Eric J. Seff, 78, passed away peacefully on July 6, 2019, surrounded by family. Eric was a loving husband, father and proud grandfather. He loved to subject his family and friends to long, funny stories and corny jokes. Eric was a kind man with a warm heart, and always made others smile and feel at ease with his humor and quick wit.
Eric was born in 1940 in Fairmont, West Virginia, to Celia and Arthur Seff, who owned the ACE Auto chain. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial management and a master’s degree in industrial administration from Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, PA. After graduation, Eric worked for a Raytheon in Waltham, MA, but we can’t tell you what he did because he took his super-secret government work to the grave with him.
Following, he moved to Tucson, Arizona, to help Ryan Evans Drug Stores in their supply chain operations. Later, he worked in management consulting for Ernst & Ernst in Portland, Maine, before starting his banking career at State Street Bank in Boston, MA.
In 1978, Eric started working for Chase Investors Management Corporation in New York, where he pioneered investment strategies for large institutional clients and foreign countries. He traveled frequently to the Far East and Middle East, and was often quoted in the national financial publications for his expertise in Globally Optimized Diversification, known more familiarly to others as “G.O.D.” His group was the financial think tank for new strategy and products. Eric would originate an idea and had a reporting staff of Ph.D. math and computer people to program simulations using historic data. He excelled at presenting the new products and services in a group setting.
When he retired from a successful career on Wall Street, Eric became a certified financial planner assisting individual and family clients managing their finances and investments, and was very determined that he was to be paid fee-only, and not by commission. One of his notable virtues in his career as a CFP for individual clients was honesty. He was 100% honest. While a bit crusty on the outside he absolutely had a big, charitable heart. We saw that heart in action as he helped clients who struggled with difficult life situations. His fee was frequently subordinated to their needs and limited ability to pay, many of them probably never knew this. It was these characteristics that led him to be elected President of the New York City CFP club.
Eric loved to watch boxing and mixed martial arts on television. He was an avid reader, and could speed-read a murder mystery in no time flat. He loved listening to music on Pandora. He really enjoyed watching his grandchildren in all of their activities.
Eric is survived by his devoted and patient wife of 52 years, Irene Kay Seff. He leaves one daughter, Rachel Seff Koenig, and her husband Dave Koenig, and his pride and joy, grandchildren Zachary and Anna. Eric is also survived by sister, Dvora Seff Millstone and her husband David, and brother, Dan Seff and his wife Marsha, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be in Eric’s memory to the non-political charity of your choice.