Band of Angels Founder Dies

Hans Severiens, a one-time physicist, stock analyst, investment banker and venture capitalist, died Feb. 3 in Sonoma, Calif., after battling lung cancer for more than a year. He was 74.

Johannes C. “Hans” Severiens was born Oct. 25, 1929, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and moved to Indonesia at the age of 5. When Hans was 12, his family fled WWII and eventually settled in Chatham, N.J.

Severiens earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Johns Hopkins. He worked as a scientist at Perkin-Elmer, Columbia University, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Niels Bohr Institute.

But for the last 10 years, Severiens has been known as an angel investor. In 1995, he co-founded the Band of Angels, a Silicon Valley investor group of over 100 executives, which invests in tech companies. Severiens co-founded the group with Fred Hoar, a Silicon Valley PR executive who died last month.

Severiens also had served as vice president of investment banking for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Merrill Lynch and Paine Webber.

He enjoyed other passions, such as hiking the trails of Mount Tamalpais, Yosemite, and the Sierras; dining on fine wine and food with friends; and playing classical piano. He is survived by his former wife, Elizabeth Severiens, a brother, three daughters and 10 grandchildren.

A service celebrating his life is scheduled for Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Los Altos Union Presbyterian Church in Los Altos, Calif. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be sent payable to the Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, Re: Hans Severiens Memorial Fund, c/o Band of Angels, 275 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025.