Eric Leightner

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So What Is a Wealth Strategist Anyway?

I partner with our Financial Advisors to help devise, model and explain various strategic plans they use for their clients and professional partners. This runs the gamut from asset allocation advice to complex wealth transfer planning.

What inspired you to join Bernstein?

I was initially drawn to Bernstein after reading a few of their planning research pieces. After digesting the material, I recognized that they had built a completely different type of planning tool than anyone else I was interviewing with at the time. One of the key differentiators that stood out to me was the ability to update our planning tool’s engine with current economic data, as opposed to strictly past results. As a naturally curious person, it made me want to know more about the tool and how it worked to provide a potentially better outcome for Bernstein’s plans. Over the years, I’ve found that our research, process—and the way they intersect to produce more plausible outcomes—have been beneficial to client interactions.

Share one of your most memorable professional accomplishments with us.

One of my most rewarding accomplishments to date was co-authoring a planning piece on income taxes and a particular charitable wealth transfer tool, published by a national tax journal. It clearly outlined the benefits of this strategy in such a way that I was asked to be published on a national level. This achievement solidified that the work my colleagues and I were discussing was relevant to modern society and could make a real impact on individuals. I’ll never forget the call I received from a senior colleague complimenting the piece, and how they immediately leveraged it into an analysis for a large well-known family in the Southeast.

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

If I wasn’t a Bernstein strategist, I would most likely be working with my brother in the craft beer industry. We both have a passion for making beer, he likes it more than I do at times, since that’s his profession. However, the idea of creating a consumable product with someone I’m so close to would be hard to pass up. In some ways, it follows the type of work I do for our clients at Bernstein, because I get to be creative and dream up different solutions (no pun intended) that work to solve a need.