Charles William BRADY
May 11, 1935 – December 7, 2019
1935 - 2019
Founder of Invesco, Georgia Tech Philanthropist
Charles William Brady long understood the impact of seizing emerging opportunities at just the right moment. A visionary leader in the financial management industry, Mr. Brady passed away in his beloved native Atlanta on December 7, 2019.
Mr. Brady was born on May 11, 1935. His father, a General Electric engineer, fell when Mr. Brady was 10. As an only child, his father's illness left him with more responsibility to bear than most of his peers as he had to help his mother, who began working at Southern Bell Telephone Company, make ends meet. After attending Hoke Smith High School, he worked at a local grocery store to help support his family. At the grocery store, Mr. Brady was offered the choice of bagging groceries or working in the butcher shop; when he learned the latter paid 5 cents per hour more, he jumped at the opportunity. This would not be the last time he knew a good deal when he saw one.
Upon graduating from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1957, he served two years in the United States Navy as a Reserve Officer based in the Mediterranean. After leaving the Navy, he received 10 employment offers from different stock brokerage houses and chose to join the Atlanta office of Goodbody & Company, a firm later acquired by Merrill Lynch.
In 1964, Mr. Brady interviewed with Mills B. Lane, Jr., the Chairman of Citizens & Southern National Bank (C&S), and was hired on the spot after taking a Cleaver Aptitude Test. Mr. Lane, a great mentor of his, eventually sent Mr. Brady to study at Harvard University's Advanced Management School.
Mr. Brady believed that it was possible to build an investment management company in the Southeast, as he saw enormous opportunity to provide investment management services from independent money managers rather than bank Trust departments. He persuaded Mr. Lane to set up an SEC-registered investment advisory division within Citizens & Southern. C&S Investment Counseling, which he built from scratch, was the first bank-owned investment management firm in the United States.
Through his vision, fortitude, and perseverance, Mr. Brady acquired the business from C&S, and in January 1979, he and eight other former C&S investment professionals established Invesco Inc., with $400 million of assets from U.S. institutional clients outside the Southeast. Today, Invesco has nearly 9,000 employees in 25 countries and manages more than $1.1 trillion in assets.
Mr. Brady pioneered the concept of augmenting internal growth by acquiring specialized asset management firms. Throughout his acquisitions, he strove to empower the new team members and encourage their firms independently to continue doing what they did best under the Invesco umbrella. Widely regarded as a "people person," Mr. Brady exuded warmth and confidence and was known for his support of a collegial culture at Invesco and at each firm it acquired. Invesco's roster of acquisitions under his leadership included AIM, Pell Rudman, Lomas Realty Advisors, Perpetual, PowerShares, Trimark, Chancellor LGT Asset Management, WL Ross and Aetna's Asian asset management business.
Interested in more than acquiring companies, Mr. Brady sought to lead. He strongly believed that an asset management firm's most valuable asset is its people. His innate ability to size up employees, give them jobs they love and then grant them the independence needed to excel earned him devotion among Invesco's employees. A partner remarked, "Charlie Brady was the kind of manager employees love to work for. He gave workers autonomy. He managed with a humane touch. And he rewarded success."
Based on the concept that "people are our product," Mr. Brady set up Invesco's Global Partnership program, whose goal was to identify and recognize key individuals within the firm. Importantly, it promoted collaboration between Invesco's divisions. Mr. Brady once wrote, "We are a 'people' company in a 'people' business; one of our primary objectives is to attract, develop and retain the highest quality talent available in our industry."
Throughout his life, Mr. Brady was a quiet philanthropist and a recipient of many prestigious awards. Chief among them, he donated the Invesco Chair in International Finance at Georgia Tech's College of Management. In 2000, he was inducted into the Georgia State J. Mack Robinson College of Business Hall of Fame; in 2001, he was selected as an Ignites Mutual Fund Titan and in 2004, he was entered into Georgia Tech's College of Management Hall of Fame. He also received the prestigious Georgia Tech Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Brady served as a member of the Board of Councilors for the Carter Center, as a Trustee Emeritus of the Georgia Tech Foundation and as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of the National Bureau of Asian Research.
Colleagues remember Charles Brady as an innovative and visionary genius, a deep thinker, a savvy business leader, a tough negotiator with an iron fist inside a silk glove, and an elegant person who was both dignified and thoughtful. Above all, Mr. Brady is remembered as a true Southern gentleman.
Charles William BRADY
Lindsay and Rosie Davidson
January 27, 2020
Thank you Charlie and may you be at peace We would not be living here in the US if you hadn’t asked Lindsay to stay after moving from London. Something we will always be grateful for
JAMES STRONG SR
January 26, 2020
ALLEN & MERRELL SO MANY MEMORIES OF YOU ALL SWELL. UP IN ME TODAY ON THE REALIZATION OF YOUR DAD'S PASSING MAY GOD BLESS BOTH OF YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN.