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Obituaries

Daniel Case III, 44; Fueled Wall Street Internet Boom

June 27, 2002|From Times Wire Services

Daniel H. Case III, chairman of JP Morgan Chase's JPMorgan H&Q division, who played a pivotal role in Wall Street's fascination with young Internet companies in the late 1990s, died Wednesday in San Francisco after a yearlong battle with brain cancer. He was 44.

Case spent more than 20 years in investment banking, mostly at Hambrecht & Quist, which was legendary for financing companies in high-tech and biotechnology, including Apple Computer Inc., Genentech Inc. and Netscape Communications, which was later acquired by America Online.

Hambrecht & Quist was taken over by Chase in 1999 and became Chase H&Q. Chase merged with JPMorgan a year later.

In his roles as chief executive and later chairman of H&Q, Case became one of the most influential bankers during the bull market of the last decade. His work taking many Silicon Valley companies public helped establish the West Coast as an important banking center and forced many blueblood New York investment banks to closely look at investment opportunities in and around California.

As Case enjoyed a rising profile from his own work, his younger brother, America Online founder Steve Case, came into the spotlight. The two became symbols of the youth-driven Internet boom.

Dan Case stepped down from his day-to-day responsibilities at JPMorgan H&Q about a year ago, after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Steve Case, now chairman of AOL Time Warner Inc., also withdrew from the spotlight.

"Like everything else he did in his life, Dan gave this battle against brain cancer everything he had," Steve Case said in a statement Wednesday. "He fought for a cure, knowing that he might not live to see it but with a determination to make a difference in the search."

A native of Hawaii, Case joined Hambrecht & Quist in 1979 after company co-founder William Hambrecht asked faculty at Princeton University to recommend the school's "smartest student" for a summer internship, according to a JPMorgan statement.

A Rhodes scholar with a bachelor's degree in economics and public policy from Princeton, Case worked his way through the firm's corporate finance, venture capital, and mergers and acquisitions departments before becoming co-chief executive in 1992 and sole chief executive in 1994. He was named chairman in 1998.

He is survived by his wife, Stacey Black Case; four children, Alexander, Winston, John Daniel and Charlotte; his parents, Dan and Carol; brothers, Steve and Jeff; and sister, Carin.

Funeral services will be held at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. The family has asked that any gifts in his honor be made to ABC2 (www.abc2.org) so that his dream of finding a cure for brain cancer can be fulfilled.

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