No. 38: Pedro Marti

Firm: Wells Fargo

AUM: $484.62 million

Location: Beverly Hills, Calif.

Age: 35

Note: This profile is part of a special series devoted to On Wall Street’s Top 40 Under 40 ranking for 2012. Every day we take a look at an advisor who made the list to find out the secrets of their success.

As Pedro Marti puts it, he’s a “people person who loves numbers.” He started washing cars in his family's auto dealerships, moved on to the parts department and eventually to sales, where he could leverage his skills as a people person and interact with customers. The numbers lover got his first subscription to the Wall Street Journal at age 16.

In his career, the numbers lover was the early leader, working at Wells Fargo’s predecessor, Norwest, as a financial analyst for its corporate development department. “For years,” Marti says, “I honed my analytical skills but also gave ‘advice’ to our management team and our board as to whether they should buy or not buy an M&A target and, if so, at what price.”

The people person reappeared after Marti took a “hiatus” from the company to help his family re-arrange its holdings. “At that time,” he says, “I saw how valuable outsourcing financial advice could be. It requires not only technical prowess in the legal, accounting, and investment management areas. In addition, and very importantly, people and psychological skills are required to navigate through the decisions, stick to plans, and have the discipline to review them as conditions change.”

Marti then returned to Wells Fargo with the express intent of working in its Wealth Management Group, providing comprehensive financial advice. “My experiences confirmed that technical skills are great,” he says, “but that my main area of focus ultimately would be with people and families making financial decisions. Having a passion for the capital markets, I believed that I could be of service.”

Helping clients, of course, includes developing a suitable investment plan. “My investment focus has broadened to become much more global in nature,” Marti says. “We need to reflect the world economy and where it is going in our financial advice. I focus on diversification, because so much of what we do is wealth preservation as opposed to wealth creation…There are no cookie cutter solutions or prescribed formulas. You have to be able to customize and create something unique for the family you are working with.”