DBT40 Honoree: Nick Adams
VP, Institutional Sales (Global Capital Markets)
Wilmington Trust (Wilmington)
Introduction: My background, while extensive, certainly isn’t traditional. I began working alongside elected officials at the age of 16 and was appointed as Delaware’s Deputy State Treasurer at 26. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t the youngest guy in the room. And those experiences have led to tremendous opportunities.
Why should I be a DBT 40? At 26, I was tasked with leading the day-to-day operations of a state agency with a multi-generational team of 23 staffers, a budget of nearly $400 million, defined benefit plans in excess of $500 million, and an investment portfolio of nearly $2 billion. While at the Treasurer’s Office, we were recognized for saving taxpayer dollars through creating efficiencies in business processes and for creating a new financial literacy education initiative that was rolled out to Delaware schools/students. Since joining Wilmington Trust, I’ve generated over $5 billion in new assets under management and nearly $15 million in new business. I’ve been named to the bank’s President’s Council three different times (recognition for top 1% of all employees) and have been tapped to serve as the Sales Leader for the Large and Complex Trust team within our Global Capital Markets business.
Leadership examples: When I joined the State Treasurer’s Office, Gov. Jack Markell had just been sworn in, and he was tasked with appointing his replacement as State Treasurer. He named Velda Jones-Potter, who was an incredibly accomplished executive from the private sector, but she had never worked in state government before. She ultimately asked me to serve as her Deputy Treasurer. Gov. Markell took many of the former staffers from his office with him to the Governor’s Office, and many of the staff who weren’t offered opportunities in the Governor’s Office weren’t feeling appropriately valued and appreciated. Our first order of business was to reassure the remaining staff that they were important and that they were going to be an integral part of our success as we collectively set out to replace the departed employees and build a new, stronger team to accomplish our mission in the office. Many of the employees were skeptical of a 26-year-old “kid” who was now their boss, but they quickly understood that I was committed to them and our collective success and that staying in the Treasurer’s Office would ultimately be a great blessing. I grew more in those two years than in any other time during my career.
Community service: As a teen, I coached youth lacrosse and later; after college graduation, continued coaching lacrosse at Dover High School for nearly 10 years. I served as a Big Brother for several years, engaged as a mentor to at-risk youth, and when work travel became too unpredictable to allow for a traditional weekly meeting with my “little,” I agreed to serve on the board of directors. Also serve as a board member of the M&T Bank Charitable Foundation. I also recently accepted an appointment from to serve as a Commissioner on the City of Dover Planning Commission.
Where are you most at ease? When I’m outside and by the water.
Currently reading? I have an almost 2-year-old son, and we read together every night. Currently lots of Dr. Seuss, “Night-Night Delaware,” and “Five Little Pumpkins” as we prepare for Halloween! I’m currently reading “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight (the founder of Nike).
What did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a Delaware State Trooper when I grew up, but I had so many other incredible and unexpected opportunities that presented themselves that I never ended up pursuing that.
Family:Wife Stephanie (coincidentally, an inaugural DBT 40 Winner) and son, Liam. Bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from Wilmington University.