Managing Director

Mark Smith

Advisor Headshot

The science of creating a familial bond with clients

After decades of marriage and raising two kids, I thought my definition of “family” was complete. Yet, as I look back on my Bernstein career, my broader idea of family has extended to my clients and their loved ones. I’m eternally grateful for these relationships.

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

Our distinct approach to wealth management has always separated Bernstein from other financial firms. Yet, our most honorable feature is the fact that our firm is filled with intelligent, compassionate, and trustworthy professionals whom I am proud to call colleagues. This is true today as it was many years ago.

Even as the financial landscape continues to change, the fundamental tenets of Bernstein have stayed the same. We still remain singularly focused on helping our clients, their families, and the organizations they support. Our intent is to meet every client’s long-term goals and objectives on both a financial and personal level. As a fiduciary, we constantly strive to give every client the attention, support, and guidance they ask for.

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

My legal career guided me to my current work of advising clients on financial planning and personal wealth issues. Had the cards gone a different way, I would have pursued a profession in education as a teacher or coach. I have the utmost respect for individuals who can effectively communicate complex topics to a diverse audience. Similar to a wealth advisor, successful teachers seek to understand their audience and customize their message accordingly. Moreover, the emotional benefit that one receives from helping a student or client is an unparalleled personal reward. I love educating clients on complex financial issues and watching them make educated decisions that bring them closer to achieving their goals. I imagine being a teacher would be just as gratifying. 

What kind of experience do you offer to your clients?

The most successful advisors in any industry are those that bring broad and unique world experiences. Naturally, the perspectives they derive from these experiences translate to the advice they give. My decades-long career includes working with IBM executives, consulting with large financial organizations on their approach to CRM initiatives, serving as a tax attorney to both high-net-worth individuals and large corporations, and my current role as a wealth advisor. Aside from Bernstein’s unique value proposition as a firm, my clients value my ability to leverage lessons from my personal and professional experiences. My advising style ranges from technical, financial, and legal topics to softer ones such as family dynamics and personal issues. I’m always happy to talk about either. I’m constantly reminded that my experiences, gathered over the course of a lifetime, can help me relate to clients on many levels. They come to me for customized advice that is always grounded in practicality.