Firm: UBS Financial Services

City: The Woodlands, Texas

Age: 40

Years as an advisor: 7

Years with current firm: 9

AUM: $152 million

 

“Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a firefighter,” says Shawn Babendure. Instead, he became a financial advisor, overseeing $152 million for clients with UBS in The Woodlands, a suburban development north of Houston.

But unlike countless other young boys, Babendure never gave up the dream. He worked as a volunteer firefighter in high school. After a brief stint in the Army he volunteered again and now holds the position of senior captain at the Spring Volunteer Fire Department in nearby Spring, Texas.

It’s possible to find a shared motivation in financial planning and firefighting. “It’s always rewarding to me when you help people out,” he says. “We’re running into possibly the worst day of someone else’s life.”

The Spring station covers approximately 60,000 residents. By day, professional firefighters handle the emergencies. During other times, there are some 100 volunteers like Babendure divided among the department’s seven fire stations that take the calls. “I go home and turn on the pager. It’s like having a second full-time job.”

He responds to an average of 200 calls a year—both fires and medical emergencies, and yes, he gets to drive the station’s fire trucks. “There’s no bigger thrill,” he says. “And I’ve jumped out of airplanes, flown in helicopters and ridden in tanks.”

As senior captain, Babendure oversees everything from the firefighters’ technical training to the department’s community outreach programs. He mentors younger volunteers, helping one successfully navigate the application process for the University of Houston. “Of all the senior captains, he’s definitely the most involved,” says station lieutenant Troy Hahn.

And while the opportunity to help is the primary motivation, he doesn’t deny the visceral thrill. “I wouldn’t say I’m a total adrenaline junkie, but I kind of am,” he says. “Running into that burning building, it’s a rush.”