Michael Bagatell

Advisor Headshot

Work hard and stay humble.

In recruiting, developing, and mentoring the service team members of our Private Client practice I adhere to two core values: lead with grit and keep egos in check. To provide the highest level of client service I partner closely with our advisors.

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

For over two decades, I have been a proud Bernstein team member. Throughout the duration of my long-term tenure, the driving force to stay has always been the people. Learning from so many different types of talented colleagues, many much smarter than myself, has helped me to grow as a professional. Not only do we challenge one another intellectually, but we also work through any setbacks as a team. The collaborative environment at Bernstein has made my experience incredibly rewarding. On top of that, having shared many highs and lows together, my loyalty to Bernstein stands because I consider my colleagues to be like members of my own family. Bottom line: I appreciate the people around me and recognize that our collective success is contingent upon the strong relationships and bonds that we foster along the way.

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

Throughout my Bernstein career, many books have been recommended to me by colleagues and clients. However, the most profound has definitely been “The Trusted Advisor,” by best-selling author, former Harvard professor, and business management expert David H. Maister. The premise of this book is to provide a simple blueprint for how one can go about developing strong relationships with others. For someone who enjoys math, I appreciate the way the author summarizes this concept in the following equation: Trust = [Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy]/Self-Orientation. As a manager, co-worker, husband, father of two boys and friend, I subconsciously try to increase my numerator and decrease my denominator every day. My goal in every role is to maximize my level of trust with those in my life and build stronger ties between us.

Share one of your most memorable professional accomplishments with us.

The most rewarding part of my professional career is being a positive influence on the individuals around me.

My goal is to help anyone, regardless of title or tenure, become the best Bernstein team member they can be. Creating an environment in which people feel comfortable sharing what’s on their mind is something that I find to be very important. Hearing out other's concerns has also taught me to be a better listener and show that I truly care about every individual. Helping Bernstein's people feel heard, and empathizing with their concerns, has dramatically shaped our culture. When people know you have a genuine interest in their future, success, and growth, they’re naturally more engaged. This level of investment has improved our productivity in terms of achieving mutual goals. Everyone's needs are met. As a manager, this makes me feel great.