Tom Kane is a prominent Chicago private wealth manager with more than two decades of experience in the space. Currently, he serves as a Managing Director and Private Wealth Manager at Merrill Lynch PBIG Chicago.
Among his accomplishments, Thomas was named as one of the Top 400 Financial Advisors in the country by the Financial Times in 2014. From 2009 until 2016, he was named one of the Top 40 Advisors under 40 in the country by On Wall Street. Most recently, Thomas was recognized in Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” list in 2019. Thomas Kane is also known for his philanthropic efforts and is the Illinois President of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF).
Q: You are involved with Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF). Why is this particular cause important to you? Tell us about some of your fundraising efforts.
Tom Kane: I have been President of the Central Region for four years and an executive committee member for six years. FIDF focuses on “looking out for those who protect us” in the Middle East. Specifically, FIDF provides financial support for former combat/front line soldiers who are in need. The Impact Program provides four year scholarships to universities in Israel for former soldiers. As part of the requirements, each Impact recipient must complete hundreds of hours of community service in addition to their course work. To date, I have sponsored 13 current and former Impact soldiers.
Q: In addition to your work at FIDF, you support a number of charities including 100 Club of Chicago, the Hippocratic Cancer Research Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Chicago and Western Golf Association’s Evan’s Scholars program. In your opinion, how is charitable giving also about getting, in terms of personal benefits?
Tom Kane: Donating to the causes you are passionate about not only benefits the charity itself, it also can be deeply rewarding to you, the individual. Having the means to impact the lives of other people is a privilege and is also a good way to reinforce your own personal values. It can also convince the people around you to follow suit. If your co-workers, children, friends or family members see you contributing to a charity, they are more likely to get involved, too.
Q: What or who has inspired you in your business career?
Tom Kane: Being around people who are passionate. Entrepreneurs, business owners, the guy down the street who sells coffee – these kind of people are contagious and inspire me to be my best. The people who you encounter on a daily basis – no matter what walk of life they come from – are the people that I have the best conversations with and gain the most knowledge from. That and the fact that everyday is a new day. You never know what you’ll encounter on a given day.
Thank you very much.