Who has been the most influential person in your life?
My mother led the way in my family’s immigration from the former Soviet Union to the US when I was a little girl. During the Cold War, as the first wave of Jewish immigrants, our family came over as political refugees. My mother worked as a research chemist during the day, a Russian translator at night and, sometimes, as a sales associate in between to make ends meet. Simultaneously, my father was rebuilding his certifications as a physician. Mom is endlessly energetic and fearlessly independent. Daily, she demonstrates what drive and grit mean. She never questioned where women belonged or what they were supposed to say. Instead, she showed up and said what was on her mind. I never realized the magnitude of her influence until later in life, when I saw how atypical it was to be so fearless and driven. Lastly, my mom taught me to live my life with energy and enthusiasm, which has instilled a great love for travel, art and finding the beauty and adventure in each day. Thank you, Mom!
What has inspired you to stay at Bernstein for as long as you have?
In my opinion, more important than what you do is where you work and with whom. There are lots of smart people in the finance world, but it is rare to find a company with as cohesive a culture as Bernstein’s. Every person at the firm has an unwavering focus to do the right thing for our clients. In order to meet clients’ goals, we collaborate across disciplines and work collectively as a team. The people at Bernstein are top-notch, both as colleagues and as professionals. We keep one another motivated to do one thing—and I mean one thing only—which is help our clients obtain their financial objectives. My colleagues are also a lot of fun to work with and bring me to tears because of how much we laugh. This is a gift as wealth management can be a stressful industry! Together, we also look for the silver linings. When you don’t mind being with your colleagues on planes, trains and automobiles for extended periods of time, then you know you’re in good company—and at the right place!
Share one of your most memorable professional accomplishments with us.
I am very proud to write that I created and lead Bernstein’s Women & Wealth National Conversation. Before this content was created, I never even thought about being the only woman in the room. That’s just how it was—until I progressively started to see more women on the other side of the table. The face of wealth is quickly changing as women live longer and are more frequently the wealth creators. Yet, women consistently say that they lack confidence in their financial decision-making abilities and feel frustrated with how advisors engage them. One day I realized there was an opportunity to have a different type of conversation: to highlight women’s voices and unique experiences throughout the financial life cycle. Three years later, through the Women & Wealth podcast and dozens of incredible national and local events, I am so grateful and proud of the powerful effect this conversation has had—both on clients and in terms of creating a more diverse, dynamic Bernstein workforce.