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David Gardiner (’09): Leadership in Multiple Roles and Free-Market Lessons

February 26, 2021

David Gardiner was attracted to Northwood due to its emphasis on business and its culture that stems from a free market ideology. His Northwood education in economics, finance and management prepared him well for his multiple roles at Merrill Lynch, where he is a Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor and Senior Portfolio Advisor. He too is the lead coach for all incoming advisors in Bloomfield Hills, Farmington Hills, Auburn Hills and Grosse Pointe. In his role as an advisor, he seeks to understand the full picture of a family’s finances, so that he can understand the central goal to each asset in connection with each member of the family. His method applies insights from behavioral finance to help families and institutions develop a vision and achieve their goals while investing in assets that align with their personal values.

While at Northwood, David not only excelled academically, he also made time to take a number of leadership roles in student organizations. He served as Treasurer of Student Government, member of the Inter-Fraternal Council and Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and founder of both the Northwood Economics Association and the Order of Omega Honor Fraternity/Sorority.

Based on his experience, David offers this advice to current Northwood students: “Enjoy. Find the lesson in every interaction. Get involved; you will meet some amazing and quality people at Northwood. And don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes – you can learn some of your most valuable lessons that way.”

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