Preston, Lewis Thompson

Preston, Lewis Thompson,

1926–95, American financial executive, b. New York City. After serving as a U.S. Marine during World War II and graduating from Harvard (1951), he joined J. P. Morgan. He became head of the firm's London office (1966), executive vice president for international banking (1968), vice chairman of the board (1976), president (1978), and finally chief executive officer (1980–89) and chairman (1980–91). In 1991 he was chosen as president of the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and DevelopmentInternational Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
(IBRD), independent specialized agency of the United Nations, with headquarters at Washington, D.C.; one of five closely associated development institutions (also including the International Center for Settlement of
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). Focusing on the quality and success, rather than the volume, of the bank's lending programs, he encouraged private sector development and oversaw the admission of the republics of the former Soviet Union to the World Bank, the initiation of lending programs to post-apartheid South Africa, and the resumption of lending to Vietnam.
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Preston, Lewis Thompson

(1926–  ) banker; born in New York City. He joined J. P. Morgan & Co. (later Morgan Guaranty Trust) after graduating from Harvard in 1951, and rose through the ranks to become president (1978–80) and chairman and chief executive officer (1980–89), before taking charge of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Washington, D.C.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.