BEVERLY — Nate Dalton of Swampscott studied the law. But later, he expanded his horizons to a world of numbers, dollars and cents, joining a financial firm as counsel. It's a decision that seems to have added up for him.
In May, at the company's annual meeting, Dalton will be named the president of Affiliated Managers Group in Beverly, which deals in $320 billion in investments.
In addition, Dalton will retain his post as chief operating officer.
AMG is the organization headed by Sean Healey, husband of former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey. Healey retains his position as chief executive officer and chairman of the board.
The company has also announced that Jay Horgen, a Hamilton resident, has been named chief financial officer, while continuing to oversee new investments. John Kingston of Winchester has been named vice chairman, in addition to retaining the job of general counsel.
Darrell W. Crate of Prides Crossing will retire as executive vice president and chief financial officer, but will remain with AMG in a senior advisory role.
Dalton, 44, hails originally from Philadelphia. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania and won his law degree from Boston University. He moved quickly into the business world with a job at Goodwin Proctor in Boston, where he worked in the field of mergers and acquisitions.
In 1996, Dalton became counsel for the growing firm of Affiliated Managers Group.
The company is located behind a massive gate on what was once the Loeb estate in Prides Crossing. A long, winding road leads uphill to the spacious main building with its interior of polished stone and fine woodworking. It gives an impression of success, which is helpful for a company relied on to advise firms investing billions all over the world.
Dalton gave a capsule description of their work on behalf of small investment companies. "We're able to bring the resources of a big company to bear on behalf of boutique firms. We help them identify markets and hire salespeople."
And that can be true here or in places as far away as Australia.
"It's been wonderful to be part of a growing business," Dalton said of his experience with AMG.
Married with children, he also sees the work as "a platform to do other things."
Notably, he helped found Guard Support, an organization that reaches out to help Massachusetts National Guardsmen and their families, the people who have uncomplainingly borne the burden of nearly a decade of war.
The idea for such a group struck him in 2007 as he watched a neighbor, Guardsman Michael Finer, going off to Iraq.
"The two of us lived half a mile apart," Dalton would say later. One would remain at his job, enjoying the comfort of family life. Finer would endure the violence and uncertainty of Iraq at the start of the surge. His family would feel the strain of his absence.
"It seemed completely unfair to me that more isn't being done for these people," Dalton said.
The organization has grown since then, picking up high-profile supporters like Sen. Scott Brown, a Guardsman himself. But Dalton minimizes his own role.
"It's incredibly humbling. You go out into these settings, and everyone is so nice and appreciative. That's backwards. We should be appreciative of what they are doing. ... As a community, we should be doing whatever we can for them."