Sofia Shaikhaleid

Advisor Headshot

Inspired courage and global experience

With over 20 years of experience, I confidently guide clients, create change, and challenge the status quo. By imparting courage, I kindle their enthusiasm for taking unconventional approaches.

What inspired you to join Bernstein?

For the duration of my career, which began in 2002, I've worn many hats. Yet my strengths have always been building enduring relationships and pairing clients with the right partners to reach their goals. So, when I started advising international clients, I realized I needed a new partner. I craved a firm with deep planning services to nourish our relationship and above all, let me focus 100% of my attention on them. Most importantly, there couldn't be conflicts of interest. I found all of this and more at Bernstein, a firm that does investment really well. I am so confident in all of our services.  I love saying, "I work here!" Unlike other firms that have many lines of business, our undivided attention is on research and management. This allows me to provide white glove service, take the time to build implicit trust, and become the advisor that clients can reach out to at any time. I treasure my clients and take the faith they put in me seriously. It's euphoria to be able to serve them here.

Tell me about the types of clients you work with.

I work with a diverse group of global clients: business owners, executives, and multi-generational families. Together, we think through and formulate plans to tackle complex issues like legacy planning, philanthropy, wealth transfer planning, and pre-transaction planning for the sale of a business—and everything in between. I have both an entrepreneurial spirit and a sincere understanding of what it takes to run a successful business. I find that my clients open up to me easily because I appreciate and am attuned to the nuances of their worlds. 

Clients share because they know I care. I want to know everything about them from how they define success to why their business was founded. Many are global citizens, and with my own family living abroad we have a lot in common. It's easy and enjoyable to connect. 

No matter the client, my actions demonstrate how dedicated I am to them: I am always available, offer thoughtful guidance, and work closely every step of the way.

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My Mom is a great woman with a heart of gold. She is definitely my superhero, source of strength, and inspiration. She was also the first person to teach me about business. I credit my positive mindset and motivation to her. Rarely do I get down. I am better and braver because she is in my life.

Mom was also a terrific example of the power of perseverance and hard work. We come from a large, modest-income Middle Eastern family. As a woman, she lacked opportunities and financial resources, Yet, she held her head high. Observing her confidence shaped the way I carry myself today. Mom taught me to be strong, resilient, kind, giving, and grateful for all that I have. Her love, support, and guidance were particularly instrumental when I came to the U.S. as a first-generation student. While I had received a scholarship to law school in my home country, she helped me realize the move would afford me a different path and better life. I credit her for my go-getter mindset. Go Mom!