Joseph Septimus

Planning creatively, following through relentlessly.

My clients have invested a lifetime of sweat and equity into building their businesses and other sources of wealth, and I put that same level of care into planning for them, their families, and causes that are dear to them.

What inspired you to join Bernstein?

I spent 12 years as a tax and estate attorney. While my relationships with clients always started with their personal income and estate tax planning, I quickly became a sounding board for a broad set of issues including financial planning and beyond. This motivated me to become a financial advisor at Bernstein, given the firm’s distinct focus and planning with respect to all issues relating to family wealth and succession.  

My transition into a Bernstein Financial Advisor was as seamless as I could have hoped for. My relationships with clients expanded beyond tax advice and general planning to include multi-generational financial planning. This broad-based mandate allows me to utilize important aspects of my personal and professional development in building trust and providing sound advice to clients and their families. 

How have your values and personal background uniquely positioned you to work with your clients?

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in the heart of one of the largest orthodox Jewish communities in the United States. My experiences as a member of my family, community and faith have shaped who I am today as a husband and father, and as a professional in the financial services industry.

My father has a boutique law practice. While growing up, I observed the close relationships he maintains with his clients, informed by loyalty and a strong sense of fiduciary responsibility. After graduating from Brooklyn Law School at the top of my class and clerking for a federal judge, I started out practicing tax law at a firm where the partners distinguished themselves through relentless advocacy for clients, a trait I took on and continue to embody.

As a Bernstein Financial Advisor, I take pride in deploying expertise, creativity and care in planning from the outset of my client relationships, with relentless and continuous follow-up. My goal is for clients to sense that they have become part of my own community at Bernstein, and for them to experience the family loyalty and fiduciary duty that has been a part of my being from a young age.

Which personal accomplishment makes you proudest?

My wife and I have five beautiful children together. The most rewarding part of being a parent is having the opportunity, on a daily basis, to transmit the wonderful sense of tradition, community and family loyalty that I received from my parents and grandparents to the next generation.

My maternal grandfather was a successful businessman who immigrated to the United States from Europe with my grandmother after World War II. My paternal grandfather operated a US Army tank in the invasion of Normandy and earned a purple heart in the Battle of the Bulge. When the war ended, he volunteered to stay and assist Jewish refugees at a Displaced Persons Camp. The experiences of my grandparents—and their demand for honesty, hard work and community responsibility—have become part of the fabric of our family.