George Robb, Jr. began his career at the age of 17 as a messenger of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). By age 22, he had become one of the top floor traders at RPM Securities, one of the leading specialist brokerage firms at the NYSE. At age 26 in 1986, he organized a leveraged buyout of RPM Securities and become the largest shareholder and President. After more than 15 years of grown at RPM Securities, George negotiated the sale of the firm to a competitor and has been able to devote his time to his passion – applying newly emerging subsea technologies first developed for commercial applications such as offshore oil and gas to precision-controlled survey of the seabed to locate and study underwater cultural heritage.
With Jim Goold, George founded the RPM Nautical Foundation in 2002, then designed and commissioned R/V Hercules as a purpose-built platform to test his concepts and apply them to extend the practical working depth for nautical archaeology to 200 meters or more, below scuba depth. George had the foresight to see the growing importance of building this capability in view of the accelerating loss of underwater cultural heritage to looting and destruction by trawling, particularly in the Mediterranean. The soundness of George’s vision is attested to by RPM’s emergence as the leading ongoing nautical archaeology program continuously applying advanced technology.