Nick Tedesco, 35
Senior Philanthropic Adviser, J.P. Morgan Private Bank Philanthropy Centre
The call to move up to the big leagues of philanthropy was unexpected, but Nick Tedesco seized the opportunity.
In 2010, he was serving as deputy director at the Children’s Health Forum in Washington, D.C., when a colleague recommended him for a job at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He joined the foundation’s Giving Pledge staff, managing relationships with more than 100 billionaires committed to donating at least half of their fortunes.
"It is a lesson on networking — you never know where the next opportunity will present itself," Mr. Tedesco says.
Four years later, he parlayed his Giving Pledge experience into a new role at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. He still sits face-to-face with the uber-wealthy, but now he has a direct hand in shaping their philanthropy.
Mr. Tedesco’s job is to help his clients think through their values and priorities, identify the causes they want to support, and find potential channels and structures for moving large sums of charitable dollars.
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He says some of the most common questions clients ask are how they can have the most impact, engage their children and grandchildren in their giving, and connect with others interested in similar causes.
Based in the Bay Area, Mr. Tedesco has a front-row seat to what he describes as extraordinary wealth creation.
"These individuals are starting to think about philanthropy a lot younger," he says. "They are starting to do it much earlier, and it is part of an overall approach to wealth management."
Mr. Tedesco acknowledges that nerves are an occupational hazard when working with some of the most influential people in the world. But he says the anxiety falls away as relationships develop — and the opportunity to learn from them has changed his life.
"It challenges me constantly to think about how I am contributing — to my work and beyond," he says.