A Tribute to Bennet Sedacca

By Todd Harrison  MAR 17, 2009 4:44 PM

Minyanville mourns a tragic loss.


The Sedacca family is deeply moved by the outpouring of love and support from the Minyanville community, and has asked that donations made in Bennet’s honor go to the Ruby Peck Foundation for Children’s Education.

It is a profoundly sad day in Minyanville as we mourn a tragic loss.  

Today we said goodbye to a member of our family, one of our best and brightest, a good friend, a loving husband, a caring father and one heck of a talented professor.

I spoke with Bennet Sedacca last night, as we did most every day. The topics ranged from the state of the credit markets and the implications for equities to the upcoming NCAA basketball tournament and our plans to vacation at his new home at Haig Point. 

At the end of the conversation, he said to me, “I can count my brothers on one hand and you’re one of them. You have no idea how much I love Minyanville -- how much I love our community -- it’s part of my family, it’s one of the things I’m most proud of.” 

I told him the feelings were mutual - that he helped more people than he could possibly imagine, that his proverbial pebble rippled far and wide, that he affected positive change through the selfless sharing of his financial acumen. 

I am blessed to have had that conversation, for it would be our last.

This morning I awoke to an email from his partner and close friend, Rob Roy: “Bennet slipped on the stairs last night and suffered a brain injury that he will not survive. We are waiting for family to arrive before his life support is removed.”

I sat up in bed and rubbed my eyes. My mother slipped on stairs the day before and broke her ankle. Surely I was dreaming, commingling 2 emails into one, confusing one situation with another. I read it again. The message was the same. I called Rob, who confirmed my worst fears.

For those who read Bennet, the takeaway was simple: He was wicked smart, a master of the credit markets and extremely proud of his name and word. He was early in seeing the financial mess, as evidenced by his front-and-center presence in House of Cards, the recently released book that will serve as a tribute to his acumen.

Those who knew Bennet will remember an acerbic wit wrapped around a heart of gold. He was a tough cookie who demanded the best of himself and those around him, and was never shy about expressing his opinion. We used to joke that we were both massively misunderstood, which is likely why we understood each other so well.

We often say that it should never take something bad to make us realize we’ve got it good. We honor that process when we “Do Something Joel” (a random act of kindness), reference it when reflecting on September 11th and pay tribute through The Ruby Peck Foundation. 

I discussed this a lot with “Blue Steel,” and he got it - more than most.  He was the first to cut a check for our philanthropic efforts and was a persistent presence at our events, always drawing a crowd. 

The ‘Ville is a community, and we genuinely care for one another and take pride in watching each other’s back. When one of us hurts, we attempt to ease the pain. If one of us is in need, we try to shoulder the load. When the going gets tough, our human capital are the ties that bind.

We like to say Minyanville is comprised of people who are very good at what they do and better at who they are. Bennet never stopped working at either.

If the greatest wisdom is bred as a function of pain, we now have another reason for remembrance, another poignant perspective, another opportunity to live our lives and take nothing for granted. My grandfather once told me that time is the most precious commodity and that has again -- and unfortunately -- proved true.

Bennet was one of a kind and there aren’t words that will ease the pain of his family and friends. I will simply say to his wife Nancy, his son Michael and his daughter Katie that, for as long as there is a Minyanville, you will never, ever be alone.

Rest in peace, my friend. I love you, and you will most certainly be missed.

No positions in stocks mentioned.