[dropcap sid=”dropcap-1442845384″]T[/dropcap]he Baruch community was deeply saddened by the passing of alumnus Martin Kaplan (’59) on Aug. 16, 2015. Mr. Kaplan came from humble beginnings to rise to distinction on Wall Street. His over-half-century career included 29 years at Merrill Lynch, where he attained the position of managing director and head of Equity Trading, and 25 years at KR Capital Advisors, Inc., an asset management firm, where he was president and partner. Kaplan was 78 years old.

Martin Kaplan devoted his time, talents, and business acumen to his alma mater as a trustee of the Baruch College Fund (BCF) since 2001, chair of the Investment Committee, and vice chair of the Baruch Means Business Campaign, among other roles. Honored with the College’s Alumni Allegiance Award at his 50th Baruch Reunion, Kaplan—Marty to his friends—was universally respected and liked, with his fellow BCF trustees remembering him as “larger than life,” “fun loving,” and “a man with a multitude of friends.”

“We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, Laurie; their sons Douglas and Lawrence; and Marty’s many friends, colleagues, and admirers,” said Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein.

[pullquote sid=”pullquote-1426103131″ type=”2″]* FOUR TRIBUTES TO MARTIN E. KAPLAN ’59 *[/pullquote]

Cherished memories of this beloved alumnus poured in from the alumni community, including remembrances from Kaplan’s colleagues and friends Joel J. Cohen, Baruch class of 1959; Lawrence Zicklin, class of 1957; Dov Schlein, class of 1970; and Bernard Laterman, class of 1952. All four alumni have served as president of the Baruch College Fund since the fund’s inception in 1969.


Marty was a dear friend of mine ever since we were classmates at Baruch. After classes he would always go to the office of the brokerage firm near Baruch and trade stocks, which he had been doing since high school and which experiences stood him in good stead for his distinguished career. He loved Baruch, serving on the Board of the Baruch College Fund (BCF), heading its Investment Committee, and providing significant financial support to Baruch and its students. Marty was larger than life, fun loving—a man who had a multitude of friends. I will miss him.

Joel J. Cohen ’59

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Marty Kaplan was bigger than life. He was also about as much fun as anyone I ever met. And that wasn’t only true in his later life, when his future was secured. It was true in the 1960s when he was a young research analyst and then an institutional salesman at Merrill Lynch. I can still hear his booming laugh in the open office we all called home while at Mother Merrill. He could laugh at a story as well as tell one and was never shy about recounting his own failures or errors. He minimized his successes while learning lessons from the failures.

Marty was a unique person to everyone who knew him.

He will be remembered in many places, not the least of which is in my memory.

Lawrence Zicklin ’57

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I had the great pleasure of meeting Marty Kaplan some 25 years ago on the Baruch College Fund Board. We fast became good friends.

Marty was a wise, extraordinary man who was caring, generous, and helpful. When we struggled at board meetings with a difficult issue or task, it was usually Marty who directed us to a sound solution. He participated in every aspect of the BCF to help our alma mater and support Baruch students. He was first to contribute to a Baruch scholarship or cause and helpful in urging others to join him.

I will cherish my memories of this very special man who came from very humble beginnings, reached the highest levels of Wall Street, and never wavered from caring for his family, his childhood friends, and his beloved Baruch.

Marty was greatly admired and respected by his colleagues for his professional expertise, core values, and ethical behavior. At his memorial service, Marty’s friends repeated that he was “one of a kind” and that he “broke the mold”—and indeed he was that and more to me.

I will greatly miss my weekly conversations and pleasurable dinner meetings with my good friend Marty.

—Dov Schlein ’70

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It is very rare that so late in life one is able to find and share a deep and loving friendship such as what Marty and I enjoyed. It began when I chaired the Baruch College Fund Investment Committee.

Even all the accolades describing his generosity of spirit cannot do him justice. He wrote his own epitaph by the way he conducted his life. He was a doer. His family came first, yet Baruch and his wide array of friends were also part of his extended family.

Marty was noble, gruff, gracious, loyal, funny, and wise. He was accomplished in the ways of business, always conducted his affairs with great integrity, and thus inspired loyalty and respect in others. He gave with a full heart and all who knew him responded in kind. Every one of us is better for having known him, having laughed and enjoyed special moments together.

Though Marty left an outstanding legacy on Wall Street, there is one happening that stood out and should be told: During the stock market break of 1987, Marty, as global head of Merrill Lynch Equity Markets, stepped up with his group of traders to provide liquidity during a truly chaotic 24-hour period as the market dropped 23 percent. Marty counseled and urged Mr. Schrier, president of Merrill Lynch, and the management of the Stock Exchange on the importance of reopening the market the following morning. They heeded his advice, and the rest we know as history. This may have been Marty’s finest hour professionally.

I write this in celebration of his life, a life filled with myriad outstanding achievements on Wall Street, philanthropy, and most of all with love—of his family and of Baruch. I am most fortunate and proud not only to have known him but to have been his friend.

—Bernard Laterman ’52

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Beloved alumnus Martin Kaplan (’59) (center) and his friends (from left) Dov Schlein (’70) and Bernard Laterman (’52) at the Bernard Baruch Dinner in 2013.


[pullquote sid=”pullquote-1426103131″ type=”2″]New Scholarship Fund to Honor Alumnus[/pullquote]

[box sid=”box-1443714304″ align=”center”]Marty’s many friends and admirers have established a scholarship fund in his memory. If you are interested in donating, contact David Shanton at 646-660-6065 or david.shanton@baruch.cuny.edu.[/box]