The most dangerous thing is illusion.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
It was late summer 2001. I was 63 years old and on top of the world; and I very much liked the view. It felt like the zenith of my life as a man of business and investment, as a husband and father who had lived his life exceedingly well. And yet, I was convinced that there was more successes ahead for me.
I wasn’t interested in taking it easy any time soon.
I had recently retired from Alliance Capital where I began as its chairman of the international division in 1993. That post, in the heady and rarefied universe of global finance, came after rising through the upper ranks of its parent company, Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, the third largest life insurance company in America and its wholly owned investment subsidiary, Equitable Capital Management Corporation. I was also thrilled to be launching the Africa Millennium Fund, my own operation. With it, I was seeking to realize my life’s dream of creating a Western-style investment fund to drive much needed capital to a continent practically starving for development capital.
After all, I had created investment funds to invest in India, South Africa, and Egypt while at Alliance, so I was confident that I could accomplish this most ambitious continent-wide achievement.
Africa was important to me. Africa is me. I am Africa. I am an African man. That is one of the things that defines Frank Savage. Everyone will tell you that. I’m ...