By now, I suspect most readers are aware that a couple of weeks back, Jamie Green left his job as editorial director of the Investment Advisor group. In the 14 years that he had been at the helm, Jamie had become an industry icon. A regular speaker at many advisory industry conferences and events, mentor to many of today’s leading writers and editors, and a prolific writer in his own right, Jamie has left an imprint on the industry that will not soon be forgotten.
Of course, Jamie wasn’t always an industry rock star, but he did always have that potential. I remember how excited I was reading the resume he’d sent in, back in 1998, when I was editor-in-chief of this publication.
Jamie was an editor at The New York Times, and we were a small, two-magazine operation in the bedroom community of Shrewsbury, New Jersey. That is to say, we didn’t get a lot of resumes from Times editors.
But Jamie and his family lived just down the street from our offices, and he was looking for a better quality of life that a short commute had to offer. And the timing was good for me, too.
My managing editor, Janet Eldon (think air traffic controller for all the articles coming in, being edited, laid out, and going out to the printer each month) had given notice two weeks earlier, so she could move to California, marry my brother, and give me two nephews and a niece.
Janet was a truly great managing editor (some people are just born to tell other people what do to). But, although Jamie didn’t have much experience in that position, and knew nothing about the advisory industry, he pitched right in, and never missed a beat. Classically educated and scary smart, Jamie quickly mastered the delicate balance of pushing people to do a tough job with scant resources — while gently motivating them to do their best.
At the same time, and with a bit of guidance, Jamie began to unravel the Byzantine enigma of the financial services industry, and the role of independent advisors in it. I left after Dow Jones sold our little mom-and-pop company in 2000, and the new owners tried and failed with an outside top editor. So, Jamie finally got the job in 2002. And the magazine has grown steadily since.