), his wife of almost 50 years. In 1971, David was recruited by Robert McNamara, then President of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to establish a new unit, the Capital Markets Department (CMD) in the IFC. During David’s 17-year tenure as director, CMD invested in over 85 financial institutions or operations in 41 developing countries and provided a variety of technical assistance programs in 62 countries. Under David’s leadership, IFC coined the term “emerging markets” and helped jump-start the creation of emerging markets investment funds that, despite skepticism, would become a now trillion-dollar industry. From 1989 to 1992 David worked at Boston-based Batterymarch Financial Management with legendary investor Dean LeBaron in private equity investing in the former Soviet Union. After retiring from Batterymarch David served on a number of investment company boards until his mid-eighties. These included 12 emerging markets boards of Morgan Stanley Asset Management, the U.K.’s Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), and the InterAmerican Investment Corporation. He also joined the board of Surinvest, a Uruguayan bank, and The Canadian Investment Fund for Africa. In 1996, David and Lena moved to the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. In 2012, David published his business memoirs, Tales of a Financial Frontiersman. To those who worked with him, David was known as an insightful individual, a savvy businessman and skilled negotiator, a demanding, inspiring and fair boss, and a true gentleman in the classic sense. To his family and friends, David was known as kind, supportive and caring. David enjoyed long walks with his dog, sailing no matter the weather, watching the sun set, serving rum punch and martinis, lively intellectual discussions, teaching his children and grandchildren about life through playing chess, and telling stories about his travels around the world. David’s was a life of purpose well lived! He will be missed. A private memorial will take place this summer. As Dean LeBaron said in the foreword to David’s book: “Let us raise our glasses in a toast: “Here’s to a Frontiersman who endured and forged ahead; who guided his team in shaping a global financial landscape that would lead to stability and integrity in securities markets in emerging countries. Well done!'”

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