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For Hudson, it took a village

BMO exec and sports aficionado Anthony Hudson is comfortable in the paint.

Ohio native Anthony Hudson has risen through the banking ranks, and he now leads BMO’s Private Wealth team in southwest Wisconsin.

Ohio native Anthony Hudson has risen through the banking ranks, and he now leads BMO’s Private Wealth team in southwest Wisconsin.

Photograph by Shawn Harper

(page 1 of 2)

From the pages of In Business magazine.

Anthony Hudson, VP/managing director of BMO Private Bank for Southwest Wisconsin, dreamed of being a pro basketball player as a kid, until his mom set him straight. Quickly. “She has a way with words,” he laughs.

Always a good student, Hudson, a Cincinnati, Ohio native and consummate sports fan, eventually earned an academic scholarship to a “not-very-diverse-at-the-time” private boys high school.

“Academically, it was one of the best schools in Ohio,” Hudson explains, but he struggled to fit in. “I came from public schools and didn’t have to work very hard for an A. Suddenly there were a lot of smart kids that had worked hard and may have been a little more prepared,” Hudson recalls. “It hit me like a ton of bricks.”

His confidence sagged but only temporarily. “It certainly took a village to help me get through high school,” Hudson admits, crediting his mom and excellent coaches and teachers for their encouragement.

He went on to graduate from Xavier University in 2003 with a concentration in finance and was hired as a management trainee at Fifth Third Bank shortly after. He rose through the ranks for 10 years.

In 2013, Hudson moved his family to Wisconsin, a state he knew little about at the time, to join BMO Private Bank as managing director; last year, he was named to his current role in Madison.

Meanwhile, his passion for his hometown teams — whether the Xavier Musketeers, the NFL’s Bengals, or the MLB’s Reds, has never waned. Fueling that fire, the Bengals just signed his cousin, veteran NFL linebacker Preston Brown, to a one-year contract.

But Hudson roots for another team these days, as well — the BMO Private Bank team he manages and the high-net-worth clients they serve in a territory that stretches from Wausau down to Rockford, Illinois.

He shared more in a recent interview.

IB: What’s on the mind of your clients these days?
Hudson:
Many are executives or business owners concerned about their industries and wondering if they’ll be able to find the skilled labor necessary to survive into the future. Working professionals or near-retirees are concerned about uncertainty in the market.

IB: Have recent issues at mega-banks (e.g., Wells Fargo) shaken the public’s trust?
Hudson:
Perhaps for some, but at the end of the day it’s all about connecting with the individual or the team. We’re in the people business. Banking relationships are driven more by how capable we are and how well we understand our clients, their families, and their goals.

IB: In your 25-year career, has anything surprised you?
Hudson:
2008 to 2009 was pretty scary. I was five years into my career when I realized that my profession had played a significant role in one of the largest economic recessions the country had ever seen. That was very eye opening, but we’ve come out stronger as an industry. You don’t want to live through that to learn a lesson, but with new rules in place banks are in much better financial shape than ever before.

(Continued)

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