June 8, 2012—On June 2 Nathan Associates lost an early partner and a long-time friend of the firm. Maurice Atkin—known among family, friends, and colleagues as “Maury”—died at the age of 94 from complications due to a stroke.
A friend and colleague of the firm’s founder, Robert R. Nathan, Maury joined Nathan Associates in 1950 and drew on his involvement with the new state of Israel in building the firm’s client base. His early clients included Hadassa, an Israeli hospital group, and Zim, an Israeli maritime company. In his 2005 memoir, Life’s Voyage, he describes the bolder off-the-record aspects of business development at the time. For example, when Maury took a contract between Zim and the Government of Ghana to the then-president of Ghana for his signature, the president expressed regret and surprise that there was no clause guaranteeing the president 10 percent of the revenue. Maury replied that business was no longer done that way.
Maury was also deeply involved in the firm’s work supporting the U.S. iron and steel scrap industry, overseeing the development of an information system for several companies, some of which remain clients today. But most important was his work with ISSI, the industry’s trade association. On Maury’s initiative, Nathan Associates developed an econometric model, later updated, to estimate the price elasticity of the scrap supply. The firm’s U.S. and foreign client steel mills that use scrap as raw material still draw on the knowledge and expertise established by Maury.
Nathan Associates also drew on Maury’s expertise with agricultural enterprises to involve him in the firm’s work in international development. Maury worked in numerous developing countries, including Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, and Sri Lanka. He retired from the firm as senior vice president in 1983.
Maury is survived by Flora, his wife of 70 years; three children—Joseph, Jonathan, and Barrie; and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He will be sorely missed.