Mr. Glaser has had a 44-year career in banking and private equity. He has extensive experience in commercial banking, foreign direct investment in the United States, corporate acquisitions and divestments, arranging bank and subordinated debt financing, and overseeing, through the board of directors, management teams of operating companies. Mr. Glaser has extensive experience in international business and finance, particularly Europe and the Middle East, and spent several years living in the Middle East. He has also traveled extensively, for business purposes and for personal visits, and has visited over 30 countries around the world.
Robert Glaser was born and raised in Rochester, New York, primarily by his divorced mother, who worked in a General Motors auto factory and as a waitress. Mrs. Glaser instilled in Bob the importance of hard work, and that any job worth doing was worth doing well. In order to attend his first outing at a summer camp, she required Bob to come up with 50% of the costs of tuition. By the time Bob had graduated from grammar school he had done the following jobs to earn money: mowed lawns, shoveled driveways, sold return address labels door to door, collected old newspapers to turn in for recycling, and was a newspaper delivery boy for the Rochester Times-Union.
While in high school, in addition to his school work, competitive swimming, running track and playing tennis, Bob worked as a lifeguard, a swim instruction assistant, at an outdoor nursery and at two supermarket chains. By the time Bob was a senior in high school he was working 30 hours a week while attending school and was promoted to Assistant Manager of a supermarket before graduating high school. After high school graduation, Bob worked for 4 summers at the same General Motors plant that employed his mother, to pay for his college education. While attending college, Bob worked as a locker room attendant at the YMCA, as a lifeguard, and in the credit departments of a jewelry store and a furniture store.
After completing high school, Mr. Glaser spent two years at college at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Glaser then transferred to the University of Buffalo where he received his undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Mr. Glaser also studied business in his undergraduate years and received as many credits in business classes as he did in political science. Mr. Glaser continued his education and received a Master’s of Business Administration from New York University, New York, New York, with majors in finance and international business; Mr. Glaser’s graduate thesis examined the issue of foreign direct investment in the United States. While he had no plans at the time, later in his career it turned out that Mr. Glaser was responsible for making billions of dollars of foreign direct investments into the United States.
Mr. Glaser worked for ten years at The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. and studied for and received his MBA degree at night while working for Chase. While at Chase he completed Chase’s Management Development Program – a training program to develop managers of branch banks. He also completed the Chase Global Credit Training Program – an intense year-long program to train executives to analyze and lend money to corporations, institutions, and governments throughout the world. Later in his career, Mr. Glaser was invited to attend Chase’s prestigious Advanced Management Program which was targeted to develop potential future senior executives of the bank.
After completing the Global Credit Training Program, Mr. Glaser first worked in Chase’s domestic corporate lending group in Manhattan. His clients included oriental carpet importers, other importers, distributors, art galleries and restaurants, including Maxwell’s Plum, Tavern On The Green, the Russian Tea Room, and Benihana of Tokyo.
Mr. Glaser later transferred to Chase’s international department – he joined Chase in the first place given its international presence and his desire to see other parts of the world. Drawing upon his political science background in college, his MBA in international business, and his Chase training, Mr. Glaser was asked to manage Chase’s relationships with several governments in the Middle East. In this position he not only marketed units of the governments to win lending and investment opportunities, he also performed Chase’s political risk analysis and economic risk analysis of those countries.
Mr. Glaser was then asked to create a unit to manage Chase’s business with commercial banks, central banks, insurance companies, investment companies, Ministries of Finance and government agencies in several countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, North Yemen and South Yemen. Mr. Glaser was 31 years old and his team included over 25 people in New York and the Middle East that generated over $50 million in profits annually for Chase.
Mr. Glaser left Chase to join a former boss of his from Chase who was creating a new investment firm, Investcorp, a Luxembourg and Bahrain based investment firm with offices in New York, London and Bahrain during Mr. Glaser’s time at the firm. Mr. Glaser was a member of the firm’s worldwide Management Committee, which oversaw the firm’s global operations. He also served as a corporate acquisition team leader, established and ran the firm’s New York office, and created and ran the firm’s post-acquisition management unit.
During the period that Mr. Glaser was with Investcorp, the firm raised approximately $2.5 billion from its clients and made investments with a value of approximately $7.5 billion. Most investments were made in the form of the acquisition of corporations in the United States and Europe, some of the investments were in the real estate sector.
Most of Mr. Glaser’s experience at Investcorp related to the firm’s direct corporate investments in North America, with some direct investing in Europe as well. Mr. Glaser was active in all areas of the firm’ corporate investment activities, including:
Mr. Glaser began his corporate investment activities at Investcorp in 1984, when he came to New York as one of the two Investcorp partners that led the team that acquired Tiffany & Co., the famous jewelry firm, from Avon. Tiffany & Co. proved to be Investcorp’s first and most lucrative corporate investment.
Mr. Glaser, working in association with various partners on numerous transactions, was part of the teams that undertook the following investments:
Mr. Glaser also established and ran a team at Investcorp that provided more intensive oversight of the companies in the firm’s investment portfolio that were not performing up to expectations (previously, Investcorp had a “hands off” policy towards the operating teams of the companies it had invested in, and gave them great leeway to manage their companies).
Mr. Glaser also served during this period as the partner in New York responsible for developing and maintaining the firm’s relationships with financial institutions, to finance Investcorp itself and the acquisitions it undertook.
In addition to his responsibilities on Investcorp’s Management Committee and undertaking corporate investments, Mr. Glaser established the firm’s New York office and served as the Administrative Partner for the New York office. He was also a member of the firm’s Administrative Committee that managed the firm’s administrative operations worldwide.
Mr. Glaser left Investcorp on good terms after over 12 years with the company. During that time, Investcorp made approximately 35 investments in the United States with an investment portfolio representing equity investments exceeding $1.7 billion in companies with annual revenues exceeding $9 billion.
Mr. Glaser left Investcorp to establish another private equity firm, MapleWood, with an emphasis on undertaking private equity investments in the United States in smaller companies, like the ones that Investcorp did in its early years. MapleWood’s most successful investment was in Uncle Julio’s, a chain of high-end Mexican restaurants.
Over his career, Mr. Glaser has served on many corporate boards of directors on behalf of Investcorp and MapleWood, including:
Mr. Glaser has also served on the boards of two public companies not affiliated with Investcorp or MapleWood:
Mr. Glaser has also served on other, non-corporate boards of directors or boards of trustees, including: