Chief of Staff

Abigail Kaufmann

Moving strategy into tactical action

My passion for solving tough problems, bridging unexpected gaps, and managing competing priorities has enabled me to provide strategic excellence and a sense of community across the firm’s many sectors.

What inspired you to join Bernstein?

In one word: Culture. Bernstein values diversity and is constantly evolving to maintain an inclusive workplace that respects and celebrates the varying backgrounds and experiences of all employees. During my interview process, I was energized by the comfort, support, and belonging I felt from each person and I immediately wanted to be a part of their team. Today, those sentiments still hold true for me, only amplified. We have a unique ability to challenge one another in ways that foster mutual respect and collaboration while also creating a very gratifying work environment. Many leaders talk about the significance of culture in the workplace and how it is the catalyst for driving and inspiring people to consistently perform at the top of their game. If Bernstein’s own performance is any indication of what happens when culture is emphasized above all else, then the results speak for themselves. 

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

Though there are many people who have had a tremendous impact on my life, my parents have been the two biggest influences. My dad taught me that in business and in life if you make a promise to someone, you stick to it. Without your word, you have nothing. Most importantly, he taught me to act with integrity. If you make a mistake, say so and then do all you can to fix it. My mom is incredibly fierce. She refuses to settle or be confined. If she wants it, she goes after it. That’s exactly how she raised me too. She taught me that “fierce” isn’t being the most powerful person in the room, it’s having the courage to be whatever kind of woman you want to be. 

Which personal accomplishment makes you proudest?

My proudest accomplishment is moving across the country alone and making a life for myself. While I may be a seasoned “Angeleno” now, I still remember the day I made the decision to leave my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, like it was yesterday. One part of me wanted to hold on to my comfort zone for dear life, while the other part was dying to see what else was out there. In the end, despite my last-minute doubts, I took the risk and left behind everything I knew. I was in no way prepared to discover how uncomfortable I was with being on my own. I thought I was looking for adventure in this big world, but the real adventure took place within me. It was quite a struggle trying to figure out what I liked and didn’t like, who I wanted to become, and what I really wanted to do. Looking back now on the person I was then and the person I am today, I could not be prouder of how much I’ve grown, the life I’ve built for myself, and the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with.