Dave Tolmie

Partner, Edgewater Funds

Dave Tolmie believes that the most successful investments aren’t really about money. They’re about people.

Think about it. You can invest a billion dollars in the best idea of all time but if you bring in a CEO who doesn’t form amicable, effective working relationships, your investment is going to fail.

Back in the dot-com era as CEO of Yesmail, Dave spearheaded the company’s successful IPO and subsequent sale for $720 million. He went on to build and sell a regional health club company to Bally Total Fitness for $90 million before joining Bally to oversee the company’s $650 million annual revenue and its 13,000-person sales and operations workforce.

Dave has been a Partner with Edgewater Funds since its inception in 2001. Today the firm has $2.4 billion in committed capital. Moral of the story: Dave knows how to assemble an all star leadership team.

Dave shares 5 personality traits he looks for in new leaders:

1. Patterns of success. Not just in business, but in life. Success has a way of repeating itself.

2. Ability to attract and retain great people. True success takes a great team.

3. Customer focus. The CEO needs to be the best salesperson. If they are focused on the customer, the rest of the organization will follow.

4. Likability. Is a person effective in their relationships? A person’s bluechip resume is useless if nobody gets along with them.

5. Unquestioned integrity. Great leadership begins and ends here. If you’re not sure about a person’s integrity, you’ve got your answer.

For more about Edgewater Funds, click here.

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FIVEinSIXTY is our web series with thought leaders whose stories provide insights and inspiration for the next generation of go getters—our own little brainchild outside the wide variety of videos we produce for our clients.

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