Georges Yared of Deephaven, a stockbroker who rose to become an investment company executive, had recently become a radio broadcaster, giving investment advice across the nation.
Yared, 53, is believed to have died from a heart attack Sept. 7 in St. Louis Park.
After growing up in Cleveland and earning a bachelor's degree in business from DePaul University in Chicago, he knocked on many stockbrokers' doors, trying to get a job in the late 1970s.
After visiting many who didn't want to hire a 22-year-old just out of college, he finally landed at the old Dean Witter Reynolds firm in Chicago.
His rise through the firm's ranks was meteoric, said former colleague David Johnson, of Lincolnshire, Ill., a retired broker, adding that Yared made the most of his opportunities.
In his first year, he became a star rookie, even serving a brief stint in Minneapolis, while he rose through the executive ranks.
From 1987 to 1989, he was president and CEO of Dean Witter in Canada.
"People liked Georges and Georges really cared for them," Johnson said. "He was aggressive and he had a personality that was just right for the industry."
His attention to his family, his bosses, customers and his friends was amazing, said Johnson.
In the early 1990s, he turned to representing institutional investors and signed on with Wessels, Arnold, and Henderson in Minneapolis, now part of RBC Dain Rauscher.
He became a partner in the firm, said Ken Wessels, of Wayzata. Wessels said Yared was key in the firm's expansion into Europe, not only for his investment acumen, but also for his fluent French.
"He was always a great customer man," Wessels said. "He was also a lot of fun."
In the past few years, he went to work for himself, forming Yared Investment Research. He wrote three books, giving investment advice, and was the man behind Game Changers, a subscription-based investment service provided by InvestorPlace Media, which is owned by Avista Capital Partners, owners of the Star Tribune.
And he appeared on CNBC television.
For the past 16 months, he had been giving investment advice on Doug Stephan's syndicated radio program, and he served as Stephan's cohost on the Saturday morning call-in show, "Good Day Wealth," which can be heard on some outstate Minnesota radio stations.
"Georges was very committed to giving the right information for the right reason," said Stephan, owner of Stephan Multimedia of Framingham, Mass. "He wasn't hyping stocks for anybody else."
Once Yared, who broadcast from the Twin Cities, gave advice about an investment that did poorly, later acknowledging it on the air, said Stephan.
He was a supporter of the Children's Cancer Research Fund, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Deephaven, and the Breck School in Minneapolis. He was an avid sports fan, good at baseball trivia, and known by many of the students at Breck, who could count on his support at athletic events.
He is survived by his wife, Cindy of Deephaven; sons, Joey of Deephaven, Matthew Keating of Minneapolis, Ryan Keating of Eden Prairie; daughters, Alexandra Yared of Deephaven, Stephanie Keating Phillips of Shakopee; sisters, Charlette Sgro, Monique Biggins and Nicole Schuler, all of Cleveland, and two grandchildren.
Services have been held.