Advisor

Drew Harker

Values First, Then Numbers

Today’s investing and capital markets landscape can feel like a labyrinth of ever-changing information and regulation. I aspire to guide my clients through this dynamic environment and stay focused on the only goals that matter—their own.

What has inspired you to stay at Bernstein for as long as you have?

A lot has changed since the morning of May 17, 2010, my first day at Bernstein. While capital markets, politics and industry regulations constantly evolve, it eases my mind to know that Bernstein’s foundational values are unwavering. One particular philosophy that is deeply held and ingrained throughout the organization is the relentless pursuit of excellence. As a team, we are driven and determined to uncover the real value behind a client’s assets. Even better, this unwavering commitment is recognized by those that we are fortunate enough to serve. I’m proud when my clients tell me that our moral compass is something they never question. This stability provides comfort as they enter new phases of life or consider changes to their own plans. Working with a global team of motivated, honest and driven colleagues is a privilege that I never take for granted. When I arrive at work every morning, I am just as excited as I was on day one.

Which personal accomplishment makes you proudest?

In 2014, I enrolled in the Executive MBA program at Columbia University, which involved classes every Saturday, all day! Coupled with a full-time job, my plate was full. While I was always busy and on the move, this period was pivotal in my professional development and career growth. The diverse array of classmates, all of whom contributed unique skills and real-world experience, brought the academic concepts we studied to life. I was constantly intellectually stimulated and humbled by their talents. Beyond the amazing minds that surrounded me, the practicality of my MBA experience was immensely helpful when it came to my work week; I’d apply what I learned on the weekend to the challenges before me on Monday morning. This intersection of theory and practice was exactly where I needed to be, and boosted my confidence and self-belief. Despite the demands on my time and the hard work required, I saw through this program that I could persevere through anything.

How have your values and personal background uniquely positioned you to work with your clients?

As a young golfer, I learned that integrity and a competitive spirit were foundational to success. I remember playing the wrong ball from deep within the woods during our high school state championship. I had two options: say nothing, continue playing and likely win, or call the penalty on myself, accept the consequences and almost certainly lose. I scanned the gallery and saw college scouts and the promise of scholarships. My parents and grandparents, who had selflessly supported me, were also there. In that moment, I made a life-changing decision: I recognized that the permanent satisfaction in doing the right thing far outweighed the temporary pain of defeat. I called the penalty and went on to lose the event. This golden rule is now cemented into my personal and professional value system. The time I spent tirelessly mastering a skill, while always maintaining the highest ethical standard, differentiates me as an advisor. I take the same approach when stewarding wealth.

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