Thomas G. Labrecque, who retired last year as president and chief operating officer of Chase Manhattan Corp., died Monday of lung cancer at a New York hospital. He was 62.
Mr. Labrecque spent 35 years at the old and the post-merger Chase. He became chairman and chief executive officer of the old Chase in 1990 and held that post for six years, until Chemical Banking Corp. bought it and took its name. He then became president and chief operating officer of the merged company.
He is credited with having worked closely with the first chairman of the new Chase, Walter V. Shipley, to orchestrate a smooth joining of the companies. The two men stepped down from senior management last year, passing the torch to a new generation of executives led by William B. Harrison Jr. as chairman and chief executive. After his retirement, Mr. Labrecque acted as chairman of Chase's international advisory council.
He often found himself at the center of major issues. In the early 1970s he helped form the Municipal Assistance Corp., which had a large role in resolving New York City's financial crisis. Later in that decade he served on a team of bankers that worked out a financial arrangement for the release of Americans taken hostage in Iran. He also represented Chase in negotiations on the Mexican and Russian financial crises of the 1990s.
In a prepared statement former Chase chairman David Rockefeller, who had worked closely with Mr. Labrecque, called him "a man of total integrity with great business skills and an exceptional fairness and kindness in his dealings with others."
Mr. Labrecque was born in Long Branch, N.J., to a large family. His father, Theodore J. Labrecque, was a superior court judge. He graduated from Villanova University and later attended American University and New York University's business school.
Richard Whiting, executive director of the Financial Services Roundtable, a Washington-based industry group, and others said Mr. Labreque was an "old-school banker" with a talent for developing a consensus.
"He was very dynamic," said Mr. Whiting, of whose group Mr. Labrecque was a former president. "He had the ability to take very difficult issues, parse them, and get a consensus built around them."
A memorial service is planned for Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.