Senior Managing Director

Leonard Hersh

Simply The Best...

...interests of our clients. That fiduciary standard prevails at Bernstein. As a former practicing lawyer and general counsel, I especially appreciate its power in driving successful client results and trusted peace of mind..

What inspired you to join Bernstein?

Our role as a fiduciary guides everything we do at the firm as 100% of our revenue is derived from investment research and management on behalf of our clients. Before learning about Bernstein, something I hadn’t fully appreciated was the fact that many financial advisors in the industry are not bound by this fiduciary duty. Even when they say that “clients come first,” their firms are often plagued with all sorts of conflicts of interest. These get in the way of achieving client goals. Bernstein’s integrity, along with its commitment to deep research, presented a powerful draw as I sought to join the gold standard in the industry.

Which book had the most profound impact on you and why?

Among the most memorable books I’ve ever read is one of the first I was assigned as part of Columbia’s freshman core curriculum: Plato’s Republic, penned by the famed philosopher around 375 BC.

This book was a tough slog, but the vivid allegory of the cave has been etched in my mind ever since. It taught me to question assumptions, rather than accepting “shadows” as truth. All of the lessons I learned from this book were eye-opening for me: Seeking the “light of the sun,” and challenging conventional wisdom, in order to achieve the insights and knowledge that are required to produce unique solutions . . . and avoid bad decisions. This epiphany led me to enroll in law school, and eventually to Bernstein, where we ask our clients lots of questions from the get-go. Asking the right questions, and actively listening, is how we best understand what’s important to our clients and how to uncover opportunities and the ideal roadmap to success.

What are your areas of expertise in solving problems for clients?

My own reliance on deep research and analysis was initially cultivated during two summers at the Brookings Institution, an organization committed to independent, in-depth research, and as a member of the Columbia Law Review. From there, litigating securities, entertainment and First Amendment cases positioned me to thoughtfully embrace subsequent challenges such as: expanding Bernstein’s distinctive capabilities for international clients, leading multigenerational and charitable wealth transfer planning, or establishing our firmwide Sports, Media, and Entertainment Group. Now, as leader of our New York office, I love rolling up my sleeves to work side by side with advisors in an exciting spirit of collaboration. In my current role, I inspire an optimal working environment to help our clients reach their goals. Bernstein’s fiduciary approach, fueled by the independent and thoughtful research that I so admire, is a winning combination.

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