eInterview Series: Meet NYSAE Member David Murphy

By Denman Wall

David Murphy

David Murphy, MBA, CPA, Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Murphy Wealth Management Group at UBS Financial Services, Inc.

As we continue the eInterview series, we feature David Murphy, Senior Vice President, Wealth Management with the Murphy Wealth Management Group at UBS Financial Services, Inc. David's team of professionals manages investment portfolios for many Associations, Endowments, Charities, and other Nonprofit organizations. He is also an instrumental volunteer for NYSAE having served on the Board of Directors, led many educational seminars, and lent his support to many initiatives in the community that NYSAE serves. David was awarded the NYSAE Outstanding Associate Member award in 1999 and also the Distinguished Service Award in 2008.

Even cooler, David is a down-to-earth, family-oriented person and one of the friendliest people I know. Like me, he gets his family involved in NYSAE whenever the opportunity comes up. It's been quite nice to be able to introduce our own families to our NYSAE family. I'm sure anyone who has done so would echo that sentiment!

Without further ado, here's David's interview:

Denman Wall: Thanks, David, for taking a few moments to participate in this eInterview. You've been instrumental in contributing to NYSAE's ongoing mission, activities and leadership direction, well, since I can remember! Tell our readers a little bit about the work you do at The Murphy Wealth Management Group/UBS…

David Murphy: My team works closely with Associations, Endowments, Foundations and other nonprofit organizations to help them make the most of their precious assets. Our mission is to help them fulfill their mission through astute and impartial investment advice. We work with many large and small organizations. I like to consider my relationship to my clients as an "outsourced Chief Investment Officer." 

Denman: Investment is a very important mission indeed! How has working with association and nonprofit professionals impacted your career path?

David: Working with Nonprofits has had a profound impact on my career. I have been in the investment business for over 30 years and working with Nonprofits for over 20. The relationships I have developed go way beyond simply being client/advisor. It is based on the value of collaboration. I have gotten involved in the work lives as well as personal lives of my clients. As an example, when I got married 17 years ago, there were seven different couples at my wedding that I had met through NYSAE. We have all become very close personal friends.

Denman: Here, here! In addition to developing friendships, working in the association sector is really rewarding. What's one of your most memorable or proudest moments of being involved professionally - or personally - in the association and nonprofit community?

David: My proudest moment is having the opportunity to work with some of the great leaders in the New York City Nonprofit world. Joel Dolci has been a stalwart leader and taught me so much about the association world; Mike Weamer has been an invaluable networking resource; Bob Bender was the CEO of the Red Cross during the 9/11 attacks. They are tireless, successful leaders who have become close friends and clients as well as having a great impact on NYSAE. To paraphrase Sir Isaac Newton, 'If I have seen further than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.' I have learned so much from other leaders of NYSAE.

Denman: Financials and investments can be tricky for some, probably for a variety of reasons. From your perspective, what market forces or other considerations have created the biggest financial challenges for association professionals?

David: The biggest challenges I see in my relationship to my association clients is balancing the requirements of a static annual budget with the fluctuations of an investment portfolio. As the old saying goes, the market is not an accommodating machine….it doesn't provide high returns simply because you need them. It is important for me to keep my clients focused on the long term with their portfolios and not let daily or monthly fluctuations influence their decisions. Many leaders of Nonprofits have no problem with 3-5-year budgets and strategic plans, yet they have a short-term investment philosophy. If your organization's strategic vision is long term, your investments should match it.

Denman: Good advice. Certainly, for me, networking and knowledge has been a real valuable benefit of being an NYSAE member. How has being a leader in NYSAE and a member influenced the services you provide?

David: Well, I wasn't always a leader in NYSAE. It took many years to get there. My Dad used to say that success is a little like wrestling a gorilla… you don't quit when you are tired, you quit when the gorilla is tired. There were many times when I felt like giving up. But I continued networking and the turning point for me was running into Mike Weamer and asking him about the Nonprofit world. He became a bit of a mentor to me and introduced me to many of the wonderful people that I remain close friends with today. He opened up his conference room at the American Heart Association for me to give educational seminars. He taught me the importance of being on committees at NYSAE. He also stressed to me that getting business from Nonprofits was a marathon and not a sprint. (He certainly wasn't kidding on that note!!)

Denman: What great advice and it's certainly true. I love the ‘wrestling a gorilla' analogy! Now then, NYSAE's membership includes a mix of associate members and regular members. If another associate or supplier colleague asks you why they should consider joining the organization, what would you tell them?

David: I would tell them that NYSAE is a wonderful organization and they will end up meeting some great people. Woody Allen said that 80% of success is just showing up, and that is important at NYSAE. Get involved, educate the regular members, and make yourself available when they need you.

Denman: Sage advice! With NYSAE in its 100th Anniversary Year, where do you see the organization's biggest opportunities for growth?

David: There are so many Nonprofits in the NYC area, so the opportunities are endless. It is important to figure out how to reach the younger generations and promote the value of an NYSAE membership. The next 100 years can be better than ever!!

Thanks, again, David. It's been a pleasure to work with you over the years and I look forward to our continued friendship and collaboration.

Denman Wall is Sr. Director of Interactive Services at Dolci Interactive and Editor of InView.