Our cover this month, The Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge by Walter L. Greene, sold for $75,000 at Bonhams’ California and Western Paintings and Sculpture auction on Aug. 7, 2018 in Los Angeles. Greene was a commercial artist and illustrator who specialized in travel-oriented paintings, including for General Electric (GE), where he managed the art department for 37 years. His notable works include calendar paintings for GE and the New York Central Railroad.
The Golden Gate Bridge, the construction of which Greene brilliantly captured in all its bright vermilion glory circa 1935, is an iconic suspension bridge in San Francisco and one of the city’s most internationally recognized symbols. It’s been named one of the “Wonders of the Modern World” by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The construction was no easy feat, with many experts opining that it wouldn’t be possible to build, citing the infamous winds and fog of the Bay Area as detrimental factors. The project was, however, successfully completed in 1937—ahead of schedule and $1.3 million under budget.
Speaking of ahead of schedule and under budget, those aren’t phrases many investors hear often these days. As one article in our Investments Committee Report suggests, “Prioritizing an ESG Mindset as an Operating Strategy in Private Equity,” by Jacob Zodikoff and Haley Beck, p. 57, one of the keys to successfully investing in businesses lies in investing in the people (employees) that run them. And, though the article is written from the perspective of private equity investors, the benefits of creating a diverse, happy and productive work environment should resonate with everyone from estate-planning attorneys to family office advisors.