Wealth Advisor

Darren Kataja

Advisor Headshot

Converting Complexity into Clarity and Confidence

Success and wealth bring complexity that extends beyond the portfolio. As a trusted advisor, I help clients create and execute plans that will make money meaningful for generations to come.

How have your values and personal background uniquely positioned you to work with your clients?

My childhood offered a view into atypical gender roles. My mom was an ER physician and a trailblazer as one of the first women to graduate from UCONN’s ER program. My dad put his career aspirations aside to focus on the kids. My parents ensured that my sister and I appreciated the value of goal-setting and hard work. We were taught never to lose sight of the honor of sacrificing for the betterment of others.

I have also experienced a range of emotions connected to inheriting sudden wealth. When my grandfather died and named me as a direct beneficiary in his estate plan, it was a surprise to everyone involved. I was 21 and unprepared. I felt immensely grateful with a deep sense of responsibility and fear of messing it up. I resolved these feelings by making financial advising my career.

My experience as an unprepared beneficiary enables me to connect meaningfully with current and future wealth stewards. 

What inspired you to join Bernstein?

I worked for six years at a large regional bank as an advisor to high-net-worth families and business owners. My role at the bank was expansive and allowed me to develop a foundation of expertise across all areas of finance including investments, mortgages and credit solutions, risk management and insurance, financial planning, and estate planning.

Given Bernstein’s sole focus on managing client investments, joining the firm was an obvious choice for me. As a Bernstein advisor, I can deliver unbiased advice while leveraging the broad foundation of subject matter expertise I’ve built during my career.

Which book had the most profound impact on you and why?

Reading Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman changed the way I understood myself and the way I seek to understand other people. That sense of understanding and awareness has made me a better advisor. Advice in the absence of understanding is just noise.