Stephen Robert earned his undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1962 and attended Columbia Business School and the London School of Economics.
Robert joined Oppenheimer & Co. in 1968 as a portfolio manager of the Oppenheimer Fund. He became a partner of Oppenheimer & Co. in 1970 and a member of the Executive Committee and director of research in 1977. In 1979, he became president of the firm and in1983 assumed the role of chairman and CEO. In March 1986, Robert led a management team which returned Oppenheimer to private ownership through a management buy-out. In November 1997, Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. was acquired by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
Robert has served as Chancellor of Brown University and has been a Trustee or Fellow of the University since 1984. He is a former Board member of the New York Philharmonic and Thirteen/WNET.
Stephen Robert, along with his wife Pilar Crespi Robert, is the founder of The Source of Hope Foundation. Its philanthropic mission is to aid desperate populations, particularly in providing food, water, health care, education and micro-finance opportunities. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was Chancellor of Brown University from 1998-2007. In 1979, Robert became President of Oppenheimer & Co. and in 1983, assumed the role of Chairman and CEO. In March of 1986, he became the principal owner and resigned in 1997 after selling it to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. He is also on the Investment Committee of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.