What inspired you to join Bernstein?
Prior to advising, my career went in a completely different direction. As a classically trained musician, who studied at the world-famous performing arts conservatory, The Juilliard School, I spent years traveling the globe as a performer and teacher. It was a great time during which I had countless exciting experiences. Yet, over the years, it became clear that I wanted something more in my career. I wanted to make a direct and meaningful impact in people’s lives and to support nonprofit organizations like the ones in which my professional life began and the ones that make a difference to people in this country every day. Bernstein’s reputation for ethics is long-established, and it’s what immediately attracted me. However, as I was introduced to the firm and had the chance to get to know my colleagues, I saw the impact they were making on the lives of their clients and in their communities. I was truly blown away and thought, I have found my new home.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of being an advisor to your clients?
Having significant wealth is an advantage, but as I’ve learned from working with my clients, it can also be the source of countless, unexpected complications. It’s incredibly rewarding to connect with my clients, from families to endowments and foundations, and acquire a deep understanding of their needs and priorities. I then use that knowledge to help them chart a path through the unique obstacles they face. Recently, after chatting with a client, I was reminded of the tremendous impact a caring advisor can have. His family underwent a generational transition after the passing of a beloved patriarch, and he felt the burden of overseeing the family’s complicated global business interests. As we reflected, he spoke of his father’s happiness and relief felt at the end of his life, knowing the family had a trusted partner in Bernstein, and of his own deep gratitude for our advice and support to him. It makes me proud as an advisor to know we made that kind of impact.
Who has been the most influential person in your life?
Without question, my father, who owned a successful small business in New York representing US-based building hardware manufacturers, was incredibly influential. My father spent years investing in the growth of his company by traveling long distances to call on clients and customers. I’d occasionally be allowed to tag along on some of the shorter trips if I was lucky—and well-behaved enough! Even at a young age, I marveled at his ability to connect with people and to put them at ease. Usually, he’d kick off a meeting with a joke or anecdote and by trading stories, especially about family, with his clients. Then, as the meeting got down to business, he struck a balance between being tough-as-nails and kind. The atmosphere of genuine warmth and human connection that he created never left the room. The great lesson he taught me was that you can be successful, and at the same time, a genuinely good person who cares for and respects others.