Family: Wife, Tracey; Reilly, 14, Natalie, 11
Occupation: Senior Vice President for Wealth Management, UBS
“If you can start teaching your children how to handle money in their early years, the benefits can last forever.”
Tell us about your work and how you got into this field.
My father was an ornithologist and worked at the Philadelphia Zoo, which led to living in a household surrounded by animals. It could have been a sick bird in need of a vacation, hatching ducks in the dining room or raising baby penguins in the backyard. Science was a big part of my life and then academics, eventually leading me to head for medical school.
But it was the mid ’90s and the field was shifting enough that I changed my mind, disappointed my parents and worked my way into Loyola University Maryland’s MBA program. The exposure and some connected professors eventually led me into the field of wealth management and planning.
I, along with a talented team of individuals, work to learn as much about our clients as possible, discover their desired outcomes in life, then create solutions to help make them a reality. It could be a successful retirement, saving for a personal goal or teaching the next generation to properly handle wealth. It is deeply rewarding to closely engage with clients and their families and work to guide them down the right path.
Do you have mentor or role model?
Though I have certainly had many professors and senior colleagues in the working environment who acted as sounding boards or helped guide me through difficult situations, the one person who has been there through all of my most significant development is my wife Tracey. She inspires me, grounds me and helps to put the world into perspective when I need it.
What advice can you give working parents?
If you can start teaching your children how to handle money in their early years, the benefits can last forever. There’s a book called “The Opposite of Spoiled” by Ron Lieber that runs through lessons to impart at various ages. The stories and teaching opportunities were incredibly helpful to me, as the book debates the importance of chores, allowance and general financial awareness.
What is the best advice another parent gave you?
Be aware of the work/life balance when raising children. Someone once told me there would be a time when my children were young and they would approach me at home when I was working on something, reading the paper, etc. They would ask me to look at a drawing or play a game. Their advice was to drop anything I was doing that appeared more important at the time. It definitely made me conscious of those times, and I did my best to always follow that advice. This led to a lot of tea parties, knights versus princess battles and many, many board games. Kids grow up so quickly — those moments can slip by and be gone forever.
How do you manage your career and your family life?
Carefully. Though I feel that I work very hard, I try to get to all of my girls’ activities. I love to see them play, act, sing and perform. Lacrosse, field hockey, squash, tennis and school plays require a delicate balance in the afternoons, and I do my best to make it happen. Looking back, I think most of it was accomplished by creating efficiency. Working smarter, not necessarily longer.
How do you de-stress? Hobbies/outside interests?
I play squash almost every day and try to work out two or three times a week. The cardio and competition with squash is far more satisfying than a treadmill, and I’ve been fortunate to have found a great group of people of all ages to play with. I find that in times when the markets are crazy or work is difficult, these activities help to mitigate the negative impact of stress. Aside from fitness, I love watching my girls compete in field hockey and lacrosse and taking in their performances in school plays. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching them smile and enjoy life.
What’s next for you?
I look forward to continuing to take on new clients as we expand our team. There seems to be more need as business owners sell and new generations expand their responsibilities. We are in the process of adding a new member as the roles of my beloved team members expand. I’m also working hard to continue giving back with my work with Living Classrooms, Health Care for the Homeless and some one-on-one mentoring for newly transitioned veterans through American Corporate Partners. It’s hard to find the time, but I feel it’s important to give back.