40 Under 40 Class of 2020

Dave Lipke

Head of Financial Insights, MassMutual; Age 34; Education: College of the Holy Cross (BA); Boston University (MBA)

As part of the Corporate Finance team, Lipke has worked to help MassMutual serve more Americans by designing a solution for Main Street investors to gain access to private equity, and has spoken in Washington on ways to expand investment access to private assets. Among his community efforts, he volunteers at Friends of Children Inc., mentoring a young adult transitioning out of the foster-care system.

Dave Lipke

Dave Lipke

What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was growing up, I never could decide what I wanted to be. I often thought of being an architect, to design new buildings, or an engineer, to build new cars, or an entrepreneur, to launch new products. When I applied for colleges, I mostly applied to liberal-arts colleges, so I could take a variety of classes. In fact, I wrote in my college admission essay that, if I could live at any time in history other than today, that I would choose the Renaissance, so that there would not be such pressure to specialize in any one particular field of study.

What’s your favorite hangout or activity in Western Mass., and why? When I want to relax, I often read a thriller, which is one of the few things that helps me to unplug. When I am looking for inspiration, however, I usually pick up a biography, where I can learn about people who have accomplished amazing things in very different walks of life. Some of my favorites include Steve Jobs and Unbroken. While I haven’t found the solution yet, I am passionate about helping to revitalize the economy of Western Mass. Our kids are young — only 2 and 4 — but when they graduate from college, I want the Pioneer Valley to be an area they can return to without giving up any of their dreams. Hopefully we can celebrate their college graduation at the Student Prince, one of our favorite restaurants in the area.

What actor would play you in a movie about your life? I would choose Daniel Craig. I work in finance — not the emergency room or statecraft — so picking the leading actor from the James Bond series would infuse some excitement into the story. While I have done nothing to deserve a movie about me, I hope it would portray someone who led change or development of an innovation that made a difference in people’s lives.

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