Attending a conference that had David Tittsworth as a speaker meant you were in for a pleasant one-two punch: You were going to be informed and entertained. Tittsworth combined Capitol Hill, industry and legal smarts with a charismatic and theatrical presence, making the often mundane financial services compliance and regulatory world lively.
The former longtime president and CEO of the Investment Adviser Association in Washington died Wednesday at age 66 after a long battle with multiple myeloma.
Industry officials and members of the advisory community were quick to weigh in with their condolences and fond memories of Tittsworth, who was also an accomplished pianist and vocalist and an avid cyclist.
“David will be remembered as a passionate, dedicated, articulate, and effective advocate for the investment advisory community and for the importance of fiduciary advice,” said Karen Barr, IAA’s president and CEO, in a note to IAA members. “Over the nearly two decades I worked with him, David became not just my colleague and mentor, but a valued and cherished friend.”
Neil Simon, IAA’s vice president of government relations, recalls Tittsworth’s “remarkable combination of wit, warmth and wisdom. He was also a wonderful leader, building a terrific team at IAA. David was a close friend and I miss him dearly.”
A native of Kansas, Tittsworth graduated from the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas School of Law. Prior to joining the IAA, he served a significant portion of his professional career in the public sector, where he held positions in all three branches of government.
He began his legal career as a research attorney for the Kansas Court of Appeals in 1978. Thereafter, he held various positions in Kansas state government, including chief counsel of the Department of Transportation.
Upon moving to Washington in 1987, Tittsworth first was an associate House Budget Committee staffer. He accepted a position as senior counsel to the House Subcommittee on Transportation, Trade and Hazardous Materials in 1989. In 1991, he left Capitol Hill to become general counsel and a partner with a government relations firm (now Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell), where he represented the IAA and other clients.
In 1992, he returned to Capitol Hill to serve as counsel and minority counsel of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce until joining the IAA as executive director and executive vice president on Oct. 16, 1996.
After leaving IAA’s helm after 18 years, Tittsworth joined Ropes & Gray’s investment management practice in Washington in 2015.
Bryan Chegwidden, Ropes & Gray partner and global asset management group head, said that “David had a truly impressive career, and was known as one of the foremost experts on securities law and policy issues relating to the investment management industry.” Ropes & Gray and its clients “truly valued his wise counsel and deep understanding of the asset management landscape, enriched by his quick wit and warm demeanor. His family and friends are in our thoughts.”
Paul Schott Stevens, president and CEO of the Investment Company Institute, had this to say in a LinkedIn post: “Sad to mark the passing too soon of such a highly respected and valued colleague. Be at peace, David, you ran a good race. And you will be missed.”