NEW YORK -- Fred Joseph, 72, who as chief executive officer of investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert helped create the modern junk-bond market in the 1980s before the firm's collapse, died Nov. 27 at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center after a long fight with multiple myeloma. His death was announced by John F. Sorte, chief executive officer of Morgan Joseph & Co., an investment bank Mr. Joseph helped found.
Mr. Joseph, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, arrived on Wall Street in 1963, joining the corporate finance department of E.F. Hutton. He later moved to Shearson Hammill, rising to chief operating officer before joining Drexel's corporate finance department in 1974 when Shearson was bought out by Hayden Stone.
He was named chief executive officer of Drexel in 1985. With fellow executive Michael Milken, the company expanded the market for low-rated bonds, which most investors at the time considered too much of a risk but which quickly began to dominate the financial world.