What inspired you to come to Bernstein? Why did you choose Bernstein to grow your career?
I’ve always enjoyed advising individuals and companies. I’ve served as an advisor in all aspects of my professional career including manufacturing, the medical industry, and now, financial services. Collaborating with others to find the best options for them, and then implementing and executing on a strategy will always be my approach to advising.
Intrinsically, I am a lifelong student who prides myself on being nimble, knowing that everything in life is fluid. I have always been interested in the capital markets but more so in seeking personalized financial solutions for myself, friends, and now, clients. When I was introduced to Bernstein, I hadn’t considered a career in financial services. However, when I realized I could combine my areas of expertise with my love of finance, personal planning, tax and law to ultimately help clients succeed, I knew I had found the perfect profession—and firm—for the duration of my career. Bernstein’s “you hire a firm” approach, coupled with the immeasurable global resources we are able to leverage for our clients, provides me with great professional satisfaction. Success to me is when clients achieve what they have always envisioned.
What are your areas of expertise in solving problems for clients?
As a former business operator and current business investor, I have always approached each client’s unique personal situation like a business. Every client has a vision of what they want to personally achieve, just like in a business you have critical components such as assets, liabilities and cash flow. My role is to develop a strategy in which every component is in play—shore up assets, increase cash flow, position the client for growth and protect against liabilities.
How have your values and personal background uniquely positioned you to work with your clients?
Values drive both my personal life and business practice. My wife Monica and I published a book, How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families, several years ago. The premise of the book is how to form a culture of communication based on values. Doing what is right and just is how we define courage in the Vernon family. Lastly, achievable success, my personal business value, is about understanding the bigger picture implications of a situation as this comes into play often in my work.
In this respect, I see it as my responsibility to tell clients what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear. While these discussions aren’t easy, I’m willing to take a risk to do what is right. My aim is to help clients bring about their objectives in an “achievable success” manner. To do this, I advise holistically.