What has inspired you to stay at Bernstein for as long as you have?
There are three things about Bernstein that have inspired me to spend the bulk of my career here. One, in an industry with no lack of hubris, the Bernstein team is intellectually honest. (And rigorous.) Yes, we focus on our strengths—but we also have humility. We try to do better today than we did yesterday—and to be better tomorrow than we are today. Two, we are a curious bunch of people. Bernstein has always aimed to have more knowledge than other firms—and to use that knowledge, which oftentimes comes by way of our incomparable research, for the sole benefit of our clients. Third, and most important, Bernstein has unimpeachable integrity. We may not always be right, but we always do what’s right, without exception. This level of morality makes me proud to work here and helps me sleep soundly at night.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your role?
The backdrop for what we do is continuously changing. However, while the financial climate may always be in flux, the value systems and aspirations of our clients stay the same. From my vantage point as leader of our advisory practice, the most rewarding part of what we do is being granted the honor to learn about our clients’ goals, as we partner with them to help make their vision a reality. When clients share their thoughts, hopes and dreams with us, the privilege of working with our advisors to help our clients accomplish those hopes and dreams is something that I will never take for granted. It’s this depth of connection with our team and our clients that motivates me on a daily basis to do the best job possible.
What passions do you pursue outside of work?
I feel strongly that connecting meaning to one’s work and wealth is a necessary precondition for success. It’s also what brings joy to financial success, which is the inevitable result of hard work. My personal altruistic ambition is working toward improving the circumstances of at-risk youth in the city of Chicago, Illinois, where I live. That goal has led to starting Bernstein’s Safer Chicago initiative in which we partner with organizations working to mitigate violence in Chicago. It’s also the reason behind my longtime involvement with The Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, where I’ve served on the Corporate Board since 2005 and on the Executive Committee since 2012, and my more recent engagement in joining the Advisory Board of the Posse Foundation supporting Chicago’s bright young leaders of tomorrow.