Clement Moore Ogden
Date of Birth
Ancestors can be mentioned here because they are a historic thread that is part of Clement's family lore and upbringing, and hence of his persona.
One ancestor of note, Clement Clarke Moore, lived in New York City in the early 1800’s and wrote the still-popular Christmas poem that begins "T'was the night before Christmas when all through the house…" He lived in a part of New York City now known as Chelsea -- a name derived from his home called Chelsea Mansion after the Chelsea Military Hospital in England. Clement Clarke Moore’s father Benjamin was first President of Columbia University, then King’s College. These historic threads directly connect Clement Moore Ogden to old New York in a way that very few others can claim. As a consequence, he considers himself a New Yorker at heart, despite having been born in Europe.
Chicago also figures amongst these ancestral threads since another ancestor was the first mayor of Chicago. Ogden Avenue in Chicago is named in his memory. Notably, Chicago Mayor Ogden is the only Chicago mayor not buried in Chicago, as he preferred to be buried in Trinity churchyard in downtown Manhattan, no doubt because of the Ogden family's close association with that church.
A New Jersey thread also derives from one Benjamin Ogden the first Attorney General of the State of New Jersey.
Another thread into the early history of America goes back to one of the members of George Washington’s officer corps, through which a claim to membership in the Society on the Cincinnatti might be asserted.
Mother and Father
His father, Clement Moore Ogden Sr., was born near Cannes, in the South of France, the son of expatriate Americans living a life of comfort financed by New York real estate holdings which derived from ancestor Clement Clarke Moore's Chelsea farm holdings.
Clement's Family Business Background
Clement Ogden’s earliest business experiences as a teenager were of visiting the family properties between 14th and 23rd streets and 10th Avenue and the Hudson River in New York City.
These properties were managed by James N. Wells & Sons, a firm descended from one James N. Wells, builder, who collaborated with Clement Clarke Moore on the earliest development of the Chelsea farmland into townhouses, some of which stand to this day.
Thus Clement Moore Ogden's family business background is in New York City real estate -- an appropriate basis for his life-long interest in financial assets.
The very earliest education may be said to have been at the hands of Clement’s Swiss nurse, Evelyn Petronin, whom the family brought from Switzerland upon return from Europe shortly after his birth in 1948. Clement was transported to America on the ocean liner Isle de France, carried in a basket and attended by Evelyn. She remained with the family for many years and spoke as much French as possible to Clement. In the family, it was assumed that one should be able to speak at least two languages, and she insisted on it.
Clement's first formal school was at the Ecole de L’Aurore in Lausanne, Switzerland, to which country he returned at age 5, after 4 years in America. The school was entirely French speaking. The family rented a house on Lake Geneva and Sunday walks along the lakeside with its famous white swans were a weekend ritual.
His first schooling in America was one year at the public school in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where the family rented a summer house, Hillfields, at the top of Yale Hill. It was noted that Clement spoke English with a slight French accent and tended to use big words that sounded slightly but charmingly foreign.
The family soon moved to New York City so Clement could attend St. Bernard's School on 98th Street between Madison and Fifth. The family settled into an apartment at 1192 Park Avenue, a short walk from St. Bernard's. The school uniform was cap with school crest, blue blazer, white shirt and tie, gray flannels or khaki trousers, black socks and black tie shoes. Every September upon return from Summer at the country house, a trip would be made to Brooks Brothers to replenish this wardrobe for the new school year.
The St Bernard's faculty was outstanding by any measure. The senior faculty were all British, hence the precision of speech and thought required of their students exceeded what was expected at other schools -- and St. Bernard's was proud of it! The Headmaster, Mr. R. I. W. Westgate, was a Rhodes scholar and a man of imposing disposition and formidable dignity. It is fair to say he set the tone for the whole establishment.
In 1962 Clement moved on to boarding school at Millbrook School in Millbrook, New York, then and now a beautiful campus set amongst rolling hills and horse farms. He graduated Cum Laude and with a perfect score on the French College Board exams, was granted early admission to the University of Pennsylvania.
The years at Penn coincided with the War in Vietnam. Important classes for Clement were Italian (another language seemed like a good thing to learn), Philosophy (the nature of Truth and the Moral Good seemed like something one ought to think about) and even one semester on Beethoven and one on Mozart (great musical achievement seemed worth trying to understand).
US Army Vietnam
When Clement graduated from Penn in 1970, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Vietnamese translator, having scored very high on the Army Language Aptitude Test. Clement graduated top in his 47-week US Army Defense Language Institute class and was assigned to Military Assistance Command Vietnam Headquarters Saigon. He served at the MACV Translation Division where his duties involved managing over 40 locally-hired translators and interacting with a very small joint-services military supervisory staff, of which he was one.
Honorably discharged 3 years later with a Bronze Star medal amongst other awards, he returned to America highly motivated to get a graduate level international business education.
Graduate Business School
After searching for the right curriculum, Clement entered the only graduate business school in America offering a specialized International Business Masters Degree: the American Graduate School of International Management. The degree program focused on International Financial Management, and yet another language, Japanese, to include one semster as an exchange student in Japan. He was elected president of the Investment Club.
10 Years on Wall Street
In 1976, Clement joined the fledgling Abel/Noser Corporation in New York City. They were pioneering the use of computer-based quantitative analytic techniques to make stock market investment decisions. Clement was hired because he understood the language of investment from long interest in financial markets and because he could write computer code to translate this understanding into something a computer could use to make decisions. Indeed, for Clement, programming was "just another language to be learned."
He rose from programmer to quantitative research director to assistant portfolio manager. During that time, assets under management grew to the then-considerable sum of $250 million, all run by Clement's computer algorithms.
Nevertheless, a certain uneasiness with the way the firm was losing intellectual momentum prompted Clement to move on.
The B.O.W. Co., Inc. and evolution
Hence in 1986 he joined two senior salesmen from the Abel/Noser team in their own effort, known as the B.O.W. Co., for the founders: Brownell, Ogden and Ward.
This dynamic effort evolved by 1996 into Ogden & Co., Inc and, thanks to joint-ventures with other respected firms, now encompasses investment research, investment advisory services and investment management services available directly and through well-known global financial intermediaries under various brand names.
As of this writing in mid-2001, Clement and his wife of over 20 years, Angel Yeh Ogden, live happily in the Pacific Heights section of San Francisco.
A daughter, Beatrice Yeh Ogden, having graduated from Taft School in Connecticut, is in college in Portland at Reed. Her interests are psychology and law.
A son, Robert Clement Ogden, having graduated from Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, is on the way to college in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California. His interests are business and film.
All are doing well