- David and Andrea Tracy met as UCLA Class of 1990 undergraduates
- All aspects of his MBA experience prepared David for his long career in wealth management
- David’s friendship with school namesake John Anderson inspires the couple to give back, help others
David (B.A. ’90, ’94) and Andrea (B.A. ’90) Tracy share a deep attachment to UCLA, where they met as undergraduates and fellow members of the Class of 1990. David returned to campus two years later, earning his MBA at Anderson in 1994. Today, the Tracys continue to value their joint UCLA experience — the relationships they formed and the university’s impact on David’s career — and they want to see others form similar relationships and have similarly influential experiences. With that in mind, they’ve established the Tracy Family Fellowship to financially support future generations of UCLA Anderson students.
“David and I met there, live nearby, we have lots of fond memories of our experience there and now want to enhance the UCLA experience for other children,” Andrea says. “We have three daughters, one out of college, one in college and one still in high school. You look forward to them getting graduate degrees and undergraduate experiences, and we want to support anyone to have those opportunities.”
David’s entire post-Anderson career has been in private wealth management, working for some of the biggest names in the business, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Currently, he is a managing director and private wealth advisor within Merrill Private Wealth Management. He and his team provide wealth management strategies to ultra-high-net-worth clients in a range of disciplines that include investment management, wealth structuring, customized credit and lending, and philanthropy.
“We’re happy to give. We’re so passionate about UCLA, and the gift has brought a renewed enthusiasm from me and Andrea to the school.”
“My work mostly encompasses working with individuals and families who have significant wealth,” David says. “The business has evolved tremendously from 1994 until 2021. Now I describe myself as the chief investment officer for wealthy families. That encompasses traditional investment management, but it’s developed into much more than that. It means working with these families on not only their investment, but on what their legacy is going to be, how they want to bring up children, how they want to make an impact on society, and working with them to make sure they have the resources to help them achieve those goals.”
David notes that he had an accounting background going in to business school (both he and Andrea, along with generations of UCLA students, studied undergraduate accounting with David Ravetch, who continues to teach it to this day), but was relatively light on finance. He says that his Anderson courses in corporate and traditional finance prepared him well as he began his career.
“Our business has really evolved from when I started. Back then, I was much more of what people traditionally think of as a stock broker. You were talking about individual stocks and had to understand companies, balance sheets and earnings, know how to talk the talk and have conviction enough to buy them,” David says. “That training in finance, plus the rigor that many of my professors applied and the interaction with my colleagues, really helped prepare me for that.”
David credits Senior Associate Dean Al Osborne and Anderson’s executive director of major gifts, Caroline Su, with keeping in touch over the years. He applauds Dean Tony Bernardo, too, who has made student fellowships a high priority since becoming dean. “There was a combination, not only of the need for fellowships and our capacity to give, but also Tony’s interest in me becoming more involved in the school. The timing was just right.”
There is one additional reason why the Tracys feel close to UCLA Anderson and desire to support the school. David knew John Anderson.
“I was very fortunate to meet him at a young age. He was a mentor of mine,” David says. “I always valued him as a great businessman and a fine human being. To him, it was just natural to be a mentor. It was just so nice of him to pave the way.
“We’re happy to give. We’re so passionate about UCLA, and the gift has brought a renewed enthusiasm from me and Andrea to the school,” David says. “You get so busy. You’re working hard and bringing up a family, and you’re involved in your children’s schools; you sort of forget about your own school. I thank Tony, Caroline and Al for bringing us back into the UCLA fold. These fellowships enable UCLA Anderson to get the best students we can, and continue to build our brand as one of the top business schools in the country.”