What inspired you to join Bernstein?
I rejoined Bernstein after working for an AB client on the buy-side for eight years. I believed that additional experience, away from the firm, would allow me to make a greater impact. I look back on my first experience, as a research associate covering US broker-dealers and asset managers on AB’s sell-side, with great satisfaction—personally and professionally. In this role, usually reserved for a more tenured employee, I was given as much responsibility as I could handle. I was also recognized for my accomplishments. When I realized that I wanted to rejoin Bernstein, I knew that I wanted a role in which I could leverage my experience, make a difference with clients, use my analytical skills and mentor newer employees. The Senior Investment Strategist role is ideal for me as it represents the intersection of investment acumen, leadership and teaching. In the end, AB felt like home and it was an easy decision for me and my family to come back.
Which personal accomplishment makes you proudest?
My proudest accomplishment was graduating from US Army Ranger School. The school took place in the mountains of Georgia, swamps of Florida and high desert of Utah. My class started with 450 students and lasted 72 consecutive days. In the end, I graduated with only 69 fellow students. The school is a test of mental toughness, physical stamina and, above all, leadership—not only of others, but also of yourself as you deal with constant hunger, fatigue and pressure. Food rations were limited to two per day, while the course is said to require four meals a day…which meant I lost nearly 15% of my body weight. Injuries, illness and infections were all part of the challenges faced. Activity, primarily small team patrolling, occurs around the clock and students average 1.5 hours of sleep per day. I often draw upon the lessons I learned there about myself, and how to lead others when they do not want to be led. I also carry my Ranger tab to keep any life challenges in the proper perspective.
If you didn’t work for Bernstein, what else would you be doing?
If I didn’t work for Bernstein, I would build houses in Maine during the summers and do the same in Florida throughout the winter. Much like building portfolios, I enjoy the process of creating something tangible, such as a house. I take great pride in the final product and still remember the homes I helped to build in Southern Maine. This is similar to the sense of satisfaction I’ve received creating portfolios as an investor and, currently, as a Senior Investment Strategist.