The American Jewish Committee, one of the oldest and most respected civil rights and human rights organizations in the United States, presented its prestigious Herbert H. Lehman Human Relations Award to banking industry leader Josef Ackermann at a gala dinner at the New York Hilton Hotel.
Dr. Ackermann, Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee of Deutsche Bank, was heralded by AJC for his long-standing commitment to philanthropy, diversity and civic responsibility, as well as his professional achievements.
Leon D. Black, Founding Partner of Apollo Management, LP, served as dinner chairman. Jerry I. Speyer, Founding Partner, President and CEO of Tishman Speyer Properties, presented the AJC award to Dr. Ackermann. Joining the tribute were not only New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mayor Petra Roth, of Frankfurt, Germany, but also democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. Israel Prime Minister Olmert send a personal message of congratulations.
AJC’s Lehman Award was established in tribute to Herbert H. Lehman, a banker, politician and a partner in the firm of what was then called Lehman and Brothers. A liberal Democrat who served as both Lieutenant Governor (1928-1932) and as Governor of New York (1932-1942), he also served in the U.S. Senate (1949-1957). He supported the New Deal and became the first Director General of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.
In 1950, speaking before the U.S. Senate, Herbert Lehman said: “In order to uphold liberty in a world of clashing ideologies our first concern must be to guard and maintain liberty at home. How else can we urge the blessings of liberty upon other peoples.”
Dr. Ackermann received a medallion etched with the image of Herbert H. Lehman and inscribed with the following quotation:
“There is a cause for all who believe in the brotherhood of man and the blessedness of justice.”
“For more than a hundred years the American Jewish Committee has championed the interests of people around the world who lacked a voice of their own, resisting bigotry, hatred and intolerance while upholding and protecting human dignity,” said Dr. Ackermann. “I have enormous respect for the work of the AJC, so I am truly honored to accept this prestigious award.”
After studying Economics and Social Sciences and earning his doctorate at the University of St. Gallen, Josef Ackermann started his professional career in 1977 at Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (SKA) where he served in executive positions in corporate banking in New York, FX/money markets and treasury in Lausanne, and investment banking at Credit Suisse First Boston in London.
He was appointed to the Executive Board of SKA in 1990 and became its President in 1993. In this capacity, his responsibilities included the integration of Schweizerische Volksbank into Credit Suisse Group.
In 1996, he joined the Board of Managing Directors of Deutsche Bank, where he was responsible for the investment banking division. Under his leadership, the Corporate and Investment Bank of Deutsche Bank developed into one of the institution's principal revenue sources and entered the top group of international investment banks. In 2002, he became Spokesman of the Board of Managing Directors and Chairman of the Group Executive Committee.
Dr. Ackermann is a member of the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG. He also plays an active role in, among others organizations and agencies, the Initiative Finanzstandort Deutschland, the Institute of International Finance, the World Economic Forum, the International Students’ Committee of the University of St. Gallen, the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the New York Metropolitan Opera.
Over the course of its more than 100-year old history, the American Jewish Committee has worked to safeguard minorities; fight terrorism, anti-Semitism, hatred, and bigotry; pursue social justice; advance human dignity; support Israel’s right to exist in peace and security; defend religious freedom and provide humanitarian relief to those in need. Through innovative programs, education, research and extensive diplomatic outreach and advocacy, AJC works to advance freedom, liberty, tolerance and mutual respect.
For further information, please call:
Janice Hyman-Wolpo, American Jewish Committee, +1 (212) 891-6784
Ted Meyer, Deutsche Bank, + (212) 250-7253
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