Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Leonard Abess

In the year since banker became a bad word, Leonard Abess brought some goodwill — and some good p.r. — to the besmirched financial sector. After helping cinch a deal to sell off part of City National Bank of Florida, Abess — City National's CEO and the son of its founder — took his $60 million bonus from the deal and divvied it up among 471 current and former bank employees. He didn't do it for publicity — Abess's generosity made headlines only when a local paper got wind of the good deed — but he certainly got recognition in the end. President Obama called Abess out by name in a speech to Congress about the financial crisis, heralding the 60-year-old executive as a model of responsible leadership in a business whose chieftains have otherwise become synonymous with overreaching greed.