ERIC DOWNING’S CAREER HISTORY
As a Non-Commission Officer, I operated as a member of an elite team of a dozen, highly trained, airborne reconnaissance soldiers, often responsible for planning and executing highly specialized, complex missions. Conquering personal fears to focus on team dynamics and roles, strategy development, critical thinking, and leadership were always integral components of successfully navigating harsh and unforgiving environments to accomplish the mission.
US ARMY ATTACK PILOT
Meritoriously selected to become a United States Army Aviator. Attention to detail, refined critical thinking, and decision-making skills are lifesaving competencies that are required to operate safely in the high stress environment of military flying. Each flight operation required exacting teamwork, bold leadership and careful implementation of proven doctrine, strategy, and tactics to execute the mission.
FINANCIAL ADVISOR / FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
Beginning my business career in 1988 as a Financial Advisor at PaineWebber, I built a successful practice as an advisor focused on helping small business owners select a wide range of separate account managers to balanced portfolios. As a very early adopter to forward thinking investment strategies, I was able to learn valuable lessons about “first to the market” strategic advantage. I was later recruited to Merrill Lynch specifically to focus on further building my developed asset manager based advisory business.
I joined Stifel with the mandate to build a managed asset centric branch office from the ground up. The specialized branch was highly successful leading to my next role as the Director of all managed money platforms. After growing the managed Money platform assets under management by more than 200%, I was promoted to the position of Director, Investments Services Group responsible for separately managed accounts, mutual funds, insurance products, financial planning, marketing, correspondent research, and Financial Advisor learning and development.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT / REGIONAL SALES PROFESSIONAL, DIVISION LEADER
After successfully managing a multistate territory to help key National Wirehouse, Regional Independents, and Registered Investment Advisory, Financial Advisor teams to identify and exploit their competitive advantages and substantially grow their practices, I was entrusted with the responsibility to manage and build the Central Division for Allianz/Pimco. By focusing on strategy development, differentiation, exploitation of competitive advantage and refined execution, the team produced sales of more than $13 billion in a single year.
In seven years as a divisional sales manager, I was responsible for leading seven different divisional sales teams, and each of those seven sales teams was number one in both gross and net sales every year.
DIRECTOR / NATIONAL SALES MANAGER
Responsible for all aspects of Sales and Marketing for a multibillion-dollar Alternative Asset Management company. Led, coached and developed a team of investment professionals who represented multiple Managed Futures Commodity portfolios offered in a qualified investor private offering format as well as public open-end mutual fund format.
As an Executive at Amundi/Pioneer, I managed and developed a large team of sales professionals and relationship management specialists focused on delivering superior customer service and producing sales in the Independent Broker Dealer and Registered Investment Advisory channels achieving superior sales results.
By helping Financial Advisors focus on refining their strategy, identifying and strengthening their sources of competitive advantage and developing a proactive and refined decision-making and critical thinking process, we were instrumental in helping the clients that we worked with utilize a strong team-based approach to fully achieve their goals and reach their maximum potential.
Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics
Master of Arts in Management and Leadership
Doctorate in Interdisciplinary Leadership
SPECIAL FACULTY, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY
CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY GRADUATE LEADERSHIP SCHOOL
- Humility and Leadership
- Leadership and Group Dynamics
CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY DOCTORATE LEADERSHIP SCHOOL
- Leadership and Applied Ethics
- Toxic Leadership
CREDENTIALED SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTISE
Registered Corporate Coach™ (RCC™) – World Association of Business Coaches
Trained and certified to utilize various coaching methodologies to help individuals and teams develop an introspective approach to exceed sales goals and achieve their full career potential.
Lean Six Sigma – Black Belt
The Six Sigma approach is based on data, geared toward projects with quantifiable business outcomes. Six Sigma improves processes by controlling variation and understanding the intricacies inherent in the process. This methodology results in more predictable and profitable business processes.
Certified Professional Behavior Analyst (CPBA)
Trained and certified to use multiple personal characteristic assessment tools to identify an individual or team’s natural and adapted strengths to more effectively coach individual performance and enhance team cohesiveness.
Certified Professional Values Analyst (CPVA)
Trained and certified to utilize specialized tools to recognize which motivators influence individuals and teams and use this insight to create a culture that enhances employee engagement and strengthens team collaboration.
Followership in Action: Cases and Commentaries
Publisher: United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing, 2016. ©2016
Current Chairman of the Board and CEO, Army Aviation Heritage Foundation
Board member, Creighton University Graduate Board
Senior Fellow – Center for Strategic Leadership and Planning