A.D. Frazier, a former First Chicago Corp. executive known for his wisecracking ways, is now helping a large money management company draw up corporate plans for the future.
Last month, Mr. Frazier, whose initials stand for Adolphus Drewry, began his new assignment as executive vice president and member of the management committee at Invesco PLC, London. The new position is the latest in a long and varied career that includes overseeing the North American Banking Group for First Chicago, helping to run last summer's Olympic Games in Atlanta, and working in Jimmy Carter's White House.
Like those in some of his past jobs, Mr. Frazier's new duties are difficult to explain. Instead of running a department and overseeing a staff, he is something of a paid corporate guru for Invesco executive chairman Charles W. Brady.
"Here's a headline for your story," Mr. Frazier suggests. "A.D. Frazier joins Invesco - duties unknown."
But Mr. Brady, who wasn't available for comment, didn't just pluck Mr. Frazier out of nowhere. Mr. Frazier's multifaceted career - particularly his recent work with 197 countries putting together the Olympics - has brought him many global contacts, a resume feature Mr. Brady was seeking.
Indeed, Mr. Frazier will go to Asia in January to drum up business with corporations looking for pension plan management."There's a fair number of people I know in those places," he says. "I want to say hello and discuss business possibilities."
Mr. Frazier also has a track record that Mr. Brady knows well. They go back 25 years. Both worked for Atlanta-based The Citizens and Southern National Bank, later acquired by NationsBank Corp. Mr. Brady ran C&S' investment department while Mr. Frazier was executive vice president, strategic planning.
While Mr. Brady left banking in 1979 to form Invesco, Mr. Frazier stayed in the industry. In 1982, he landed a plum job as executive vice president overseeing First Chicago's huge corporate banking business.
Nine years later, he moved back to Atlanta, where he helped put together last summer's Olympics. As chief operating officer, he helped build the staff of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games from scratch to 90,000 - raising and spending $1.7 billion.
While it is unusual for a mutual fund company to tap the stodgy banking world for an executive to help direct its business, the 52-year-old Mr. Frazier is a bit of an anomaly.
"He's not very bankerly," said Donald Hollis, a former First Chicago executive vice president. "He's very much a leader, a great rallier of his troops. People have a strong affection for A.D."
Mr. Hollis, a technology expert who retired from First Chicago last April, had an office next to Mr. Frazier's. He dubbed the sculpture of a Native American located in the hallway "Adolphus the Walrus." They used to rub it and make a wish whenever Mr. Frazier had a strategic-planning problem.
Mr. Frazier, who calls his native Lumberton, N.C., "forgettable," is partial to bird hunting, motorcycle-riding, and bluegrass music. He says he intends to be a team player at Invesco, which is merging with Aim Management Group, a Houston-based fund company.
"I don't really care if I end up playing shortstop or schlepping the equipment to the clubhouse."