Philip is a strategic business development expert. He has experience in strategic planning and execution, acquisitions and divestitures, mutual funds, and sales team management. He is also an experienced communicator, and has a proven track-record on results-driven leadership, and profit-focused strategies. Philip holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN and graduated with high honors. He also holds a Master of Business Administration, Finance and Marketing from Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Phil started his career at Arthur Andersen, where he worked as a Staff Auditor between 1990 and 1992. He then moved on to Hewitt Associate in Lincolnshire, IL, where he worked as a manager, consulting with clients on 401 (K) investment policies development, and monitoring and establishing relationships with clients. In the year 2001, he joined Russell Investments, and rose through the ranks to become head of the company’s Chicago office in 2006. His entry position in this company was that of Client executive, and was responsible for client relationships, including the company’s largest client relationship of $3 billion defined contribution plan. As the head of the Chicago office, Philip was responsible for managing 14 associates, cutting across index and consulting, institutional sales, index, service, and prospects. In his position as the head of the company’s Chicago office, he served more than 70 clients, or $15 billion of the company’s managed assets. He then moved on to BMO Global Asset Management, where he held several roles, before he rose to become the head of Global Asset Management. At BMO, he started as the director for defined contribution services and held this role for a year until 2011. He then rose to the role of managing director, in charge of U.S Sales and Services. At this role, he was responsible for sales, and under his tenure, team resources grew from 10 in 2011 to more than 70 in 2018. At his role as the President of BMO Asset Management Corp, he oversaw significant growth and was responsible for managing over $50 billion in assets. He was also responsible for more than 225 teams in the U.S.
What attracted you to finance?
I was attracted to finance through my interest in analytics and stock stories. I have enjoyed my career in finance because I believe that we can and do have a positive impact on people by improving their financial security.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am very intrigued by the advances in data science and artificial intelligence and its potential impact across the industry. These technologies make it possible to identify and capitalize on market trends and opportunities in ways that never existed in the past.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Through consultation with peers and focused execution. I believe that no one has a monopoly on ideas and that the best ideas are borne from collaboration and diversity of thought. From there they are realized through focused project management and execution.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as a finance professional?
I always focus on data-driven facts. Ever since I entered this field, I made it a habit to let my emotions take a back seat and let data drive my decision-making process.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The harder you work the more luck you will have.
As a finance expert, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Intellectual curiousity is key. I always strive to be learning. I would recommend all professionals to do the same.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your skills?
I keep up with finance news, and if I learn of new industry developments, I use diverse sources of information to familiarize myself with them as fast as possible. It’s a strategy that has helped me stay ahead of the curve.
What is one failure you had in finance, and how did you overcome it?
I can’t pinpoint one failure that sticks out but what I’ve tried to do in my career to “fail fast”…try things, recognize quickly when it isn’t working, learn from it, and adjust course.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I took my family out for dinner. As my kids get older and move on in their lives and careers I cherish every time we get together.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend Capitalism in America by Alan Greenspan and Adrian Woolridge. It documents how the U.S. became and economic power and provides hope and confidence in our ability to be the engine of innovation into the future.
What is your favorite quote?
The Man in the Arena quote by Theodore Roosevelt. It reminds me that life is less about outcomes and more about the experience of striving valiantly in a worthy cause.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.