In Memoriam: Vincent M. Maulella, the Irrepressible One

Vincent M. Maulella, longtime banker, U.S. Army veteran, and father of four, passed away on 25 June 2022 at age 79. Vin was buried with military honors on 14 July at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.

During his distinguished career which spanned over five decades, Vin specialized in operations, risk, and project management of businesses dedicated to facilitating and financing international trade. In years spent at Chase Manhattan Bank (now known as JPMorgan) and its predecessor banks beginning with Manufacturers Hanover, Vin was involved in the revision of US UCC Article 5 (Letters of Credit), the formulation of the UN Convention on Independent Guarantees and Standby Letters of Credit, and the drafting of the International Standby Practices (ISP98). In 1995, he was elected Chair of the USCIB (now known as BAFT).

“I first met Vin in the early 1980s when I joined the Letter of Credit Committee of the Council on International Banking and the workshops we were presenting”, said Don Smith, retired LC banker and consultant. “Then, as always, Vin was a friendly person, seeking out attendees he did not know and introducing himself and putting them at ease. Vin was so respected and loved by the thousands of people he met around the world and deeply so by those who knew him in the United States.”

Following his retirement from Chase Manhattan Bank in 2000, Vin worked independently as a consultant and through a number of organizations active in a policy role for letters of credit and related trade matters. He deepened his collaboration with the Institute of International Banking Law & Practice as the organization’s Associate Director and as a Contributing Editor for Documentary Credit World. A regular speaker and panelist at numerous IIBLP programs and events held within and outside the US, Vin was instrumental in the expansion of the Annual Survey of Letter of Credit Law & Practice conference to venues in Asia and the Middle East in the early 2000s. With Soh Chee Seng and Alexander Zelenov, Vin was a co-author of the monumental treatise, UCP600: AN ANALYTICAL COMMENTARY, written by Professor James E. Byrne.

“I first met Vin at the early USCIB and ABA Task Force meetings to review UCC Article 5”, said IIBLP CEO Michael Byrne. “I was about 12 years old at the time, but Vin sought me out, introduced himself, and was a friendly and engaging grown up to the youngest person in the room by far. I saw Vin many times after that, as he and my father collaborated on a number of projects and events globally. As a grown up and a professional, I travelled the world with Vin. He was always excited to see old friends and meet new ones. His energy and enthusiasm was second to none, and his generosity was unmatched. Vin lived a full life, was loved by his family, friends and colleagues, and is missed by all. Recently in Singapore at an event he joined us for many times, we held a moment of silence and he was honoured by all. Thank you for all that you did for the LC community.”

“I have known Vin since the Annual LC Survey started in Singapore many years ago”, said Soh Chee Seng, Technical Consultant for the Association of Banks in Singapore. “He was such a nice person to work with. He has shared his knowledge in trade finance matters and contributed to the trade banking industry in the region especially in Singapore. Vin, we all in Singapore miss you deeply.”

“Vin’s practical knowledge of how letters of credit can and should work was tremendous. Combined with his energetic and engaging personality, Vin was treasured by LC specialists worldwide for his style and substance when sharing his vast insights”, said DCW Executive Editor Christopher Byrnes who paid final respects to Vin at his burial on behalf of the LC community.

“Vin had been a very good friend and a wise mentor. I first met him with Jim Byrne in July 2001 in Singapore”, said Khalil Matar of Alinma Bank, Saudi Arabia. “I was captivated by his knowledge, style, and immediately discovered how humane and friendly he was. It was a pleasure meeting him last in Tampa in 2015.”

Retired LC banker and consultant Dennis Noah said: “I have known Vinnie for many, many years. I loved his zany sense of humor and how he used it to make his points was priceless. He made such a huge contribution to the industry and personally with everyone he met. He will be missed but his contributions and personality will live in all our hearts.”

Prior to his banking career, Vin honorably served his country in the US Army from 1965 to 1968.

For his service in Vietnam, Vin was awarded the Bronze Star for Meritorious Achievement in Ground Operations Against Hostile Forces, the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Achievement in Vietnam, and the Bronze Star With Valor for Heroism in Ground Combat in Vietnam. The Army Commendation Medal was also bestowed on Captain Vincent Maulella, Military Intelligence US Army, for Meritorious Service.

Vin married Alexis Maulella in 1986 and had two daughters, Cassandra Gagnon and Nicole Maulella. He had two daughters from a previous marriage, Andrea Maulella and Joan Maulella. Vin had six grandchildren. In 2008, Vin and Alexis retired to The Villages (Florida) and enjoyed life to the fullest.

“He is such a nice and professional person”, said Chinese lawyer Saibo Jin. “I am very proud and happy that he and his wife Alexis had a chance to visit and stay with us in Beijing, China.”

“I was lucky to share with the irrepressible one whenever we got together in New York, starting out when he became an officer of the USCIB”, said Dr. Boris Kozolchyk of the Kozolchyk National Law Center in Arizona, who recalled his early impression of Vin circa 1985.

Vin and Alexis Maulella on their April 2022 cruise.
Vin and Alexis Maulella on their April 2022 cruise.

“Frank Sauter had just retired from Citibank and I told him that I had met another international banker who seemed to talk his same path, and told him so. [Frank’s] reply after having read some of Vinnie’s opinions was, ‘I have already heard about him, and I think he is going to be our best LC banker’. How right he was. I will be toasting Vinnie and his dear family with my wife Billie. Farewell, my dear friend Vinnie, and as usual, thank you ever so much for keeping me informed and being such a good friend.”

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