Eric Hayes

Advisor Headshot

Optimizing My Clients’ Wealth and Well-Being

Financial wellness—that's what I strive to provide my clients each and every day. They tend to hire me as their financial quarterback and "go-to" advisor for all things finance related—not just managing their investments. In today's world, the value of advice has never been greater, and I pride myself on providing sound and prudent advice to my client base.

What inspired you to join Bernstein?

Prior to joining Bernstein, I spent a decade working at several big banks and a small boutique RIA in the private wealth space. Looking back on this experience, I can tell you wholeheartedly that the private wealth industry has become increasingly commoditized. Bernstein is an indisputable industry unicorn. Our fearlessness to do things differently is why we are at the forefront. As the world’s largest independent research firm, clients value us for our intellectual capital. We also go above and beyond the scope of traditional wealth management by engaging the entire family. Through educating multiple generations on their family’s individual value system, and how it has transitioned over time, we prepare them on how to properly receive wealth. I’m proud to work for a firm that consistently goes the extra mile for our clients. This is the first and only firm that met my unwavering standards in terms of fiduciary capacity.

What passions do you pursue outside of work?

I have a large Italian family and love spending my free time with them. As a college football and baseball player, I naturally enjoy watching and playing most sports. To boot, I am an avid runner who has completed a handful of half-marathons across the country. After all of that physical activity, I look to meditation and yoga to relax my body and brain. My fiancée Lauren and I love to travel together. Most recently, we’ve visited Costa Rica, Iceland and the Bahamas. Next up for us are Maui and Tokyo. I also enjoy playing strategy games such as chess, which is an excellent workout for my mind. There are many parallels between chess and investing, and becoming a skilled player has certainly helped me become a better advisor and investor. Lastly, climate change and accessibility to clean water are two social issues I care deeply about. Through Bernstein’s purpose-driven investment solutions, clients can pursue both profits and purpose from their portfolios.

Tell me about the types of clients you work with.

I work primarily with middle market and small business owners as well as CEOs, partners, and principals, helping them navigate transactions and build out a comprehensive investment plan thereafter. For the vast majority of business owners I come into contact with, these transactions are life-changing. They’re being thrust into this ultra-high-net-worth category and many of the complexities that they are now faced with are brand new to them. These complexities range from planning issues as a result of having a taxable estate, an increase in more sophisticated investment options, and a larger need for different types of insurance and cybersecurity. My process with this cohort starts with helping them define their goals around the transaction– from there my team and I can analyze potential deals to gauge the probability that a given transaction will help fulfill them. It’s my job to determine whether or not a deal that’s on the table will be enough to satisfy their financial goals around things like lifetime spending, legacy, and philanthropy. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, my advice goes well beyond investment management as I help clients optimize their specific situation for taxes as well as wealth transfer, which normally means leveraging a business owner’s gift + GST tax exemptions and trying to get as much future growth out of their estate as possible. My goal with my clients is to simplify all of these newfound complexities in order to save them time and give them peace of mind. The last thing I’d say is that my clients tend to stay with me, in my 15 years of working with UHNW investors, I’ve never lost a single client.