Before the creation of the money market fund in 1970, investors in mutual funds were limited to either stocks or bonds. As for demand savings, the selections were few, lockup periods were long and rates did not reflect market conditions. Even Treasury bills required a minimum of $100,000 and a lockup of 90 days. After Bruce Bent and Henry B.R. Brown’s invention, individuals and institutions could invest as little as $1,000 and earn better returns than bank savings accounts while still maintaining instant liquidity. In the ensuing, the move from bank products to money market funds, a multi-trillion dollar industry, has earned investors more than $200 billion in additional income.
Before founding The Reserve in 1970, Mr. Bent was a General Partner in the investment banking firm of Brown & Bent, which was established in 1968. He began his career at L.F. Rothschild & Co. as factotum for the managing partner, and then moved to TIAA-CREF, the world’s largest pension fund, where he worked with marketable bonds and private placements and was responsible for cash management. In 1967 he moved to the corporate finance department of Stone & Webster Securities.
Mr. Bent is active in political and charitable endeavors. He co-founded Change New York and the Club for Growth, both of which support government reform initiatives. Mr. Bent ran for County Executive in Nassau County, New York, on a similar platform.
Mr. Bent serves as Trustee Emeritus for St. John’s University after 20 years of active service as a member of the Executive and Investment Committees and Chair of the Facilities Committee. Mr. Bent was inducted into the Hall of Fame of both Money and Financial Planning magazines. He is also featured in the Museum of American Financial History, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, for his creation of the money market fund along with his former partner Harry Brown.
He has been a guest lecturer at prominent institutions, including St. John’s University, New York University School of Business, The Wharton School, and Harvard University School for Presidents. Mr. Bent received a bachelor’s degree in economics from St. John’s University and took his MBA course work in corporate finance at New York University’s Graduate School of Business.