The Outside the Box Lunch Lecture

Goldman Sachs managing director and University of Virginia professor James Donovan spoke with students during an Outside the Box Lunch lecture.

He explained that rather than narrowing your focus, you should expand your abilities. As he said, “If they think of you as their trusted financial advisor, they’re going to call you when they need help instead of going piecemeal to different bankers, or different people, or different firms. It allowed me to box out competition.”

He explained that being a generalist is to your advantage. As he said, “By practicing as a generalist, you have a much more steady stream of revenue associated with your clients and it helps smooth out the cyclicality of any one product or business offering that you might have. So, it was selfish, but it allowed me to be one of the largest revenue producers at the firm over the course of my career and it allowed me to predict the revenue I could earn from clients in a much more steady, organized fashion.”

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