The Dealmakers.

Transitions: Jimmy Lee (October 30, 1952 – June 17, 2015). Kirk Kerkorian (June 6, 1917 – June 15, 2015)
Last week, business lost two of its premier dealmakers, Jimmy Lee and Kirk Kerkorian.
They were legends but opposites: Kerkorian the self-made investor/activist who was a major force in Hollywood and Las Vegas, and Jimmy Lee, the Co-Chair of JP Morgan Chase and a man who  literally invented new ways to do deals by finding new strategies to finance them.
Jimmy Lee died un-expectedly, at age 62, at home, while exercising;  Kerkorian was 98, but he was always active, famous for his everyday workouts on the tennis court. One was East Coast; the other West Coast. One was The Establishment; the other an Outsider. Together, they represented the yin and yang of deal making.
There are lots of honorable pieces about both of these men around on the internet and the bottom line on them  about both of them is they were sharp and tough,  they got things (and deals) done, and they were generous with their time, support, and money.
Kirkorian was a billionaire; Jimmy Lee was the ultimate corporate warrior who turned down a certain billion dollar position with a major hedge fund to remain with the firm, JPMorgan, that gave him his start (such loyalty is hard to find on the tough streets of New York’s Financial District).
If you know anything about American business, you can get an indication of how revered and respected Jimmy Lee was by the list of honorary pallbearers at his funeral. This is the list:
Mike Angelakis
Tommy Arnold
Dick Beattie
Gary Bettman
Michael Bloomberg
David Bonderman
Dave DeVoe
Barry Diller
Egon Durban
Mary Erdoes
Adam Falk
Don Gogel
Roger Goodell
Bill Harrison
Jeff Immelt
Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jimmy Kenny
Jonathan Kraft
Robert Kraft
Henry Kravis
Philippe Laffont
Ken Langone
Dan Loeb
Marissa Mayer
Kevin McNamara
Paul McNamara
Les Moonves
Rupert Murdoch
Liz Myers
Charlie Rose
David Rubenstein
Sheryl Sandberg
Charlie Scharf
Keith Sherin
William Sinclair
Gordon Smith
Bill Sperry
David Stern
Barry Sternlicht
Dennis Sullivan
Justin Sullivan
Jack Welch
George Wyper
David Zaslav
If you know American business, you know those men listed above. But just to get a better indication of the impact of Jimmy Leee, please read Jamie Dimon’s eulogy or this piece from Business Insider. 
And if you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, ever been to the MGM grand, ever seen an MGM film, or driven a Chrysler (or a Ford) you’ve been in contact with a Kirk Kerkorian business or a business influenced by Kerkorian.
To flush out the dimensions of Kirk Kerkorian, I point you to the Value Walk  obituary for Kerkorian or this intensely personal remembrance from Armenian Weekly. 
Two dealmakers–two of the best of our time–gone in the same week.
The world moves on, but it will not be the same without them.
They set a standard. They made an impact. They will be missed.

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