I grew up in a Chicago suburb with five siblings. I learned about hard work from my dad, an electrician. If he didn't go to work, he didn't get paid. My mom taught me humility. I played competitive sports and had a strong desire to excel. She would tell me not to break my arm patting myself on the back.

When I was eight, I delivered newspapers with an older brother. We had one route in the morning and another after school. Later I was a busboy in a restaurant. During summers in college I was a roofer and gained an even deeper respect for tradespeople like my father. I became interested in finance through a neighbor of ours, a stockbroker who had a ticker tape machine in his den. I liked math and I knew from the restaurant business that I liked people, so [financial services] was a natural fit for me.

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