Benjamin N. Dickey, Madison Investment Advisors
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Benjamin N. Dickey, vice president, wealth management, Madison Investment Advisors.
1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
The most challenging aspect is the responsibility that comes with having fiduciary duty to clients for the management of their money. But this is also the most rewarding component of my work, because I get to help them answer financial questions, solve problems, build plans, and create investment solutions informed by in-depth conversations about them and their needs. The objective is to create good outcomes, and when that happens they have peace of mind and we have likely built a lasting relationship based on trust, hard work, and mutual respect.
2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
My father, Walter Dickey. He hasn’t had what many would consider a traditional business career. But in his 40+ years at the UW–Madison Law School and state Department of Corrections, and as head of the Law School’s Remington Center clinical programs, president of the UW Athletic Board, and now as chief of staff and senior associate athletic director at UW, he has had a really significant impact on our university, city, and state. He’s done this by always thinking critically about the true mission of the organization he’s serving, treating people with respect while demanding their very best work, and finding creative solutions while working in complex circumstances to deliver results. He’s proven to me that you if you apply good values consistently and clearly, you don’t have to compromise in order to have a varied and rewarding career.
3. What has been the high point of your career so far?
Two stand out: The first was being asked to lead a large, multioffice, multistate business for U.S. Bank’s Private Client Group when I was just 31 years old. It was very daunting but also extremely rewarding, and I learned a tremendous amount before and after that promotion.
The second has been the last six years of my career, because I’ve had the opportunity with my business partners to grow a wealth advisory business built on the very best practices in our industry. The best moment during this period was the opportunity to bring our practice to Madison Investment Advisors, which is a first-class organization in every way with great clients and colleagues from whom I learn something every day.
4. What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
I have had the opportunity to live as an adult in three of the biggest cities in the country — Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. I moved back to Madison because the quality of life and the quality of the people are unparalleled, in my opinion. It’s only improved since I’ve returned in 2008, and while we have our challenges I have no doubt that it will be even better six, 10, 20, or more years from now.
5. Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
At 6’3”, most people might not think that I was a reasonably good soccer player as a younger man. When I couldn’t do that competitively anymore, I decided to try to ski and golf as much as possible, figuring that I could pursue them for the rest of my life. I’ve skied on three continents (I hope to make it four at some point) and am the two-time defending club champion at Blackhawk CC. It’s been rewarding to have gotten such enjoyment from two pursuits outside of work and family that I set my mind to.
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