by Amanda L. Gordon
July 16, 2018
published in Bloomberg
Chad Leat’s Wall Street friends followed him to the Parrish Art Museum Saturday night to see him honored by CNN’s Don Lemon.
Among the guests at the Midsummer Party benefiting the Herzog & de Meuron-designed museum in Watermill, New York, were Michael Carr, co-head of M&A at Goldman Sachs; a sunburnt Tom Maheras (“I was on a boat all day”) of Tegean Capital; and Jim Zelter, co-president of Apollo Global Management. The event raised about $1.3 million.
“Chad was our leveraged-finance maven,” Zelter said, adding they’d worked together for years at Salomon Smith Barney and Citigroup. “He’s on a couple of my boards.”
Leat, 62, retired from Citigroup five years ago as a vice chairman of global banking after an almost 30-year career in corporate credit and acquisition financing.
Among his current pastimes: collecting art, serving on the Parrish’s board, writing opinion pieces (one was critical of corporate tax cuts, another promoted diversity), funding scholarships for LBGTQ students at the University of Kansas (his alma mater), and cruising around the Hamptons in his new yacht with a cherry red interior.
“You’re one of the most successful and wealthiest people I know,” Lemon said in his toast to the honoree. “Just ask him, he’s really rich.”
Leat said he cherished his time on the East End too much not to get involved in a local nonprofit, especially a cultural institution known far beyond Route 27. He also thanked his former Citigroup colleagues for their “strong showing.” They included Alan MacDonald and Ida Liu, a private banker. JPMorgan Chase’s private bank was a sponsor of the event.
The other honoree was artist Keith Sonnier, whose neon sculptures on view at the Parrish inspired the dinner table décor. Sonnier also has work at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton and the Tripoli Gallery in Southampton. He said he moved to Bridgehampton to be closer to his fabricators, including metalsmith John Battle.
‘Chad was our leveraged-finance maven’
Another artist who made a home on the South Fork was Thomas Moran. Back in 1884, the Hudson River school painter built a home in East Hampton, bringing in windows, a mantelpiece and a candy-store counter salvaged from New York — all now on view to the public under the aegis of the East Hampton Historical Society. Among the funders of the project: the late Ian Cumming and his wife Annette, Barbara Slifka, Ann Tenenbaum and Tom Lee, and the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation (which also helped the Parrish create a digital database of its collections). One treasure to look for, seen at a preview party, is the note tucked into a Mason jar with the date and the names of the neighbors, discovered during the restoration.
Leat said he cherished his time on the East End too much not to get involved in a local nonprofit
At Stony Hill Stables in Amagansett, Maureen Bluedorn of Bluedorn Capital Management introduced a dressage and jumping exhibition that put one horse in big eyeglasses for a routine set to “Men in Black.” The occasion raised money for local children to take lessons at Stony Hill.