Robert Emmett Holley

Robert Emmett Holley
Robert Emmett Holley

Robert Emmett “Bob” Holley, of New York, N.Y., Greenport and Vero Beach, Fla., a prominent investment banking executive, died peacefully in Westhampton Beach on Dec. 1. 

Mr. Holley, born in Manhattan in 1932, was the devoted son of Robert A. And Eleanor M. Holley. He was a lifelong New Yorker. He graduated from St. Peter’s High School, Staten Island and Fordham University with a B.S. in accounting in 1954. He served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in the mid-1950s.

Mr. Holley worked as a municipal bond trader at Merrill Lynch. At Paine Webber, he invented the concept of the unit investment trust, creating and heading that department. In this highly specialized field, his reputation for excellence grew to the point that he was widely respected, even revered, on the Street. Generous-hearted and impeccable in character, he served as a mentor and exemplar to many younger employees. He was described as “one of the true gentlemen in the business.” He served on the board of the Investment Company Institute, eventually becoming its chairman. Quietly philanthropic, he was active in the Kips Bay Boys Club, the New York City Police Department’s Emerald Society, and numerous other charities.

He was married to the late Barbara Collins, the genuine love of his life, for 46 years. Together, they went on frequent, miles-long walks all over Manhattan. They enjoyed their boat, the “My Way”. Their dogs, General Maxwell Taylor, Mindy and Samantha, were their hearts’ delight.

Mr. Holley will be best remembered for his unending spirit of generosity. He never missed an opportunity to do a kindness. He was a great listener and was blessed with the gift of storytelling. He loved books and was always eager to share his reading enthusiasms. In addition to his wife, family and friends, he loved British television detective series, ’21’ and Le Cirque, the NYPD, tennis, Dixieland jazz, The Royal Tattoo, the voice of Maria Callas, and chocolate ice cream.

Mr. Holley is survived by four nieces, a nephew, and many great and great-great nieces and nephews.

A memorial service for Mr. Holley will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at St. Agnes R.C. Church in Greenport.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to: NYC PBA Widows and Children’s Fund Attn: Joseph Alejandro Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association 125 Broad Street-11th Floor New York, NY 10004 or East End Hospice:

DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home is assisting the family.

This is a paid notice.