To see this article in digital magazine format, click here.
Kevin Wade, 37
Head of Investments, Saul Trustee Company
There are not many kids who grow up dreaming of becoming an actuary, but Kevin Wade did. As a boy he saw them as experts in finance and worked to achieve this goal. But what is achieving a boyhood dream actually like? "I sat back and thought 'OK, I've done that—now what?' " he says. "It was all happening in financial markets so I decided to get into the exciting world of investment in 2000 rather than just stay in 'calculating.' "
Wade moved through several consulting firms—HSBC Consultants and Actuaries, Hewitt, Aon—where he had his own set of clients, but this was not the right fit either. "The role of the investment consultant changed over the years from trusted adviser to salesman—that was not me, and certainly not what I'd trained to do," he says. A friend told him about a role to oversee the whole portfolio at Saul Trustee Company, one of the most innovative pension funds in the UK, and his interest was piqued. "More and more funds are bringing investment capability in-house. It saves them money and they really get someone who cares about it on board. They also keep the consultants—who have to sustain a monthly revenue stream—on the straight and narrow." He joined the fund in 2010 and finally seems to be settled. "I'm very happy. I've done loads of things I wasn't expecting and the hours are flexible so I can spend more time with my young family," he says. It just shows: Dreams aren't everything.
The Polymaths: Some people focus on one specific task. This group focuses on many. They're like that kid you knew in high school who could do calculus in French, or did six Advanced Placement classes. You maybe made fun of them—but you also wanted to be them. Or date them. Don't hate them because they're smart. Hate them because they might take your job one day. Or, if you're smart, you'll learn a thing or two from them. And, if all else fails, just hire them.