Peace Corps
Thai 27
Theobald, Steven

Steve (Nov 2, 2002)

Steve and Nancy with daughter's Rachel and Sarah at Rachael's
High School Graduation June 2001

Rachel (now 22) and Sarah (now 20)

Steve's wife,Nancy Rapoport, writes:

After returning from the Peace Corps, Steve went to work as Director of Finance for the Illinois Housing Development Authority, which issued tax-exempt bonds to build multi-family housing. He stayed there until 1977, when he went to the University Of Chicago Graduate School Of Business to earn an MBA and subsequently his CPA certificate. In 1978, he moved to New York to join the Housing Finance Department of Loeb Rhodes Hornblower. The following year he was recruited to Merrill Lynch as second in the Housing Finance Department with a mandate to work with his boss to build the department from a start-up into a major player. By the early 1980s, the department was the largest and most successful on Wall Street. In the mid-1980s, the department took over the burgeoning collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO) finance group. For the next several years Steve had four jobs ranging from head of finance to head CMO trader.

In 1996 Steve left Merrill Lynch to try to realize a dream that began in the late 1980s – to move his family to Asia so that he could work there. He started his own company, Rasa Global Management Inc., which was named after his two daughters, Rachael and Sarah, and went off to Vietnam and Thailand for several months to explore opportunities. Unfortunately, while Vietnam had just opened up to the West, there was too much investment money and not enough credible business. Steve joint ventured on a coffee business in Vietnam, but that was not enough to sustain him. In 1997, he joined Lehman Brothers, which was expanding its overseas new business effort. Although most of his work was in South America and in Mexico, he convinced Lehman to mount a new business effort in Thailand when the Asian banking crisis began. In March 1998, Lehman pitched and won the financial advisory business for the Thailand Reconstruction Banking Authority, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. Steve was the lead on the account and several months later secured the same business for Lehman in Indonesia. After two years with Lehman, Steve left to return to Merrill Lynch, launching a Southeast Asian Financial Institutions Banking Group. Two years later, Steve left Merrill Lynch. He returned to the U.S. November 1, 2002, and stopped in Illinois on his way back to New York to see his mother and family and for business meetings in Chicago. He died while jogging with a friend in Chicago on November 4, 2002.

Steve and Barbara were divorced in 1975. Steve and I met in 1979, as competitors on a housing finance deal. We married in 1981, and since Steve was better than I, I stopped doing housing finance and developed my specialty working with hospitals, universities and museums. Our first daughter, Rachael, was born in December 1982, and our second daughter, Sarah, was born in May 1985. Rachael just graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a double major in history and art history, and is looking for a job in art history in New York. Sarah is starting her sophomore year at the same college.