Daniels alumnus builds success in career, family and community in Colorado
When people describe Eamon Twomey, they talk about how approachable he is, how he has an unending appetite to ask questions and connect with people and how he builds lasting relationships through his warm presence. Maybe it’s that sunny disposition that draws people to him and that drew him to Colorado all those years ago.
Twomey (MBA 2011) grew up in New York and was on his way to be a Wall Street lifer. He got a degree in finance from Marist College, lived in Manhattan and worked in financial services. But, an opportunity to join a startup in 2002 changed all that. Twomey moved to Denver to work for a small financial services company. He was the senior vice president of operations for Curian Capital. He quickly was attracted to the quality of life for him and his family; his wife was seven months pregnant with their first child.
“It was a cultural shift for me in a lot of ways,” Twomey said. “The obstacles are so big in New York City to have a decent house, taxes and good schools. It would be hard for me to go back to the East Coast anywhere after being part of the community for the past 18 years. I’ve loved Colorado, love the outdoors and love the sunshine. I’m addicted to sunshine.”
After working for Curian Capital, Twomey worked for The Hartford as the vice president, CEO and COO of brokers/dealers, when he was approached by the site leader of Charles Schwab. At that point the Lone Tree, Colorado, campus of Schwab didn’t exist and they were offering him a director-level position.
“I made the leap of faith to join them,” Twomey said. “It was really one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
At the same time Twomey was making these career moves, he was also pursuing an Executive MBA from the Daniels College of Business. While he felt confident in the financial services world, he wanted to develop leadership capabilities with a more strategic focus.
A major focus of the EMBA program is providing students with the knowledge and skills to become executive leaders. This takes an understanding of all of the functions across an enterprise and strong critical and systems thinking skills. During the program, he met Professor of the Practice Scott McLagan.
“From the day I met him, I knew he had the potential to be a senior executive,” McLagan said. “He has a strong, but warm presence that’s not intimidating. He’s very intelligent, positive and humble. His focus on connecting with people fits in really well in the Schwab culture.”
After graduating in 2011, Twomey quickly moved up at Schwab, becoming a vice president of the Specialty Trading Group, then of Advisor Custody and Trading and now as the senior vice president of Operational Services. Operational Services is responsible for the safe-keeping and security of Schwab’s assets, about $6 trillion. Leading a group of 400 people, the teams handle client tax reporting, regulatory obligations and operations with 14 million clients.
“DU opened my eyes to working for an organization with the same values that you have,” Twomey said. “Hartford and Schwab are doing right for their clients, their people and their stakeholders. That’s really important to me.”
The other priority for Twomey and Charles Schwab is giving back. Kent Clark, senior vice president of Operational Services, Brokerage Products and Services at Charles Schwab, has worked with Twomey for five years.
“Giving back is built into the Schwab culture,” Clark said. “It starts with how we help people with their finances followed by partnering with nonprofit organizations in the community to advance their work.”
Charles Schwab is one of the earliest members of the Daniels Corporate Partner program. Schwab has sponsored the Inclusive Excellence Case Competition and the Denver MBA Corporate Challenge for the past five years. In the Corporate Challenge, students work on a real problem a company wants help solving.
“We get so much out of the students, how they’re showing up and engaging,” Twomey said. “How they’re opening our eyes to new ideas. They help us move our strategy forward.”
Twomey also gives back on a personal level, serving on the Executive Advisory Board at Daniels since 2015. In 2019, he received the Ambassador Award, given to an alumnus or alumna who has invested time and service to the College.
“I enjoy the environment, learning and sharing different ideas, networking with people in other industries that I may not normally be exposed to,” he said. “It’s also important that a company the size of Schwab ensures we do what we can to help the schools and vice versa. We have 4,100 employees in Denver, and more than 200 DU alumni, so it’s important to ensure we’re being good stewards and partners.”
Twomey, sunny demeanor and all, couldn’t be a better steward according to McLagan.
“I am really proud to have him as one of our alumni,” McLagan said. “He’s lived the Daniels values and we love to watch his success. He’s done it the right way.”