Irving Kahn (19 December 1905 – 24 February 2015) was an American centenarian known for being the "oldest Wall Street investor". He was an early disciple of Benjamin Graham, the creator of the value investing methodology. Kahn began his career in 1928 and continued to work until his death. He was Chairman of Kahn Brothers Group, Inc., the privately owned investment advisory and broker-dealer firm that he founded with his sons, Thomas and Alan, in 1978. Until his death, Kahn performed an active role at the company, though Thomas, who is the firm's president, ran and continues to run the business and was and is still responsible for the firm's investment decisions.
Kahn Brothers Group's principals manage $1 billion in funds through its subsidiaries and affiliated investment businesses. Its investment advisory firm has $664 million in assets under management as of the end of calendar year 2013.
Kahn was the oldest active money manager on Wall Street. He made his first trade—a short sale of a copper mining company—in the summer of 1929, months before the infamous market crash in October of that year.
In addition, he, his sisters, and his brother were, collectively, the world's oldest living quartet of siblings. Kahn himself lived to 109. His sister, Helen Reichert (1901–2011), nicknamed "Happy", died seven weeks before her 110th birthday. The youngest sibling, Peter Keane (1910–2014), died at the age of 103. Kahn's other sister, Lee (1903–2005), died at the age of 101.
Kahn was born on 19 December 1905 in New York City to Mamie (née Friedman; 1880–1946) and Saul Henry Kahn (1875–1964). Educated at the City College of New York, Kahn served as the second teaching assistant to Benjamin Graham at Columbia Business School. At the time, other notable students and/or teaching assistants to Graham included future Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett and future value investors William J. Ruane, Walter J. Schloss, and Charles Brandes, among others. Graham had such an enormous influence on his students that both Kahn and Buffett named their sons after him. Kahn named his third son, born in 1942, Thomas Graham, and Buffett, his first son, born in 1954, Howard Graham.
Kahn was a Chartered Financial Analyst and among the first round of applicants to take the CFA exam. He was a founding member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the Financial Analysts' Journal]]. Kahn was also a former director of Teleregister Corp., Hugo Stinnes Co., Grand Union Stores, Kings County Lighting, West Chemical and Willcox & Gibbs. He was the president of the New York City Job and Career Center and was a trustee emeritus of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women.
In a magazine article in 2002, he was quoted as saying: "I'm at the stage in life where I get a lot of pleasure out of finding a cheap stock," adding that his research still pushed him to work evenings and weekends. His son Thomas, then and still currently President of Kahn Brothers Group, said, "My father continues to research ideas and talk to companies. One of the nice things about this business is that there's no mandatory retirement age, and you allegedly get wiser as you get older."
Irving Kahn died on 24 February 2015, aged 109. His death was reported through a brief paid obituary in the New York Times on 26 February 2015. No specific cause of death was given. He passed away a little over a month after his son Donald, who died on 16 January 2015.
- ↑ Financial Times: "On Wall Street: Age old wisdom"
- ↑ The Financial Times: "On Wall Street: Age old wisdom"
- ↑ Barron's: "Still Going Strong"
- ↑ The Week: "The last word: The secret to living past 100"
- ↑ Lomuscio, James (11 February 2014). "M. Peter Keane Obituary". Westport Now. http://www.westportnow.com/index.php?/v2_5/comments/47342/. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
- ↑ Bary, Andrew. 2005. "Living Legend," Barron's, December 12.
- ↑ Irving Kahn, New York Times, February 26, 2015.