Fox Chapel Financial Analyst Promoted Quality Health Care

Article excerpt

Don Wolff was known for his candidness and honesty, two traits that guided him throughout his long finance career, his work on many nonprofit and charitable boards and even on the golf course.

"Don enjoyed life. Everything he entered into he did with a great deal of enthusiasm, and he made friends very easily," said his friend of 40 years and longtime business partner Edwin "Ted" Scheetz Jr.

Donald Dunzee Wolff Jr., 63, of Fox Chapel, died Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008.

Mr. Wolff joined Mellon Bank in 1969, where he spent 14 years as a securities analyst, director of investment research and strategy, and portfolio manager of pension and specialty collective funds.

In 1983, Mr. Wolff joined Scheetz, Richard Meyer and Neil Van Horn to help found Scheetz, Smith & Co., a small investment bank.

"Don was an outstanding analyst; he managed the accounts of not only high net-worth individuals, but also institutional clients," Scheetz said.

In 1994, Mellon Bank acquired Scheetz, Smith & Co.'s municipal finance business, with Mr. Wolff remaining with the asset management operation. The company took a new name, Guyasuta Investment Advisors Inc., named for an 18th century Seneca Indian chief who lived in the Fox Chapel area, where the firm's partners resided.

"He put his clients absolutely first, he was a great listener, he tried solving others' problems," said longtime friend and business partner Meyer. "He always was focused on the big picture, thinking of what others might have missed."

Mr. Wolff was involved with local hospitals, first on the board of Shadyside Hospital, and later as a trustee of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

"He first came to hospital service in the mid-1980s, when he joined the Shadyside board," said G. Nicholas Beckwith III, Mr. Wolff's friend of 63-plus years. "His focus was on quality of care, the delivery of patient care. …