When Goldman Sachs partner David Fox and the rest of the U.S. 4×100-meter freestyle relay team took their places by the pool at the 1996 Summer Olympics, he couldn’t help but feel the energy around him. Before then, he had swum before an audience of only around 2,000 people. But in Atlanta, “the stands looked like they went on forever” with 20,000 screaming fans, he says. “As focused as you are trying to be, you can’t help but have goosebumps and chills and be distracted when the stands roar like they did.”
Fox grew up in a North Carolina basketball family, but a growth spurt and focus on the pool made him a top high school swimming recruit. He hoped to head to The
“As focused as you are trying to be, you can’t help but have goosebumps and chills and be distracted when the stands roar…”
University of Texas, a perennial NCAA men’s swimming title contender. But when his father passed away during his senior year, Fox decided to stay close to home and joined the swim team at NC State. He won a national title in the 50-meter freestyle, which helped propel him onto the U.S. Olympic team, where he would go on to win a gold medal.
After the Olympics, Fox took a job as an adviser with Goldman Sachs and turned the energy, focus, and dedication he showed in the pool to growing his business, eventually running Goldman’s Atlanta market. In 2016, he moved to Texas to lead the 59 advisers in Houston and Dallas, a group that’s responsible for $40 billion in assets.
As the region head of the Southwest for private wealth management, he helps recruit other advisers. He also teaches a session every year called Lessons From the Pool, where he offers things he learned as a swimmer. “I trained twice a day, hours a day, for a full year for my big meet each year, and it didn’t always go well,” Fox says. “I had a choice: double down, be self-critical, and figure out how to be more motivated, or get in my head and feel sorry for myself and let it discourage me. Failures along the way are the stepping stones to the successes we achieve when we keep going.”