Charles W. Brady, Invesco's founder and former chairman and CEO, died in Atlanta on Dec. 7, company spokeswoman Jeaneen Terrio confirmed. He was 84.
Known for his humane management style and providing his employees autonomy, Mr. Brady founded what would eventually become Invesco Ltd. in 1978 in Atlanta. The company opened with $400 million under management.
Invesco is now a global manager with $1.18 trillion in AUM as of Sept. 30.
"Charlie was a pioneer in the world of asset management and an excellent leader," Invesco President and CEO Marty Flanagan said in a news release announcing Mr. Brady's passing. "He was driven to make Invesco a global firm and never wavered from that goal. Invesco would not be where it is today without Charlie's vision, business acumen, and commitment to his firm and its people."
Mr. Brady knew that the key to Invesco's growth was to acquire or merge with specialized asset management firms. In 1988, the London-based firm Britannia Arrow purchased the company and later took the INVESCO name. In 1997, INVESCO PLC merged with AIM Investments to become AMVESCAP PLC (before reverting to the Invesco name in 2007). In 2006, the company purchased exchange-traded funds firm PowerShares Capital Management LLC.
"He was an amazing husband, fa- ther and friend to many," his wife, Nina Lesavoy, said. "He had a good ability to identify those who had the ability to make an impact in the investment business. And he gave people he trusted unlimited support. We were all lucky to be in his sphere."
David Eager, executive director of the $18 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems, Frankfort, described Mr. Brady as "a legend."
"He was one of the first to understand that if a smaller investment management firm wanted to succeed, they needed to get out of the bank," Mr. Eager said in a phone interview. "He was a firm believer that relationships mattered. He was one of the first to understand that you should dedicate a marketer to market to investment consultants. And he was the first to understand that an investment management firm had to have a uniform product."
Added Mr. Eager: "There are just a few people in the industry who stand out. And Charlie's one of them," Mr. Eager added.
"He was a quiet philanthropist," Ms. Lesavoy said. "He never wanted to be recognized, but he always wanted to help."
Mr. Brady was born in Atlanta in 1935 and aside from a tour with the Navy, lived there all his life. He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in industrial development in 1959. His first job out of college was working for a stock broker. He then took an investment management job at the Atlanta-based Citizens & Southern Bank.
While at C&S, Mr. Brady set up the C&S Investment Counseling Division, an SEC-registered investment advisory division within the bank. In 1978, Mr. Brady, along with other C&S investment management professionals, spun off the investment division to create INVESCO (spelled in capital letters at the time).
"I remember Charlie calling on me in my Chicago office in 1978 when he launched Invesco," said Ron Peyton, Callan LLC's executive chairman. "I already knew him at C&S Bank. He had gravitas galore, and just radiated integrity and nice. He was the real deal — a wonderful, intelligent human being."
Mr. Brady had been chairman emeritus of the current Invesco corporation since May 2006.
Mr. Brady's interests outside investment management included horses, hiking, skiing, golfing and rafting. Mr. Brady was also a trustee emeritus of the $1.7 billion Georgia Tech Foundation, a member of the advisory board for the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a member of the Board of Councilors for the Carter Center and a director of the National Bureau of Asian Research.
"I've always enjoyed the business and it's been an exciting industry," Mr. Brady once said. "You're always in touch with everything in the world. We've always known exactly what we wanted and we stayed narrow, focused."
In addition to Ms. Lesavoy, he is survived by his son, Allen Brady, and his daughter, Merrill Brady. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Academy of Medicine in Atlanta.
In lieu of flowers, Ms. Lesavoy asked that donations be made to the Charles Brady Scholarship Endowment Fund, directed to the Georgia Tech Foundation.