Gary Parr

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Gary Parr
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina (BSBA)
Northwestern University (MBA)
OccupationInvestment banker
EmployerApollo Global Management
SpouseKatherine Parr

Gary W. Parr is Senior Managing Director of Apollo Global Management and a member of the Executive Committee.[1] He was a Vice Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of Lazard. He was an investment banker who had focused on the financial services industry for more than 30 years.


Parr began his career at First Boston Corp., where he worked on insurance industry mergers.[2] In 1988, he was part of a group that formed the advisory firm Wasserstein Perella, co-founded by Bruce Wasserstein and Joseph Perella and rose to be Co-President. In 1993, he moved to Morgan Stanley, where his roles included heading the global financial institutions group and co-heading the global M&A Department with William Lewis Jr.,[3] with whom he would also co-lead the Banking Department. He joined Lazard in 2003.[2][4]

He has advised clients on many of the largest mergers and acquisitions and strategic investments in the financial services industry, including: the sale of Lehman’s North American investment banking business to Barclays; the sale of Bear Stearns to JP Morgan; Mitsubishi UFJ’s investment in Morgan Stanley; Kuwait’s investment in Citigroup; China Investment Corp.’s investment in Morgan Stanley; the merger of Bank of New York and Mellon; the sale of Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette to Credit Suisse First Boston; Dean Witter Discover’s merger with Morgan Stanley; and Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of GEICO.[2][5] He is also a founder of Parré, a luxury chocolate brand with his wife, Katherine.[6][7]


Parr is from Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He graduated from Kenan-Flagler Business School in 1979 with honors, Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Gamma Sigma, and was in Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He also received an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.[2][8]

Bloomberg News, in an article titled "The Willy Wonka of Wall Street," has reported that he has founded Parré Chocolat, a luxury chocolate business with ethical trading practices and a transparent supply chain, with his wife, Katherine Parr.[9]

Parr is said to enjoy architectural renovation projects, and owns historic properties in Tuxedo Park, NY and Palm Beach, Florida, as well as a home in New York City. He was formerly chairman of Venetian Heritage, a historical restoration organization.[10]

He established the Parr Center for Ethics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004. Among other activities, the Parr Center sponsors visiting scholars, talks by prominent philosophers, and intercollegiate debates on ethical issues. He serves as Chairman of the Center and Sarah Stroud became Director of the Center in 2018.[11][7][12]

In October 2014, the Wainstein Report revealed that the Director of the Parr Center for Ethics, Jan Boxill, "... was responsible for funneling student-athletes into bogus paper classes and negotiating the grade they would need to stay eligible" in an academic fraud at UNC that persisted from 1997 until 2011. In November 2014, Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, an eminent meta-ethacist specializing in moral relativism and the ethical perspectives of David Hume, replaced Boxill as Director of the Parr Center for Ethics.[13]

In 2013, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of North Carolina.[8]

Parr is currently chairman emeritus of the New York Philharmonic, and served as chairman from September 2009 to February 2015.[4][14][15][12][7][6]

He also served on the board of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[5]

Parr is known to be "a frugal sort who says he cuts his own hair".[16]

He is married to philanthropist and advocate Katherine Parr, an American-born, Villanova University School of Business-educated designer and entrepreneur; public school educator and former fashion model, who co-founded Parré Chocolat and has been recognized by the Fulbright Specialist Program for entrepreneurship and advisory work.[17][18][19]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jarzemsky, Wall Street Journal Jarzemsky, Matt (8 December 2016). "Apollo Taps Gary Parr for Senior Role". Wall Street Journal.
  2. ^ a b c d Matt Golosinski. "Theory into Practice: Analytical and 'people' skills both key, says financial ace Gary Parr '80".
  3. ^ William M. Lewis, Jr. (The HistoryMakers A2007.084), interviewed by Shawn Wilson, March 12, 2007, The HistoryMakers Digital Archive. Session 1, tape 5, story 4, William M. Lewis, Jr. details his ascent at Morgan Stanley
  4. ^ a b Daniel J. Wakin (2009-06-12). "New York Philharmonic Names Gary Parr Chairman". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  5. ^ a b Liza Porteus Viana. "The Global Engineer". Retrieved 2008-01-22.
  6. ^ a b "Banker builds sweet side job | Business". The Journal Gazette. 2019-06-03. Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  7. ^ a b c Bloomberg (2019-05-24). "The Willy Wonka of Wall Street has a sweet side hustle in New Jersey". Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  8. ^ a b "Distinguished alumni to receive awards University Day".
  9. ^ Sonali Basak, Bloomberg (24 May 2019). "The Willy Wonka of Wall Street". Bloomberg.
  10. ^ Deborah Hartz-Seeley. "Real Estate: Famed Casa Alva sold to preservationist".
  11. ^ "The Parr Center For Ethics".
  12. ^ a b "Gary Parr on His Move to Private Equity and Love of Chocolate". Bloomberg. 2019-05-24. Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  13. ^ Raynor, Grace (2014-10-23). "Campus shocked by former faculty chairwoman Jan Boxill's involvement in academic scandal". The Daily Tar Heel. Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  14. ^ "Chairman Gary W. Parr". New York Philharmonic.
  15. ^ Michael Cooper (12 December 2014). "Taking Up a New Baton: Chairman of the Board". The New York Times.
  16. ^ "The Banker's Banker". Institutional Investor. 8 January 2009. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  17. ^ "TED Talk, The Road to Economic Empowerment is Conscious Consumerism". 6 September 2022.
  18. ^ Annie Darling, Tatler Hong Kong. "Katherine Parr and Sustainability in Jewelry".
  19. ^ "Villanova School of Business Alumni Making an Impact". Villanova University.