What is the most fulfilling aspect of being an advisor to your clients?
It’s a cliché, but it’s true: the personal relationships I’ve forged with my clients over the years are the most rewarding part of my job. While each relationship is unique, the openness and trust I have with each client are most fulfilling. I also have the luxury of seeing how each person evolves with their wealth—through both the utility they find in it and the values it enables them to support. In most situations, a client’s wealth goes beyond accumulation and appreciation. It’s a means to finance their child’s education or invest in a new business. It allows them to give back to their communities, support the underserved and invest in causes they care deeply about. Wealth can be a powerful tool to make a positive and personal impact. As an advisor, I am very serious about the opportunities I have been given to play a role in heightening the value of it.
Tell me about the types of clients you work with.
A common thread among my clients is that they are doers and don’t have the time, resources or desire to actively manage their wealth. My practice includes entrepreneurs, executives, private practitioners and multigenerational families with lots of moving parts. I particularly like the challenge posed by complex client situations. The firm and I add a lot of value to these clients. On the nonprofit side, the institutions and philanthropic organizations I work with cannot afford to overpay for consultants and layers of third-party managers. They need a partner who has the global infrastructure, resources and experience to understand the challenges they face. We aim to build a moat around their investable assets so they can focus all their effort on running their organizations. I grew up in a family that operated a private business, and I’m a direct venture investor today. To support my clients, I draw on these experiences combined with over two decades of work with nonprofits.
If you didn’t work for Bernstein, what else would you be doing?
First, I’d spend more quality time with family and friends. Next, more direct service to underserved people and children, especially in the areas of education and health. It’s obvious to me that decent shelter, food sourcing, improved education, technology and related infrastructure are some of our country’s (and the world’s) greatest challenges. They are opportunities to improve quality of life for too many that have been left behind. Lastly, I’d devote more time to some of my favorite hobbies: use my pilot’s license more often for local travel and possibly renew my flight instructor certification; travel abroad, especially to Africa again for a safari and other remote destinations for off-piste skiing; expand my cooking skills; play more golf, as that hole-in-one remains elusive; and dust off my drum set to relive my high school rock band days.