What has inspired you to stay at Bernstein for as long as you have?
The people are what have inspired me to stay at Bernstein. In my 30+ year professional career, I can honestly say I have never worked at an organization that is as solely focused on excellence and delivering positive outcomes for clients. The firm consistently attracts, refines and retains skilled professionals who are singularly focused on our client’s goals, and it ensures that the people I am surrounded by are some of the most intelligent, passionate and driven people I have ever met. It also means that I am surrounded by resources I can put to work solving problems for clients every day. Having direct access to our investment research teams, portfolio managers, our diverse wealth strategies group is a unique advantage that provides every Bernstein client with not only the best thinking of their advisor, but truly the best thinking of the firm.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of being an advisor to your clients?
At heart I am an educator. My parents were both teachers, and I have always had a passion for not just solving problems but explaining the solutions so that clients understand not just “what” we are going to do, but “why” that is the best path forward. The complexity that often accompanies my client’s professional success provides myriad opportunities to create value-added solutions and tailor advice to each situation. The challenges my clients seek our advice on are diverse and include optimizing 401k and pension plans for their operating company; assessing options for exiting their business and retiring; helping build out their team of trusted advisors; and designing multigenerational wealth strategies that go beyond wealth transfer and include preparing the next generation. It doesn’t matter the challenge, my approach as an advisor is to help each client understand their options, and my greatest satisfaction comes when we reach that point of confidence where the best path forward becomes obvious.
What passions do you pursue outside of work?
I firmly believe that the single biggest gift you can give a young person is opportunity. This has been the passion that has driven my involvement in The Rotary Club of Katy for the past decade. Many of the Club’s Service projects are focused on bringing opportunity to kids across the Katy Independent School District area. As a past President, I have had the privilege of leading club efforts to raise money and fund projects such as ensuring junior high students who want to participate in the band have instruments regardless of ability to pay, and that kids who want to raise animals in FFA aren’t facing cost barriers for feed or vet bills. As a member of the Katy Rotary Foundation Board, I am able to help raise money for need-based college scholarships, which can make all the difference in the trajectory of a student’s future. Ensuring young adults have access to programs that support opportunity, regardless of their family’s access to economic resources, not only makes our community stronger but can make the biggest difference and change lives.