One might say Judson Potter really dug into his work before landing his current job at Raymond James.
Potter studied geology while attending Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and, after graduation in the late 1980s, went to work at Browning-Ferris Industries as an account representative, helping develop waste and recycling plans for small and large businesses.
It was a good fit, says Potter, a Brooklyn native who has a passion for the outdoors. But Browning-Ferris, within a few years, shifted its focus to trucking and transportation. Potter says that's when he had to consider switching career tracks.
He remembers knowing several math majors, and he was intrigued by the world of finance. He also says he was confident he could make the switch, inspired by his mother, a divorcée who had put herself through medical school and became a doctor.
"One thing I learned from watching my mother go through medical school was how much perseverance and focus that took — something I later learned in my own career when I transitioned into the financial securities industry," he says.
Potter got his start with PaineWebber in 1996, and remained on board after it was acquired by UBS. He took a full-time management position, and by 2013 was running an office in Westport, Conn., with $40 million in annual revenue.
"UBS soon decided to change its reporting structure and wanted to send me back into production while I was still leading 40 advisors," he says, a decision he felt wasn't the right way to run a business. A year after taking on the Westport job, Potter says, he was approached by Raymond James. He accepted a position running the firm's private client group in Connecticut.
Today, Potter runs a smaller operation with the regional broker-dealer. He oversees seven advisors and roughly $600 million in AUM.
"I am a young guy," he says. "At 49, [I have] my whole life ahead of me, and the quality and type of work I do going forward really matters to me."
He sits on the board of the Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station, a small, nonprofit biological field station working with a 23-square-mile tract of land located in the middle of the six -million-acre Adirondack Park.
"I still feed my passion for the outdoors," he says.
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