What inspired you to join Bernstein?
I remember my final hiring interview at Grand Central station back in 2000 like it was yesterday. It was here I was told that Bernstein was looking for a “driven mensch”—someone with ethical and moral scruples. That is when I knew for certain I had found my new home. I never would have joined Bernstein if I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror and say, “Yes, I am sharing a gift with people.” I wanted to be somewhere where I could do what’s right for people and be rewarded for my hard work and commitment to clients’ well-being.
How have your values and personal background uniquely positioned you to work with your clients?
Prior to joining Bernstein, I was a nationally recognized expert in charitable gift planning. Since joining Bernstein, I have broadened my expertise in estate planning to include a wide range of strategies beyond philanthropy. I am now able to model and explain the myriad of planning options in a way that most clients could not fathom before meeting me. There are thousands of very decent financial advisors. But none bring together my unique combination of experience, expertise, and just plain old common sense. I love getting up each day to help my clients address their latest challenge or dilemma. And I don’t do this alone. I have a great young partner, Frank Cassaniti. Together, we are backed by an army of very talented colleagues in our wealth management group who support our clients as we navigate through their thorniest issues.
What passions do you pursue outside of work?
My moral compass was shaped as a young boy after my dad died. Our community, family, and friends stepped up to support us with our Temple and the Reform Jewish movement enabling me to attend a Jewish summer camp that we otherwise could not afford. There, I studied the strong ethical underpinnings of my faith—and decided to give back and make this world a better place. I was moved by the principle that one can repair the world, one life at a time.
My commitment to philanthropy was further cemented when—after a near-fatal car accident—I was able to attend an amazing, small liberal arts college, practically for free. It is no surprise that I am currently on the Board of Trustees of Beloit College and have served as the president of my local congregation, the Village Temple.
When not helping clients, you can probably find me on the soccer field. In fact, one of my greatest passions is serving as the first Vice president of Maccabi USA, the official affiliate of the global Jewish Olympics. Having represented the USA ten times since 1979 on the national soccer team in the Jewish Olympics, I am thrilled to be able to BUILD JEWISH PRIDE THROUGH SPORTS.