PITTSBURGH, May 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- With deep sadness, Federated Investors, Inc. (NYSE: FII) today announced the passing of John F. Donahue, who founded the company in 1955 and served as chairman emeritus until his death at age 92 on May 11, 2017.
Donahue served Federated for more than 60 years, playing a pivotal role in shaping the company and the investment management industry as a tireless advocate for the value of mutual funds to everyday investors. Federated's position as a leader in innovative investment management solutions and services reflects Donahue's entrepreneurial spirit.
"My father was a remarkable business leader and a man of tremendous faith who dedicated his life to building Federated and his community," said J. Christopher Donahue, president and chief executive officer of Federated. "He was also a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who made faith the center of our family. While he will be deeply missed by all who knew him, his entrepreneurial spirit will continue to encourage and inspire us all."
Donahue's quintessential American success tale began shortly after his graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1946. He was commissioned into the Army Air Corps (later the Air Force), where he excelled as a pilot of single-engine planes, delighting in carrying out spins and loops. But he continued to be interested in the stock market and finance. When he saw Forbes magazine offering a closeout sale on a stock market correspondence course for a then-financially risky $49, he enrolled, setting in motion the beginnings of a life-long career in the investment management industry.
Donahue felt so strongly that mutual funds were the everyday person's key to financial security that he wanted to share the idea with everyone he met. After leaving the Air Force in 1950, he began selling mutual funds on commission and quickly realized he could do better forming his own company. He did just that in 1955, with the conviction that the mutual fund industry would be a great success, founding Federated Investors with two high school friends—co-founder Richard B. Fisher and the late Thomas J. Donnelly as outside counsel. Today Federated employs more than 1,400 people in the U.S. and around the globe, managing and distributing investment products to institutions, financial intermediaries and investors around the world.
"When Jack and I founded Federated as young men, I don't think either of us could conceive of the success that we would have helping people invest, save for retirement or achieve their financial goals," said Richard B. Fisher, co-founder and chairman of Federated Securities, Corp. "Jack and I said we would build a place where we could employ our children, a solid company there for the long haul. And we did. Jack had a profound impact on Federated over the years and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him."
Donahue is survived by his wife of 70 years, Rhodora Jacob Donahue and their 13 children: Katherine (Thomas Jr.) Freyvogel; J. Christopher (Ann) Donahue; Maribeth (Richard) Donley; Rhodora (Dick) Barton; Patricia (James) Dolan; William (Janet) Donahue; Theresa (Alfonso) D'Orazio; Thomas (Frances) Donahue; Susan (Ronald) Petnuch; Carol (Patrick) Moore; Maureen (James) Murphy; Rebecca (Craig) Foxhoven; Gregory (Kimberly) Donahue; and 84 grandchildren, 109 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, as well as his sisters Katherine Kirby and Margaretta Garman. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Marion Rush and Gladys Ostrowski.
Donahue's Catholic faith led him to be involved with Duquesne University, where he spearheaded an effort among his family members to endow the Donahue Family Chair in Investment Management in its Graduate School of Business. Over the years, Donahue dedicated his time and effort to a variety of charitable efforts including creating the Golden Apple Awards for the best teachers in Pittsburgh's Catholic schools and founding the Extra Mile Education Foundation to provide Catholic education for inner-city children.
Federated Investors, Inc. is one of the largest investment managers in the United States, managing $361.7 billion in assets as of March 31, 2017. With 123 funds and a variety of separately managed account options, Federated provides comprehensive investment management to more than 8,400 institutions and intermediaries including corporations, government entities, insurance companies, foundations and endowments, banks and broker/dealers. For more information, visit FederatedInvestors.com.
SOURCE Federated Investors, Inc.