What inspired you to join Bernstein?
Bernstein does things differently. Having worked at a variety of investment firms and banks, I fully believe that our approach is the most conflict-free and client-focused out there. Because all our revenue comes from research and investment management, 100% of our resources go to providing better results for clients. Instead of emphasizing products, the firm is always thinking about how to solve problems, shape the future, and how to innovate, which I think is paramount in today’s environment where change happens by the second.
I’ve lived in Nashville since 2014 and when I learned that the largest independent financial research firm in the world was relocating their corporate headquarters to Music City, I was ecstatic. I remember thinking that it was a bold move shaped by a lot of forethought of where the industry is headed. I was inspired. I want to work for leaders that make decisions like that.
What differentiates you from other advisors?
My biggest differentiator is my diverse background. I spent three and a half years as a guitarist touring in a rock band, I am a former tournament chess player, and have traveled to 45 countries and counting. Such experiences give me a unique perspective and help me relate to a wide variety of people with different origins and interests. I was always taught to be curious, never stop learning, and apply that curiosity to help others.
In my opinion, understanding is the most important thing an advisor can do, because only then can you best guide someone on how to get where they need to be. You need to put yourself in your client’s shoes and see things from their perspective. Since joining my first financial firm in 2009 at the height of the great financial crisis, I have developed a thorough grasp of how the industry works both inside and outside of Bernstein. It’s the combination of all these experiences that makes me unique.
If you didn’t work for Bernstein, what else would you be doing?
I would skipper a sailboat around the world. Not only do you need to be highly skilled, but you never stop exploring, and there’s plenty of downtime for introspection and learning. I would also have the opportunity to pick up a lot of new and interesting people along the way and help them reach their destination, wherever that may be. And you can always have a guitar with you. Navigating the capital markets for clients reminds me of another famous sailing quote: You can’t change the wind, but you can always adjust your sails.