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Human Interest Feature

Titan Rower: BABC Young Professional Group Co-Leader Toby Wallace from Aberdeen Asset Management Rows Across the Atlantic Ocean!

How many young professionals do you know that have lived, worked, and rowed crew on more than three continents? At just 35 years of age, Toby Wallace has done it all. The “Titan Rower” is a Senior Relationship Manager responsible for developing and servicing Aberdeen’s Endowment/Foundation relationships.

Prior to joining the institutional business development team in the US in 2011, Toby was part of the Australian group for five years. His professional career began in 2000 when he joined Aberdeen’s London office as a Graduate Business Analyst, in a special development program for college graduates that is also offered in the US. He moved from London to Sydney in 2006 and to Philadelphia for his current role in June 2011, where he lives with his wife Claire.

Shortly after moving to Philadelphia, Toby was asked to participate as the BABC Young Professional Group (YPG) Co-Leader, along with William Block from HSBC Bank. Toby has embraced his role as BABC YPG Co-Leader, and is eager to help the BABC launch this new initiative. The BABC YPG mission includes hosting formal events with keynote speakers and providing networking opportunities and a forum for business professionals under the age of 40 to exchange ideas and interact with one another. Toby hopes to assist the BABC YPG in “supporting the local community with a focus on education, mentoring and influencing young people’s lives.”

While growing-up in the UK, Toby was fortunate to have been involved with and influenced by The Duke of Edinburgh Award Program and the good work of the Scouts. The Duke of Edinburgh Award is an international program that was established in 1956 by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, to inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and to recognize their achievements. It is a self-challenging, educational, yet non-academic experience open to 14 to 25-year-olds. In addition to the three focus areas consisting of skills, physical recreation, and community service, the Gold, Silver and Bronze Award levels also include an “adventurous journey” component based on the principles of outward bound. Toby’s love of nature and desire to pursue outward bound activities encouraged him to live outside of his comfort zone, and meet the demands of the activities meritorious of the Award. Toby has carried these invaluable life lessons with him throughout his University and early professional careers.

According to Toby, he just about graduated with a BA in Geography and a postgraduate diploma in Management Studies from Jesus College, Cambridge, where he spent too many hours on the river instead of in the library and lecture hall. He rowed in the famous Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race in 1998 and 1999, (sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management for six years from 1999 onwards). Having never rowed before arriving at Cambridge, he was lucky to join a highly successful program which won seven consecutive races, and was committed to developing home grown talent.

Most recently, the 6 foot 7 inch Brit, weighing-in at over 240 pounds, (significantly more than his average mass, in anticipation of weight loss during the crossing) left the Canary Islands and lost sight of land for over 30 days as he and his crew of seven other men rowed toward Barbados. Toby’s description of his journey is one of awe and amazement for the profound, natural beauty of the deep blue Atlantic Ocean and the bright, starry skies. During Toby’s in office welcome back party, Gary Marshall, CEO, Aberdeen Asset Management, expressed dismay at Toby’s resilience. Despite the hardship of needing to sleep in what is referred to as “a dog-kennel compartment,” Toby insisted he would have “turned the boat around and crossed the Atlantic again.”

Mr. Marshall has provided Toby with an ergonomic desk chair to keep him comfortable, and grounded on dry land so he can return to work as a Senior Relationship Manager for Endowments & Foundations at Aberdeen. All joking aside, Mr. Marshall is one of Toby’s strongest advocates. The Company is committed to supporting Crew and no City knows that more than Philadelphia. In 2010 Aberdeen Asset Management saved the Dad Vail Regatta, and enabled Philadelphia to keep the famous boat race on the Schuylkill River. Although Toby is now back in Philadelphia, hard at work and focused on his day job for Aberdeen, he continues to pursue his passion for rowing as the coach for the Company’s corporate challenge crew at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta on May 12th.

We hope you had the opportunity to meet Toby, and were able to speak with him about his amazing rowing career during the BABC’s inaugural YPG event on May 1st at Jack Wills.

Click here to view pictures from the event

If you wish to join the BABC YPG or want to recommend a potential member please email babc@greaterphilachamber.com.

Local press learned of Toby’s remarkable adventure rowing across the Atlantic, and upon his return featured stories discussing the challenge, preparation and crossing. Click here to access the articles:

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/20120411_Philly_man_rows_across_Atlantic.html

http://www.metro.us/philadelphia/local

Congratulations and welcome back Toby!

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