James Lloyd

Meeting clients where they are is the best part of my job.

I find it helpful to think about wealth in two fundamental ways: one, as a remover of obstacles, and two, as an opportunity to do more. While both ideas can be expanded upon as framing devices, neither supplies the goal or “meaning.” That must come from the client’s priorities, hopes, ambitions, and values.

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

One primary factor (alongside others) that has kept me engaged at Bernstein since 2003 is the quality of people I have the privilege to call partners and teammates. At Bernstein, I’m rarely the smartest guy in the room. I don’t mean that in a self-disparaging way. The level of intellectual rigor baked into our firm culture is matched only by the depth of integrity we demand from each other. You see this in every detail—from our research into the portfolios, planning work, and delivery of our advice. Bernstein is a place where the client truly does come first, and we have the intellectual capital to make that intention matter.

What is the most fulfilling aspect of being an advisor to your clients?

A good advisor plays an important, personal role in clients’ lives. I’ve had success working with executives, business owners, families, and not-for-profit endowments because of my ability to empathize, understand their goals and blind spots, and build an investment strategy that truly maximizes their best interests. So much of financial advising is about human relationships, how we make decisions and our ability to sustain those decisions over time. While business transactions, probabilistic plans, investment strategies, and market analysis are all very interesting, it’s the mutual trust we build with clients that I find most fulfilling.

Which personal accomplishment makes you proudest?

As exciting as the professional world can be, there’s nothing quite like fulfilling the role I feel I was born to play—father of two young children. In all the joys and challenges, my children are a constant reminder of the things that really matter. Being a father has helped me to embrace my humanity and constantly strive to become my best self.