Member Profile: Rohit Padmanabhan

You attended Lawrenceville in NJ, Rice in Houston and lived in both Barcelona and NYC.  How did you end up in Nashville?

Funny story: I was living in NYC and went on a blind date with a friend of a friend in Houston while I was there doing meetings for the week. Shortly into the date, I was informed that my dinner partner had just accepted a job in Nashville that would start in 11 months. I thought, “Well this was a fun evening, but I guess we’ll never see each other again.” Fast forward a year, and I found myself packing my apartment and moving my company down to Nashville with my (now) wife!

You worked at two bulge bracket investment banks before launching your own firm, Lotus Asset Management in NYC.  What has been the most notable takeaway as you’ve transitioned your business from NY to Nashville?

That’s a great question…Nashville was certainly a big change coming from NYC, and I didn’t know anyone when I first moved here. But my biggest takeaway is that people are the same wherever you go; they are kind (in their own way) and looking for meaningful interactions. And that particularly resonated in my work managing personal finances for high earning young professionals. No matter where someone lives or what one does for a living, people inherently want help to improve their situations and know that they are making good decisions.

How did you first learn about The Phoenix Club and what do you most want to get from this community?

From my earliest weeks in Nashville, I had heard rumblings about the Phoenix Club being a meaningful organization in town, but it sounded like a secret society at the time. A few months in, I realized that Nashville was going to be my home for the foreseeable future, and I wanted to find an organization that was doing really impactful work in the city. Improving outcomes for underprivileged children, particularly childhood education and financial literacy, is something very important to me and one of the few ways that I believe we can prevent some of our societal woes from reaching the tipping point in the years to come. After meeting several PCON members and demystifying the aura around the organization, I found it to be one of the purest ways to get involved in the community without creating my own non-profit. Working directly with smaller organizations that are on the ground and understand the needs of their community is an incredible feeling, and I can only hope to facilitate their growth and impact.

What one word would you use to describe yourself?

Adaptable

What is something you believed when you were 18 that you wish you still believed now?

Santa? I still leave cookies out, so that doesn’t work…I would probably say the belief that everyone makes their own destiny. If there’s one thing I have learned (and organizations like the Phoenix Club continue to demonstrate), it’s that we are all born into different circumstances, and that those circumstances play an almost irreversible role in shaping who we are and how we view ourselves and the rest of the world. I truly believe that every child is born with the desire and ability to do great things, but we unfortunately do not provide them all with the same opportunities for success. That’s simply unacceptable. I wish this weren’t the case, but it’s our job as a society to fix that for future generations.