Charlie Brady, retired CEO and Chairman of INVESCO
In the 50 years since he graduated from Georgia Tech, Charlie Brady (IM 1957) has dedicated the majority of his career to growing INVESCO into a leading investment manager, helping people around the world build their financial security in preparation for retirement.
Now Brady himself is easing into retirement. Though still involved with INVESCO to an extent, he left the CEO position in 2005 and retired as chairman of the company last year. Brady and his wife, Viretta, now divide their time between Atlanta and their home in Aspen, Colorado, where they enjoy skiing, golfing, and horseback riding.
Growing up in Atlanta, Brady always knew he wanted to attend Georgia Tech. When he started, Georgia Tech had less than a dozen women enrolled because it had only recently gone coed. "But being in Atlanta, it didn't have the feel of being an all-male school," remembers Brady, who appreciated the expanded social opportunities afforded by his membership in the Sigma Nu fraternity. "It wasn't as if we were isolated at somewhere like West Point."
After graduation, Brady immediately joined the U.S. Navy, serving two years on a destroyer in the Mediterranean, where he listened to one of his shipmates talk a lot about stocks. Their conversations influenced his decision to enter the brokerage industry after returning to civilian life.
Several years later, he learned of an opportunity to join an investment counseling business from one of his fraternity brothers. So in 1964, he joined a regional bank, establishing the first bank-owned registered investment advisory service in the country. That business became INVESCO in 1978 when Brady and eight partners bought it from the bank.
In 1997, INVESCO merged with AIM Management Group, creating one of the first truly global retail and institutional asset managers. Under Brady's leadership, INVESCO grew to manage nearly half a trillion in assets for individual investors and major corporate, governmental, and nonprofit institutions in about 20 countries.
"Not many people were trying to build global businesses in the 1980s, but we saw a need then," remembers Brady. "Even five years ago, if I told someone in this industry that we would be selling mutual funds to the Chinese, they probably wouldn't have believed me. Demand for our products is growing all over the world because people have to take care of their own retirement these days. As wealth spreads to countries like China and India, their residents are becoming clients of ours."
Brady, who estimates he's traveled around the world at least 25 times on business and personal trips, has remained a loyal supporter of Georgia Tech over the years. Inducted into the College of Management's Alumni Hall of Fame in 2004, Brady serves as an emeritus member of the College's Advisory Board and a trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation.
"If you graduate from a university as good as Georgia Tech, you're already in a special class in the world," says Brady, adding that subsequent career success owes a lot to recognizing good opportunities at the right time. "Most everybody gets a couple of shots at something big. I'm lucky that the shot I put my energy into turned out to be a good one."
Director of Communications
Assistant Director of Communications