Peter K. Lambertus

Peter K. Lambertus

Charles River Development
BSEE '67

For his noteworthy managerial and entrepreneurial success as founder and chief executive officer of a firm that managed more than a third of the world’s securities worth more than $25 trillion.

Peter Lambertus built the Charles River Development financial services company from the ground up, in part because he got a kick out of doing things that were hard. “I enjoyed taking on difficult jobs that others avoided or couldn’t do,” Lambertus says. “I was sometimes a maverick in wanting to remedy bad situations or technical designs even though it meant an uphill battle against status quo and bureaucracy.

“Building a company without external funding, growing it organically, keeping it lean and profitable while watching employees grow and succeed along the way was a challenge, but gratifying.”

Today, the company Lambertus founded and ran until its 2018 sale supports over 300 clients in more than 40 countries, managing over $25 trillion in assets. As he looks back on the foundation for his success, he is grateful to Purdue for helping him learn how to approach problems.

“Purdue education played a major role in my acquiring critical-thinking skill necessary for creating work products and solving problems — regardless of whether those problems were technical, business or otherwise,” Lambertus says. “Purdue engineering taught me to understand not just ‘what’ and ‘how’ in approaching situations, but just as importantly, ‘why.’”

During his sophomore year, Lambertus thought about pursuing broadcasting instead of engineering. He recalls: “I realized that if I had an engineering degree, I could always go into broadcasting later, but not the reverse. It’s a good thing I stuck with engineering.”

Lambertus says he benefited from getting involved in extracurriculars, including working at Purdue’s radio station and a Lafayette commercial station, as well as various Navy ROTC duties. “These helped shape my abilities to be responsible and accountable,” he says. “I would encourage students to get involved in external activities.”

He also says, “students shouldn’t worry too much about what their career path will be. It will evolve over time. The engineering degree will be invaluable no matter what work they do, and their career will likely end up somewhere unanticipated. For example, my degree was in electrical engineering, but my career took me into nuclear systems engineering, software development and the financial industry.”

Do the right thing, do the best you can and always show people you care.”

Lou Holtz

Career Highlights

1984-2018 Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Charles River Development (CRD)
1984-1986 Consultant in data modeling, database design and application software development methods
1979-1984 Manager, Computer Systems Development, Stone & Webster Engineering Corp.
1972-1979 Nuclear Systems Engineer, Nuclear Power Plant Projects, Stone & Webster Engineering Corp.
1967-1972 Officer, U.S. Navy nuclear submarine force


1967 BSEE, Purdue University