A true entrepreneur and business leader can create something out of nothing, or help an existing business meet and surpass its goals. When Charlie Ditkoff joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) in 1999, he brought with him experience as a corporate securities attorney and as Vice President of Credit Suisse First Boston. He had also worked in the Corporate Finance Group at Morgan Stanley, focusing mainly on healthcare. Combining his banking and legal skills with his healthcare industry knowledge, he became Head of the Global Healthcare Group and Vice Chairman of Corporate and Investment Banking at BAML in 2003. In this capacity, Charlie Ditkoff has become a leader among Wall Street bankers covering healthcare.
Tenacity, another trait of entrepreneurs and business leaders, means not giving up in the face of challenges. As a healthcare banker, it means providing sound strategies during the recent recession while the healthcare industry dealt with changing regulations as well. It means thinking creatively and listening to, but ultimately moving beyond, the naysayers. Under Charlie Ditkoff’s direction, BAML produced a free webcast with several of its senior healthcare bankers and experts from the Healthcare Financial Management Association as panelists. They shared their expertise on a variety of industry topics, assuaging fears. In the growing healthcare banking sector, BAML had committed $50 billion by September 2010.
In addition to vision and tenacity, the best entrepreneurs and business leaders possess communication and interpersonal skills. Charlie Ditkoff’s training and experience as an attorney serve him well here. Well-organized business leaders pay attention to details and know how to delegate. They also are self-starters and smart networkers, and they avoid short-sighted thinking. Perhaps most important of all, good entrepreneurs and true leaders recognize the crucial role reputation plays in the success of a business. That understanding and commitment leads to long-term growth for the business and its owner.