It takes a keen insight to turn adversity into opportunity, but that’s exactly what Financial Services Network Communications Chair and CEO of Atlanta Wealth, Lee Robinson (YPO Monaco) did when he co-authored the book, “The Gathering Storm.” Conceived as a way to give the masses a basic understanding of world economy, transparency and finance coupled with a desire to try to help the world at a time of economic difficulty, Lee created “The Gathering Storm.” The book was written collectively by a series of leading managers and analysts, each contributing a chapter free of charge, with each author, nominating a charity to receive a portion of the revenues.
“After the financial crisis, I realized that many people I had spoken to helped me see it coming,” explains Lee “So many people lost jobs that I felt that we as a group should have done more to warn the wider population. Concurrently, charities had significant drops in their donations, so I thought we could achieve the dual goal of bringing awareness to the financial crises and profiling many deserving charities.”
Although Lee says he would never write a book again while having a fulltime job, the experience left an indelible impression on him and created life-long friendships.
“Collaborating with my peers and others I was subsequently introduced to was fantastic,” says Lee. “I believe I will always be able to discuss important issues with them in an open manner for decades to come. The editing was the truly difficult part, and discovering editor Patrick Young was a godsend, as he did all the heavy lifting.”
Another bright spot in these otherwise dark financial times was the creation of Altana Charitable Trust.
“I set up the trust to administer the payments from the book to the charities and remained open for further donations, specifically for those involved in the book,” says Lee. “Ideally, whatever we do should be sustainable, and for me personally I like giving people life skills rather than donations. For this reason, I also set up Easy to Fall.”
Easy to Fall’s primary goal is to improve economic conditions in distressed areas of the United States and abroad by funding and mentoring entrepreneurial ventures established by individuals living in these areas. This unique vision includes encouraging wealthy donors to give more money today rather than irregular donations over time, allowing the charities, projects and individuals receiving the donations to focus on doing what they do best rather than wasting time and costs perpetually fundraising.
As communications chair for the Financial Services Network, Lee is looking to drive results on an international scale.
“I like to make a difference,” says Lee. “I like to get things done and I definitely thought we needed more international presence on the board given the already strong American presence.”
A member of YPO since 2011, Lee finds the network inspiring less for the big, “ah-ha” moments and more for the regular interactions in-between.
“Lots of little pieces of advice and reminders all add up,” says Lee. “As I like to say – I prefer to go home smarter at the end of the day than when I started.”
Lee has been nominated for, and won, myriad awards, including numerous Eurohedgeawards in categories ranging from ‘firm of the year,’ to ‘special situations and long/short equity.’
“It’s great to be recognized by your peers in a performance industry, especially one as competitive as finance,” says Lee. “I like to think it is more than luck that my team and I have had so many nominations.”
As for role models, Lee, once again, draws his inspiration from the multitudes instead of any one, specific individual.
“I don’t have a specific role model,” says Lee, “I love entrepreneurs and innovation in general and try to learn how to keep developing from many different sources.”