Senior National Director, Tax & Transition Strategies

Paul Robertson

Advisor Headshot

Strategist, Economist, Sociologist

I find the capital markets to be endlessly fascinating. They reflect economics, finance and how people make decisions when dealing with uncertainty. I love analyzing the markets, but my real job is making sure our clients make the best decisions.

What has inspired you to stay at Bernstein for as long as you have?

I am always grateful to work for a firm that truly has its clients’ best interests at heart. Like any company in the world, we sometimes make mistakes because we are made up of human beings. However, since my very first days here, it’s been clear that clients come first.

Clients coming first means that we will never sell anyone investment products they don’t need or a more expensive product when an affordable one will do the job. Clients coming first means that, as the advisor, we provide guidance like, “I’m sorry but you can’t afford that new home you want to buy,” even when it is unwelcome or uncomfortable to deliver. Clients coming first means that every employee goes home every night with a clean conscience, knowing we genuinely tried to help our clients meet their financial goals.

Today, after a 20-year career at Bernstein, I see it as my responsibility to transmit this commitment to the new generation of team members.

Share one of your most memorable professional accomplishments with us.

I feel strongly that taxable investors should have investment strategies that strive for the very best after-tax returns. For the last decade at Bernstein, I’ve been involved in the oversight and development of our tax management processes and algorithms. A lot goes into improving our clients’ after-tax returns!

Three years ago, I partnered with a few other Bernstein staff members to build a new equity strategy that would complement our active strategies. The idea was that it would generate tax benefits to offset the tax costs created by turnover in those active strategies. This new product is now called PaTH.

Along with PaTH came the development of after-tax reporting for investors who had used the PaTH product and the potential to create new versions of PaTH in the future. I am grateful for how willing Bernstein was to devote resources to the PaTH project and clearly demonstrate its commitment to continual innovation. We can now produce better after-tax returns for clients.

If you didn’t work for Bernstein, what else would you be doing?

So much of my work at Bernstein is about helping people better understand the world around them. I do this so my clients can make better decisions and have a greater chance of meeting their personal and financial goals. If I weren’t at Bernstein, I hope that I would be doing something similar!

Perhaps I could continue to help people by studying the world around me and then sharing the knowledge gained from that study with them. Maybe I would become an anthropologist or finally, certified in sociology!

I also grew up in households filled with teachers and professors so, if I weren’t at Bernstein, maybe I would be a teacher or professor myself. From spending so much time around teachers, I know what an amazing impact they can have on the world around them.