By the family
Feb. 6, 2020: Hendrik Johannes Kranenburg of New York and Bridgehampton died suddenly of a heart attack on January 17 while hiking in Grenada.
“Rik,” as he was known, was a leader in the globalization of the financial markets, serving in senior positions at Standard & Poor’s and McGraw-Hill for over thirty years.
Born in New Zealand in 1955 to Johanna and Hendrik Kranenburg, Dutch emigrants, Rik was raised and naturalized in San Diego. His family was proud to be “American by Choice”.
He graduated from Crawford High School in San Diego and continued his education at UC San Diego, UC Berkeley ‘76 and Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School where he received an MPA in ‘78.
Rik started his professional career at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. In 1980, he joined S&P, and in 1984 moved to London, opening S&P’s first office overseas creating the launchpad for the globalization of credit ratings, a transformation that moved capital around the world, the lead economic story of the 80’s.
From 1989-1999, he led S&P’s growing international businesses from New York. The international business he founded now accounts for almost half of the revenues for S & P Global, a $71 billion company. Rik led S&P’s other major operation, data services, from 1999-2005, setting the foundation for S&P’s most important business today.
In 2006, Rik moved to McGraw Hill, the parent company of S&P, as president of its higher education and international publishing business. Rik led that company’s global business from book distribution into digital learning services.
Upon retirement in 2010, Rik served as a senior advisor to Oaklins DeSilva + Phillips, a specialty investment bank for EdTech startups, and was on the boards of Educate! and the American Management Association and many other non- profits close to his heart. He was an invaluable mentor to countless CEO’s of new organizations as investor and board member.
Throughout his life, Rik maintained an exceptionally wide and deep circle of friends. A big man with a bigger heart, Rik—and his wife Linda—loved a house full of their friends and family. Their house in Bridgehampton, bought soon after they married in 1990, was the home of their heart, and they filled it with laughter, love and guests too numerous to count.
Rik loved his life. He was known for his loyalty; for his incredible generosity and patience; for his joyous optimism; for listening when he could have spoken; for his commitment to the causes and institutions that he believed worthy; and for his doing the right thing.
Rik read not only broadly but deeply; he was wise and thoughtful about matters public and personal. A life-long churchgoer, Rik was an ordained Presbyterian elder and spiritual example to many. Rik was also a competent golfer, a charmingly terrible dancer, a dedicated vegetable gardener and an ardent, albeit alarming, bicyclist. And he passionately loved his boat (often too small for his chosen adventures), yet another place he could entertain his dear friends.
Rik is survived by his beloved spouse, Linda Frankenbach; his children, Katharine Alice and Christopher Todd of Brooklyn, NY; and a sister, Marion Spence , her husband, Kevin Spence, of San Diego ;and his nephews Drew Spence and Wyatt Spence.
A celebration of Rik’s life will be held at the Old Whaler’s Church, Sag Harbor NY at 1:00 pm on March 7th.
A scholarship, funding an intern at “Cal in the Capital”, a program at the University of California at Berkeley, which sends a student each year to Washington DC as an intern, has been established in his name. (Contact the University of California Donor and Gift Services offices and mark donation as: The Rik Kranenburg Memorial Scholarship Fund) Donations in his memory may also be made to Educate!, (experienceeducate.org) a non-profit providing skills training in entrepreneurship to secondary school students in East Africa.