National Director, Planning Research

Ashley Velategui

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Mining the True Meaning of Wealth

Wealth isn’t about the amount of money in the bank account. Living a rich life is about quality time with loved ones, freedom to pursue what we enjoy and providing adequate care for others. These family values are an advantage in helping my clients.

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

I never imagined that I would end up building a 13-plus year career as a wealth manager. My initial plan was to attend graduate school, pursue an advanced degree in mathematics and possibly head down the academia path. Now, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. The caliber of intellect at Bernstein is unparalleled. I am constantly pushed to think through new and better processes to ensure that we, as a firm, are continuously evolving. We strive to be the best we can be for our clients’ sake. Working with such dedicated and motivated colleagues is energizing and exciting. Every day at Bernstein brings a new adventure. As someone who graduated with degrees in mathematics and economics, I’ve often been one of the only women in the room and had to justify my presence and worth. This would never happen at Bernstein. We’ve always been strong supporters of women and actively looked for ways to balance the scales and accelerate women’s upward growth through all levels of the firm.

What passions do you pursue outside of work?

Family is everything to me. My husband and I are so lucky to live within 15 miles of all our extended family, which includes our parents, siblings, niece, nephews, aunts, uncles and even our cousins. Spending time with our family and having them around as a support system for our two young boys is second to none. In terms of hanging out, we enjoy a simple family game night spent around the fire pit roasting s’mores. We also love taking family ski trips, biking, hiking and exploring the world together. Some of our favorite family trips have been to Puget Sound, a beautiful inlet located in Washington state, and Morocco, a glorious country in northern Africa. We want to expose our two boys to as many places and cultures as possible, as we know it will help them grow and become open-minded, accepting and compassionate adults.

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

Spending my career in the San Francisco Bay and the Seattle areas is the reason why my expertise is in helping founders and executives navigate liquidity events. I help my clients build a plan for managing income taxes and wealth transfer opportunities. This may include developing a diversification strategy for a concentrated stock position or preparing for an acquisition. While technical planning is important, what makes it even more so is that it is informed by the true meaning of the wealth, which is defined by the investor’s individual goals. Another area of expertise is incorporating special needs planning considerations into estate plans to ensure that all family members’ needs are met in the client’s lifetime and beyond. I work directly with families educating them on the benefits of incorporating special needs trusts into their holistic wealth plan. Together, we quantify how much the trust should be funded, at what time it should be funded and with what assets.