Advisor

Karyn Sullivan

Doing the Right Thing Is in My DNA

It’s in my DNA to help clients achieve their goals and aspirations and form relationships of substance with myself and the Bernstein family. I marry my passion for people and 25-plus years in public accounting to achieve superior client outcomes.

What inspired you to join Bernstein?

After 25-plus years in public accounting, it’s still a surprise that I landed in the wealth management field. When you spend decades in one industry, it’s hard to imagine doing anything else. However, what changed, and opened my mind was the significant amount of time I spent partnering with my clients’ financial advisors as an accountant. When I was introduced to Bernstein, the firm was by far the most innovative financial advisor in the market. (And still is.) The resources available to advisors go far beyond a superior investment model. Rather, they offer us the ability to be holistic advisors. This marriage of award-winning research, future-focused wealth strategies and innovative construction in terms of products and portfolios gives me confidence that I can create the best client outcomes. Bernstein was a way to become part of an amazing organization and also use my previous experience. This firm is a great alternative to everything else I have seen in the marketplace.

What is the most fulfilling aspect of being an advisor to your clients?

I absolutely love building relationships with my clients. In my previous career as a public accountant, my clients called me to talk about things that were completely unrelated to business or financial advice. They told me about their daughter’s engagement or sent me photos of their grandchildren. They reached out during challenging times when there was a death, divorce or illness in the family. I’ve developed client relationships with the same level of depth at Bernstein. I believe it’s important to advise clients like you would a family member or friend. Similar to how technical competency and problem solving is a given, clients should also expect to have profound relationships with their financial advisors. At Bernstein, we advise on more than just dollars. We advise on goals and aspirations for our clients’ future and their legacy.

How have your values and personal background uniquely positioned you to work with your clients?

I am very fortunate to come from a wonderful family. Since I was five years old my father has told me that I could become the President of the United States. Although my father came from very little, he became very successful as a leader at a number of companies. Between the confidence he instilled in me, the work ethic he stressed and his own lead-by-example success, I learned everything that has helped me in my own career. Resilience, hard work and having respect for money and people are the particular values that have stayed with me over the years. Later in life, when I experienced some significant personal challenges and trauma, these values continued to guide how I treated my family, friends and clients. Doing the right thing and not expecting anything in return is in my DNA. It’s also demonstrated in how I serve my clients, and the genuine relationships I build with them.

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