Ayodeji Ayodele

Passion to Add Value to Global Investors

I’m an extrovert and naturally inquisitive. It’s easy for me to learn about people and how to be of service. Using this approach, I’ve built an extensive Rolodex of relationships across three continents that I rely on to problem-solve for my clients.

What inspired you to join Bernstein?

For more than a decade, I was the principal of my own investment firm and worked in different capital market roles. After this experience, I decided that I needed to find a role in the finance world that was less transactional, and more based upon developing personal relationships with my clients. For that reason, I was drawn to Bernstein: a firm that is synonymous with long-term client relationships based on trust and truly placing clients’ needs first. Equally, I was attracted to Bernstein’s boutique feel, singular focus on investment management and reputation for fostering genuine relationships that go beyond financial planning. I also appreciate the firm’s integrated approach—we collaborate with a dedicated team of wealth strategists, portfolio managers and investment policy teams to customize solutions. This way, we can create tailor-made solutions to address any situation.

Tell me about the types of clients you work with.

I primarily partner with the following types of clients: global families, high-achieving first-generation Americans, business owners and corporate executives. My own family is composed of senior executives who worked hard to structure their wealth so it would support the needs of their kids, who lived abroad. From my familial experience, I understand why first-generation Americans invest conservatively and need assistance with asset allocation and exposure to alternatives. In addition to these clients, my professional background in investment banking has exposed me to business owners and executives, and the tax and legal advisors on their teams. In many ways, I’ve walked in the same shoes as my clients, which makes me highly empathetic and able to understand how to navigate their financial and family engagement matters.

What passions do you pursue outside of work?

I love the water, traveling and meeting new people. In addition to swimming, which I’ve done since my childhood, I enjoy long-distance runs along the Chicago River and long walks with my wife and dog along the lakefront. I also enjoy traveling and mixing with people from all over the world. But nothing I’ve ever experienced tops attending the first-round matches at the World Cup. I’ve traveled as far as Capetown, South Africa and Moscow, Russia, and couldn’t be more excited to explore Qatar in 2022. World travel is a passion, and I am fortunate that my career allows me to explore the world. On a more active basis, I enjoy meeting like-minded people through service organizations like Rotary International, the V Foundation for Cancer Research, founded by ESPN and basketball coach Jim Valvano, and the Nigeria Higher Education Foundation (NHEF). Through my participation in these organizations, I enjoy being able to connect with people to help solve societal and world problems.