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Hall of Fame 32 - Lee Seidler

Talk about bad bosses. Lee Seidler says that after he debuted at No. 1 in Accounting on the All-­America Research Team, in 1976, his research director at Bear, Stearns & Co. told him, “Now you have only one way to go — down.” Seidler got the last laugh, however. In October 1989, immediately after that year’s survey results revealed a 14th consecutive appearance atop the sector, he announced that he was leaving the firm. “I never did go down,” Seidler jokes, “because I stayed there until I retired.” He joined Bear Stearns after losing his auditing job at Price Waterhouse: “They had to take a big write-off, but Price Waterhouse fired me, not the client,” says Seidler, 76. During his time at both firms, Seidler was a lecturer at New York University Graduate School of Business — ironically, as the Price Waterhouse professor of auditing.

“I really had a lot of fun in my career at Bear Stearns,” adds Seidler. How did he fare when the firm collapsed in 2008, an early victim of the subprime crisis? “I got rid of my stock well before its demise,” he says.     

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