National Managing Director, Philanthropic Services

Clare Golla

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Uncommon Path, Extraordinary Outcomes

If you had told me in my twenties that my career would stretch from social work to investment management, I would’ve been in disbelief. Still, even though this transition seems improbable at times, there is a common thread: I love helping people.

What inspired you to join Bernstein?

Initially, I didn’t think wealth management would be a good career match. Still, I decided to give it a shot and after several conversations with contacts in the industry, I discovered Bernstein. After reading some Bernstein research on allocation and spending for nonprofits and foundations, I realized that this place was different. And I was right! The quality of Bernstein’s people, their noticeable pride in being a part of the firm and our solid ethical reputation reinforced my belief that I should give wealth management a fair chance. As I come from a philanthropy and community development background, kind colleagues, a respectable culture and uncompromising ethics were important to me. I’ve now stayed at Bernstein for over a decade because I continue to grow professionally and personally here, alongside the best colleagues and clients anywhere in the world.

What’s the best way for people to put their wealth in perspective?

Everyone gains perspective in a different way. For me, it’s through proximity. I still recall being a 12-year-old girl reading Atticus Finch’s quote from the classic book, To Kill a Mockingbird: “You never really understand a person…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” I’m surrounded by significant wealth on a daily basis, so in order to maintain a balanced perspective and grounding in gratitude for all that I have, I volunteer. I’ve also learned a tremendous amount from clients who have experienced financial success and can now invest in organizations and causes that are dear to them and the wider community. They derive significant value and meaning through their philanthropic work, which I find to be inspiring as well.

What passions do you pursue outside of work?

I have two teenage daughters who keep my husband and me on our toes. We also have a ridiculously spoiled cat. My family and I all love to travel together and prioritize going on family trips each year. For relaxation, I walk…a lot…while listening to every type of audiobook from the classic novels my girls are currently studying in school to the current assignment for my book club. I also sew and quilt, which takes me back to the childhood years I cherished spending time with my grandma, and volunteer on a few nonprofit boards. I very rarely sit still, so I may try to take up yoga or meditation one of these days, just to round it all out a bit.