Advisor

Jen Colby

Transforming Reservation to Resolution

Antiques and wealth management are more alike than you’d think. Sometimes a perfect structure just needs a little tweak. Other times, an entire overhaul is necessary to bring luster. Clients come to me to see potential in their current condition.

What inspired you to join Bernstein?

Prior to joining Bernstein, I was an Air Force Officer for 8½ years leading our base HR unit and family support services entities. These are heavily customer-driven functions. When I exited the Air Force in 2014, there were specific criteria I wanted in my next job that I had enjoyed as an officer. I wanted to serve in a capacity where I could help people and act as a change agent and problem solver. This is fulfilling for myself and others. As an advisor, my role is to build trusting relationships while unraveling the complex components of clients’ tangible and intangible financial goals. While this was satisfied at my previous firm, something was missing. I craved a higher level of sophistication in regard to my clients’ finances and legacy planning. Bernstein’s type of planning intertwines investments with the additional entities of tax efficiency and legacy, which is what I was missing. The culture and value system of Bernstein, embodied by its people, is serious but sincere.

What passions do you pursue outside of work?

Gardening and repurposing antiques are my two main hobbies, both of which involve sweat equity, vision and creativity. Gardening is a love I’ve had since childhood thanks to my mom who instilled it in me. She was gifted at landscape architecture and creating flower arrangements. The secret for both is placing the right colors side by side. Our home was always beautiful because of her green thumb. As an adult, I enjoy gardening for the same reasons. The art is in the sequencing of the plants, which a skilled gardener does by factoring in their mature size, architecture and partnership with each other. The science part is knowing whether plants thrive in shade or sun as well as soil and watering conditions.

I also enjoy hunting for antique treasures, typically with an intent to repurpose them. It’s the thrill of finding a unique piece that truly draws me in. I visualize restoring each item to its original beauty or revamping it. I envision the potential and see past its current state.

What kind of experience do you offer to your clients?

I transform reservation to resolution. My ability to persevere through change is due to my experiences growing up as a military brat. We moved every few years and frequently being the new kid on the block shaped my flexible approach to life. The constant uprooting required that I be able to relate to others quickly and find my new purpose in life despite the unknown. As the child of an Army Officer, I was taught that discipline and fortitude are foundations for success. I am a former military officer, meaning I can talk easily about tough, real and sometimes uncomfortable topics. Yet, I come to the conversation with legitimate resolutions in hand. Military life also taught me that people want to be heard first, and receive action afterward. I take that same approach to my clients, listening intently and then delivering a solid, intentional and long-range plan. My clients are busy and appreciate that I can build trust promptly, address tough questions and find strategic solutions.

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