Ex-SSgA CEO Lopardo Now Lives in Toyland

November 20, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Nicholas Lopardo likes to build things.

First, as its chief executive officer (CEO), Lopardo built up State Street Global Advisors from an $18-billion investment fund into a $727-billion business

Now, along with partner Andy Winslow, Lopardo is building a toy company that is bringing a “Construction Jack” action figure to toy stores.

According to information from Winslow and Lopardo’s company, the original idea for construction worker action figures came from Winslow, a third-generation electrician.

‘Winslow researched the market and built prototypes, but got bogged down with problems in funding, production, parts sourcing, and marketing.

Enter Lopardo, told of Winslow’s efforts by a marketing vice president at Susquehanna Capital Management, Lopardo’s investment company.

“It took me about five minutes to see the potential of Construction Jack,” Lopardo said in a company statement. “The building trades represent a huge market and its members take great pride in what they do for a living. And ‘Bob the Builder’ has created a massive market of kids who are ready for a more lifelike action figure.”

Since then, Lopardo and Winslow have had their share of potential roadblocks including the recent West Coast dock strike, which slowed their first toy shipment as well as in competing with toy giants such as Barbie and G.I Joe.

Next for release from Lopardo and Winslow: the 2003 debut of Construction Jill, an African American Construction Jack, as well as three new trades: ironworker, landscaper, and mechanic.