Jud Bergman, the CEO of Evestnet, was killed on October 3 in a car crash on U..S Highway 101 in San Francisco. He was 62 years old. Bergman’s wife, Mary Miller-Bergman, 57, was also killed. The Chicago-based couple had seven children together. Miller-Bergman was the founder of Hanover Hill Wealth Advisors in Chicago. The crash occurred at 12:24 a.m. on October 4.
An Envestnet statement on Bergman’s passing read, ““It is with immeasurable sadness that we share the news that Judson Bergman, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, passed away today in San Francisco, CA in an automobile accident. Mr. Bergman’s wife, Mary Miller, also sadly perished in this tragedy. On behalf of our Board of Directors, management team and employees, we extend our deepest sympathies to Jud and Mary’s family. As Envestnet’s founder, Jud was a remarkable leader whose vision, brilliance and drive built the foundation for Envestnet’s success.”
The press release says that Envestnet President Bill Crager will take over as interim CEO of the company. Envestnet is described as a leading provider of intelligent systems for wealth management and financial wellness.
According to Wallmine, Bergman’s stock in July 2019 was worth over $46 million. In addition, the website says that Bergman made over $4.2 million in salary from the company. In July 2019, Bergman sold $1.1 million worth of stock. The company went public in 2010.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Driver of the Car That Caused the Crash, Emilie Ross, Was ‘Impaired’ at the Time of the Crash, Police Said
The California Highway Patrol said that the accident was caused when a Volkswagen Cabrio drove the wrong direction along the highway and hit a taxi that was carrying Bergman and his wife. The Volkswagen driver and the taxi driver were also killed. In total, four people were pronounced dead at the scene. The Associated Press reports that Bergman had been thrown from the taxi. Officials said that the luggage in the car indicated the couple was en route to the airport.
The Volkswagen driver has been named as Emilie Ross, 34. The taxi driver has been named as Berkant Ramadan Ahmed. The highway patrol described Ross as being “impaired,” which caused the crash. A friend of Ahmed’s told KTVU that the taxi driver has a young daughter.”
2. Bergman ‘Revolutionized’ the Financial Services Technology Sector
In their tribute to Bergman, Crain’s Chicago Business referred to him as the man who changed financial services technology for the better in 1999 when he founded Envestnet. The tribute said that Bergman had “revolutionized” the industry.
Bergman told Crain’s in a 2014 interview that he was a “reluctant entrepreneur.” Having previously worked at Nuveen for 17 years, Bergman said of starting his own company, “There was never an ‘aha’ moment, just a growing conviction that this was a good thing to do.”
On Envestnet’s official website, Bergman’s profile says that he received a BA in English from Wheaton College and got his MBA at Columbia University. That bio adds that Envestnet “now empowers over 88,000 advisors, supports over $2.6 trillion in advised assets and is the leading provider of data aggregation and analytics supporting over 25 million end-users.”
3. Bergman’s First Wife, Susan, Was Anne Heche’s Sister
In 2006, Bergman’s first wife, who co-founded Envestnet, Susan, succumbed to brain cancer. She was 48 years old. She had first been diagnosed with the disease in 2002.
Bergman was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying of his late wife, “She expressed herself most beautifully and best on the page. She always created beauty of what life dealt her. She was gentle, beautiful, fiercely intelligent and very brave. She was a risk-taker–she would always place it all on the line for whatever she was doing, whether it was writing, relationships, family or art.”
Susan Bergman was the older sister of actress Anne Heche. At the time of her death, Heche was estranged from her sister. Their father, Don Heche, died in 1983 after being diagnosed with AIDS. Anne Heche has said that her father was a “sexual deviant” and had same-sex relationships. Heche told Larry King in 2001, “He was in complete denial until the day he died. We know he got it from his gay relationships. Absolutely. I don’t think it was just one. He was a very promiscuous man, and we knew his lifestyle then.” Heche has also said that her father raped her in her youth and gave her genital herpes.
On the website for Hanover Hill investors, Miller-Bergman was a finance graduate from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and attained an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.
4. Bergman’s Children Comprise Indie Band Wild Belle & Performed at Radio City Music Hall on the Night of Their Father’s Death
Two of Bergman’s children, Elliot and Natalie, comprise indie band Wild Belle. Elliot is a music graduate from the University of Michigan. The pair appeared on “Conan” in November 2012 and released their debut album, “Isles,” in March 2013. Their songs have been featured in “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Pitch Perfect” and “The Vampire Diaries.” A New York Times review of the debut said it was “even money” that the record would be among the biggest debut albums of the year.
Wild Belle’s most recent album, “Everybody One of a Kind,” was released in January 2019. According to the band’s Instagram page, they performed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on October 3 and are due to play in Albany on October 4. The pair told the Chicago Tribune in October 2012 that their family was very “musically inclined” and that all of the children were encouraged to play an instrument.
5. Bergman ‘Always Found a Way to Talk About the Game of Chess’
The day after Bergman’s death. Riskalyze CEO Andrew Klein told Financial Planning, “I recently had the privilege of moderating an event panel that included Jud, and I’ll never forget someone pulling me aside and saying, ‘I’ll bet you anything Jud finds a way to talk about the game of chess no matter what question you ask him.”
In 2019, Bergman had said that his chess analogies “probably needed an update.” Bergman compared it to the challenge faced by chess champion Gary Kasparov and his battle with IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue in 1996 and 1997.