Before Peter, many big businesses were different. There were few effective ways to challenge corporate management by a takeover bid when their performance frayed. Management did as it chose, sometimes even illegally. The consequences could be decreasing share prices or, ultimately, failure. Peter conceived another way — enabling institutional shareholders to challenge malfeasance by disallowing management the then-typical defense against a hostile takeover known as a poison pill that devalued shares held by challengers. 

Peter’s venue was TIAA, originally a money manager for teacher pensions founded by Andrew Carnegie with assets now of $1 trillion. Peter was at TIAA for 34 years, creating for himself a position he called chief investment counsel. He reported to the chief investment officer; 20 lawyers reported to Peter. Peter worked on this project behind the scenes with people more powerful than he, including the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and CaLPERS, the California state investment trust. He later expanded his thinking on corporate responsibility to European institutional investors. His intelligence, clarity, calmness, and integrity contributed to his effectiveness. 

At Princeton, Peter belonged to Court Club. He then graduated from Harvard Law School. He was a Jets fan and followed Princeton women’s lacrosse and men’s basketball. 

Peter died Feb. 9, 2021, of COVID-19. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara; two daughters, Alice ’98 and Leah ’93; and four grandchildren. 

Undergraduate Class of 1957