Joe Silich (BUS ’92) is one of the preeminent wealth advisors in the nation. But he has never forgotten his working-class roots on the southwest side of Chicago or his first-generation college experience at DePaul.
“DePaul allowed me to identify that gift inside of me—in my case, a gift for numbers,” he says. “My teachers helped me find it, nurture it, and build my knowledge. In the process, they helped me build confidence. That foundational education is a kind of ‘muscle memory’ that has served me well in my career and in life.”
As executive director at Morgan Stanley, he leads the Silich Group of wealth advisors for the firm. He has garnered numerous accolades throughout his career. He was named one of Barron’s magazine’s top financial advisors nationwide in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. He makes frequent appearances on MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg and other media outlets. Throughout his career, he has been careful along the way to share his gifts and his success with the community.
At DePaul, Silich serves on the DePaul University Finance Advisory Board and the Driehaus College Campaign Committee. He works with the college to develop intern-ship opportunities for students, and personally coaches and mentors DePaul students and young alumni. His community commitments are numerous and wide-ranging. To name a few, he serves on the Chicago-based board of UNICEF, the Midwest Board of the USO, and the advisory board of Operation Homefront, which provides support for families of service members and wounded warriors across the country.
In 2010, as part of the Many Dreams, One Mission campaign, Silich established the Silich Family Endowed Scholarship for talented DePaul students in finance who, like him, grew up in Chicago and attended city public or parochial schools.
More than one-third of DePaul students are the first generation in their families to attend college. “I worked throughout school, as most DePaul students still do,” Silich says. “But I never lost sleep over midterms or finals or papers. What I did worry about was paying the semester tuition bill. I know what my education has meant to me. If I can ease that financial anxiety for talented students, help them focus more effectively on their studies, help them gain practical experience and develop their gifts, help them succeed and take their education out into the world to benefit their families and communities—that is how I measure true success.”
By Chris Anderson