Grand gestures: The resorts opulent, old-world aesthetic — think polished Italian marble, hand-painted ceiling frescoes, gilded-wood accents and sparkling chandeliers — was inspired by the plush 1920s Palm Beach and Boca Raton resort communities in Florida designed by renowned architect Addison Mizner. The BMW 7 Series pictured here was provided by Avis and is featured in its Cool Car Collection.
Robert Dahey

Ruban Selvakumar

Occupation: Co-head of the Alternative Investments Practice, GFT
Home base: Los Angeles


THIRD-PRIZE WINNER


AW: You’re the co-head of a hedge fund–tech consulting team at GFT and part-owner of the software company G2 FinTech, yet you still managed to travel 139,153 miles in 2011. How do you do it all?

Getting to Know RUBAN

Best way to unwind: an enthusiastic drive through the canyons

Last thing I bought: Infant-carrier adapter to use on my son’s stroller. (The previous 50-plus purchases were for him as well.)

Best meal I’ve had on the road: It may not be Michelin-starred or exotic, but I love Patxi’s deep-dish pizza in San Francisco.

Favorite hotel: Omni Hotels because its loyalty program is awesome. But, my favorite room just might be The Grand Del Mar due to the sheer opulence. And favorite room including the view and location is probably the Monte-Carlo Bay hotel in Monaco.

Cocktail of choice: My Brazilian colleagues introduced me to the caipirinha when I was in São Paulo last year. I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.


Ruban Selvakumar: Well, there are two main drivers for why I travel so much: 1) I work in the financial industry, which is predominately based in the Northeast, but I live in Los Angeles. 2) GFT is a Germany-based company with offices in London, São Paulo and Barcelona [Spain], so any meetings with colleagues outside my immediate team require a bit more travel than the average commute. I think the key factor that’s helped me survive the travel is that I can pretty much sleep anytime, anywhere. … It allows me to recover from jet lag after the first night in a new time zone.

AW: That’s got to be paying off right now, then, since you recently became a father. Congratulations! Are you getting any sleep?
RS: Not nearly as much as I’d like. Despite our best efforts to change his schedule, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. is still party time for my son. So, I finally went to sleep at 3 a.m. this morning and was up at 5:45 a.m. for a conference call with my New York and London colleagues. If [I sound] incoherent, now you know why.

AW: Is having a child going to change your Road Warrior routine?
RS: I’m not sure. The one thing I realized when I was at the Road Warrior photo shoot is that all five of us are like addicts. Each year, we say “This is the year when I cut back on my travel.” And then we end up traveling more than the previous year. So, I’ve promised myself — and, more importantly, my wife — that I’ll cut back from traveling every one to two weeks to every three to four weeks. I hope I can keep that promise; I don’t want to be an absentee father.

AW: What will be the first thing you teach your son about being a Road Warrior?
RS: Pack lightly. Not only is it great to avoid the hassle of checking a bag, but the rest of the world doesn’t have massive SUVs and luggage-friendly ramps, escalators and elevators that we take for granted in the U.S.

AW: Where do you dream of taking him someday?
RS: Everywhere — to places where I’ve already been, such as the ice festival in Harbin, China, and the automotive factories in south Germany, and to places I’ve never been, such as Mount Everest and Marrakech, Morocco.