Michael Lopes

Holistic Advisor to Business Owners

My passion is helping entrepreneurs grow and protect the wealth they’ve taken great risk, and made great sacrifices, to build. Given the complexity of my clients’ situations, I describe my role as equal parts coach, connector and financial advisor.

Which personal accomplishment makes you proudest?

I went to business school knowing that I wanted to make a pivot from a career in financial services, working with corporate clients, to one in private wealth where I could make more of a difference in people’s lives. Researching the industry at that time, I learned there was little differentiation among firms. Serendipitously, around this time, a professor shared Bernstein research quantifying the impact of deal structure on after-tax proceeds, and the benefits of pre-transaction planning. I had the proverbial “aha” moment... With my knowledge of the M&A process and the key professionals involved, and Bernstein’s advanced research and planning capabilities, I saw a potent combination to deliver a differentiated, value-added wealth management solution for business owners. I wanted to leverage a firm that emphasizes research and planning, world-class investing, and a laser focus on creating better outcomes for its clients. Today, I’ve turned that vision into reality.

Share one of your most memorable professional accomplishments with us.

Watching entrepreneurs grow their businesses and create wealth not just for themselves, but for their employees and their families, is the greatest joy I experience as an Advisor. My role is not confined to the traditional financial advisor job description. I am 100% invested in helping my clients grow their businesses by leveraging the deep relationships and knowledge of the marketplace I’ve cultivated in the DC business community since arriving in 2007. Surrounding my clients with the resources they need in order to be successful is my goal. Every day, I am excited to marry my passion for supporting owners as they navigate their businesses’ lifecycles, with Bernstein’s top-tier planning and investment capabilities. More than anything, I want to help build and protect my clients’ hard-earned wealth. I consider this to be a truly “holistic” approach to wealth management—one that gives equal emphasis to the business as it does to the assets accumulated outside of the business.

What passions do you pursue outside of work?

My wife and I have three young children who keep us busy, especially as they get older and we share our passion for education and sports with them. In my free time, I nurture my commitment to be a lifelong learner and am as engaged as possible in our community. I enjoy studying Spanish as my goal is to be conversationally proficient one day. I also have played guitar since childhood and continue to study music to this day. Our oldest child just began taking guitar lessons, and I’ve really enjoyed sharing the joy of music with him. For community engagement, I am passionate about cancer research, and support the Cancer Center at Georgetown University. Lastly, I love the outdoors and spending time on the water kiteboarding. One of my favorite things to do is assemble group kiteboarding trips where I introduce my clients and friends to each other and to the sport. I love creating fellowship around a great outdoor adventure experience.