The career path that led E. Blake Moore, Jr. to his current position as executive vice president at Mackenzie Financial Corporation, a Toronto-based investment firm with more than $61 billion in assets under management, is hardly typical. A fourth generation Wooster Fighting Scot (his great-grandfather played on the first Scot football team in 1889), he majored in history, wrote his Independent Study on Brezhnev’s Soviet Union, and played football. His three-time Academic All-American status launched him into a six-year stint with the NFL—as a center for the Cincinnati Bengals (and Super Bowl XVI) and then with the Green Bay Packers. From there he went to Harvard Law School, practiced as an attorney for four years, and then moved into the investment management business, first as general counsel and eventually as a senior executive with Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management in San Diego.
Moore was asked by the parent company – Allianz Global Investors – to re-locate to New York City in 2004 to lead the U.S. retail business, and served as CEO of the U.S. fund management business, responsible for overseeing approximately 75 mutual funds with about $40 billion in assets. In 2011, he was hired by Mackenzie as executive vice president to lead the strategic growth of the firm's retail and institutional distribution businesses.
If you’re looking for a common thread running through this nontraditional career, Moore will provide it. “My path was always influenced by my experience at Wooster—academically, socially, and intellectually. The experiences I had as a student and athlete in the special environment that is Wooster have resonated with me throughout my business career. And I can’t overestimate the positive impact that one special Wooster alum has had on my life and career—my wife Cynthia Weiler, class of 1980.”
If you think Moore has achieved success by simply overwhelming adversaries, NFL-style, he’ll quickly set you straight. “Leadership does not mean you get to walk around and tell people what to do, or that you even get to always do what you want to do. Leadership means figuring out what the best thing is for the business, and then working to get people on the same page, moving enthusiastically in the same direction.”
People who go into the financial services profession tend to be independent thinkers, so building consensus is both challenging and rewarding, says Moore. “This is not a business where mediocrity lasts very long. It attracts bright, competitive people who are driven to succeed and who have many different perspectives.”
The world’s financial downturn over the last couple years has been challenging, says Moore. But the challenges come with rewards. “This crisis has made us think opportunistically. If we’re able to come out of this current financial climate in a strong business position, there will be greater opportunities for us on the other side.”
Moore’s toolbox of skills includes the ability to work with and lead a team, strong communication skills, understanding and appreciating different points of view, the discipline to be consistent and persistent, and the value in “never taking yourself too seriously.”
“The broad-based liberal arts education that I received at Wooster is a critical part of the foundation that prepared me for my current business success.
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