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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 17 August 1927Istanbul, Turkey
Date of Death 27 February 1995London, England, UK

Mini Bio (1)

Bernie Cornfeld was a renegade financier whose Swiss-headquartered mutual fund company, Investors Overseas Services, a fund of funds, collapsed in the early 1970s. Building up capital of $2.5 billion by selling funds to small investors, primarily to American servicemen living overseas, Cornfeld was brought low by a bearish stock market that cut his ability to return dividends to investors and eroded the value of the stocks held in the funds. To cover his liabilities, Cornfeld was forced to make an initial public offering of IOS stock. Another bear market in 1970 saw the price of IOS shares drop from $18 to $12, and investors began bailing out.

Further compounding his troubles, IOS was looted of $500 million by Robert Vesco, who had offered his services as a white knight and turned out to be anything but. Vesco fled the United States for the Bahamas, and eventually settled in Cuba to stay away from the long arm of the law. The price of IOS shares dropped to $2 as now all its investors tried to sell off their shares.

The collapse of IOS caused bank failures in the US and Europe. Cornfeld, who longed to be a movie director, lived the life of a pasha in Beverly Hills, surrounded by beautiful women, of whom Victoria Principal was one. He partied with the likes of Tony Curtis and Hugh M. Hefner, but his popularity declined along with his income. Subsequently, he served 11 months in jail in Switzerland after being arrested in Geneva for fraud, as at the end, he essentially was running a Ponzi scheme.

Cornfeld returned to Beverly Hills, but was never again in the public spotlight, as he had been at the end of the swinging Sixties and in the early '70s. He died in 1995.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

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