Edward A. Hansen | AspenTimes.com
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Edward A. Hansen

Former Aspen resident Edward A. Hansen, for many years a partner of the New York law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel, died on Dec. 31 in New York Presbyterian Hospital days before his birthday. He would have been 80 on Jan. 15, 2011. The cause was respiratory failure.After graduation from Northwestern University and the University of Michigan Law School, and following two years of Army service which included a tour of duty in Korea, he joined Cahill Gordon in 1959 and was a partner in that firm for 24 years, until his retirement in 1991.He was a leading corporate and financial practitioner who helped Cahill Gordon define and distinguish its prominent corporate and securities practice. Among the many matters on which he functioned were the establishment, for clients Marsh & McLennan (the large worldwide insurance broker) and J. P. Morgan, of two prominent insurance companies, ACE Limited in 1985 and XL Group plc in 1986, to meet an insurance crisis facing many large U.S. and international corporations in finding liability and D&O coverage on terms, amounts and limits desired, resulting from the insurance market’s reaction to severe losses and adverse judicial decisions. There being no financing available from traditional sources and the cumbersome regulatory processes in the U.S. not being conducive to speedy action, the necessary original capital was raised through investment in the stock of ACE and XL by corporations that needed the insurance and ACE and XL were originally established as offshore entities.Initially 33 major U.S. corporations (including such well-known companies as IBM, Ford, GE, U.S. Steel and Chase Manhattan as well as major companies in the chemical, pharmaceutical, railroad and energy industries) invested nearly $300 million in ACE and 66 major corporations invested $395 million in XL. At the time of the establishment of ACE, Al Robison, CFO of Public Service Co. of New Mexico, one of the initial ACE sponsors, stated (as quoted on page 6 of the 12/23/85 Wall Street Journal): “There is no other market at any price for the liability coverage being offered by ACE.” Both ACE and XL achieved their purpose. They are now leading international NYSE traded insurance companies with market capitalizations exceeding $20 billion in the case of ACE and $7 billion in the case of XL.Mr. Hansen, while living in New York, was a trustee of the Village of Tuxedo Park, and on the board and an officer of the Metropolitan Opera Club. For many years Mr. Hansen also served on the Board of Overseers for the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College.In 1998 Mr. Hansen moved to Aspen, Colo. and he and his wife fell in love with the community. He served on the board of Aspen Public Radio and negotiated rights to use towers throughout the valley so the local station could expand and join the NPR network. He was a member of the board of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and the National Council of the Aspen Music Festival. He loved hiking with his dog, Audit. In 2007 Mr. Hansen moved, for health reasons, to Palm Beach where his wife had spent her childhood.In addition to his wife, Julia whom he married in 1961, in Monte Carlo, Mr. Hansen is survived by their two children, Christopher of Tuxedo Park, N.Y., and Victoria of New York City; two grandchildren, Nicholas and Christopher, and his brother, Donald.There will be a memorial service Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 4 p.m. at St. Bartholomew’s Church, 325 Park Ave., in New York. Thereafter friends are invited to the Racquet Club. There will also be a celebration in Palm Beach in February and this summer in Aspen.In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The Hansen Exhibition/Acquisition Fund at the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College or to Aspen Theater Masters, P.O. Box 899, Aspen CO 81612.


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