Brad Oldham isn’t your typical top executive. By day, he runs Dallas-based Oldham Financial Services LLC, a CFO outsourcing firm. But by night, he rocks the bass guitar and keyboard onstage with Bricks in the Wall and Anthem—tribute bands to Pink Floyd and Rush, respectively.
Oldham, whose parents were musicians, first discovered his own passion for music when he began playing the trumpet in fifth grade. “My senior year of high school, I started getting more into rock music,” says Oldham, who’s not related to the famed Oldham brothers (sculptor Brad and fashion designer Todd) from Dallas. “I was sitting there playing my trumpet along to Rush albums, and it wasn’t really working. So I went out and bought a bass.”
Oldham continued playing trumpet in the marching band at the University of Tennessee, where he earned a degree in marketing, and later got his MBA on a full scholarship to Texas Christian University. He worked for the Texas Rangers and in baseball’s minor leagues before finding his way into strategic financial services by way of EY and Lamar Hunt’s venture capital firm.
Oldham, who still plays the trumpet—even onstage during a select few Pink Floyd songs—has co-founded bands and BYO Musicians Network, a networking group of musical business professionals. He learned of Bricks in the Wall from a classified ad seeking a bassist. Now, the band sells out shows at Dallas’ House of Blues.
Although his professional and personal lives are very different, Oldham says that some lessons he’s learned from performing are also applicable in the boardroom.
“When you’re onstage playing with a band, you have to be aware of what everybody else in the band is playing,” he says. “When you’re a CFO, you don’t just do the finance strategy in a vacuum. You have to work to make sure it meshes with all of the other parts of the company.”