Moving Buffalo Forward

When it was time for Thomas Quealy Jr. to go to college, he picked a university in a familiar place. The CEO of Nottingham Advisors Inc. was born in Buffalo but his father’s job at Occidental Chemical Corp. took the family out of state. They were living in Philadelphia when he decided to attend the University at Buffalo. “I liked the sense of community here that you don’t get in a lot of other places,” said Quealy, 50. “It was easier to live here, and that’s still true today.” He got a job at Nottingham Advisors right out of college. He spent most of his time reconciling client statements but eventually moved into research, then portfolio management. He was named CEO in 2008.

There are many financial advisory firms in Western New York. What’s different about Nottingham Advisors? We create global, multi-asset portfolios using exchange-traded funds, or ETFs. They are investment funds that trade all day long on the stock exchange. We are early adopters of ETFs – we started in 2001 – and to our knowledge there isn’t another manager locally that uses ETFs exclusively.

Can you share some ways that the firm benefits from the oft-mentioned “resurgence” of Buffalo? I think from a very broad, 40,000-feet level, the overall increase in economic health and growth in the area provides us with a potentially larger, more diverse pool of people to partner with and offer our services to. In terms of job candidates, some of the colleges are putting out bright young kids, so there’s a nice stream of those types of people who want to stay in Buffalo where I think 10 years ago, they wouldn’t have thought to stay here. We do travel outside the area. People always wanted to talk about snow or the Bills losing the playoffs, but now when we tell people we’re from Buffalo, we’re hearing more positive comments that we didn’t hear before.

You’re involved with the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation and 43North. What role do these initiatives play? Buffalo Renaissance Foundation is dedicated to moving Buffalo forward. We want to help future generations enjoy the high quality of life this area can offer to people. It’s entirely self-funded and whatever money we fund-raise goes back to the foundation for endowments or community grants. The firm got involved with 43North this year and I’m a mentor to entrepreneurs. What 43North stands for … is something any growing area needs.

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