After graduating from Temple University’s business school in 1962, Phillip C. Richards entered law school, having majored in pre-law and economics. After selling life insurance for five years, he bought the tiny Minneapolis five-agent financial services firm that he grew into North Star Resource Group, with 140,000 clients, 300 associates, and $9 billion in assets under management. Mr. Richards has been honored by being inducted into 11 National and International Halls of Fame. Mr. Richards hails from Manhattan but attended Easton High School and later Temple on a full wrestling scholarship. He captained the wrestling team and was Temple’s student body president and Sword Award recipient. “Wrestling changed my life,” he says. “Then Temple changed it even further.” Temple dropped wrestling as a varsity sport in 1985, but after Mr. Richards joined the Temple University Board of Trustees in 2009, he provided the financial help and brought wrestling back to Temple. In 2016, he delivered Temple’s commencement address, and was presented with an honorary doctor of humane letters. “I’ve spent my career looking for great people right off college campuses,” he says. “We take youngsters right out of business school and we grow them, and some have been with us for 40 years.” Internships are critical to hiring at North Star. “Last year, we hired 119 interns, many of them from Temple,” he says. “We like the “Temple Made” culture. We like Temple’s kind of ‘dig it out’ mission.” North Star has one of the highest retention rates of those hires in the profession. In his book, The Sky is Not the Limit, Mr. Richards advises that the secret to happiness and success is persevering at the things you love to do and surrounding yourself with people who love what you enjoy least. While he hated sales, he still was the national sales leader for The Hartford in 1966. “At age 29, I decided that I’ll never sell again. The first thing I did with my company was find the best salesperson anywhere and had him become our sales trainer.” “Do what you love and hire the rest” is his mantra.
Temple University Degree
Honorary Doctorate Degree ’16, Temple University; Bachelor of Science ’62, Fox School of Business
Temple University Awards & Affiliatons
- Chairman’s Circle
- Commencement Speaker, Fox School of Business, School of Podiatric Medicine, and Temple University
- Temple Sports Hall of Fame
What I wanted to be when I was 20 years old
A successful attorney and good Dad
Best piece of advice anyone ever gave me
- “When your values are clear, all your decisions are easy.” – Roy Disney
- Gratitude and humility are the secrets to happiness.
- Do what you love and hire the rest.