Gerhard Mercker, who lived in many places around the world during a long career in finance, died on Dec. 11 after an illness of a year at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. He was 70 years old.
Although he spent the end of his life close by, Mr. Mercker had his start in Germany, where he was born on Aug. 8, 1941, in Stettin, near the Baltic Sea. He grew up in Bonn after World War II ended. An early student of Latin, he became proficient in five languages.
His first visit to the United States was to Heartland, Mich., as an exchange student in his junior year of high school, arriving by ship through the St. Lawrence seaway. His graduate work included law and international relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Relations in Bologna.
His first job was in London, where he worked for the International Coffee Growers Association. He then became a banker, assigned to Beirut and Tokyo, among other cities. He came to New York City in the late 1980s to work at a number of financial institutions, and he was at work at the World Trade Center during the first terrorist attack in 1993.
Mr. Mercker was known around East Hampton as an ace tennis player, a gentleman, and a “true social catalyst,” his partner, Winter Evans, said. He explained that Mr. Mercker “had a great knack for bringing people together,” and knowing who might find someone else captivating. The trait helped him in business as well as personally, and as a result he always had a large group of friends, Mr. Evans said.
The couple bought a house in 1994 near Three Mile Harbor and moved there full time after they retired six years ago. They also had a house in Buenos Aires where they spent winters.
Mr. Mercker is survived by three brothers: Horst and Ulrich Mercker of Germany and Frank Mercker of Seattle. Mr. Mercker was cremated. A celebration of his life will be planned for the spring, Mr. Evans said.