No. 24: Bryan Mountain

Firm: UBS

AUM: $708.44 million

Location: Westlake Village, Calif.

Age: 37

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.

It’s no accident that Bryan Mountain specializes in retirement planning. “Early in my career,” he recalls, “I saw the numbers. Thousands of people were going to turn 65 every day for the next decade. I figured that a lot of people were going to be needing advice about financial planning for retirement.”

By now, Mountain and his team are providing a significant portion of that advice. “We manage 55 retirement plans, with average balances over $100 million,” Mountain says. “We help our employer clients, on the institutional side, and plan participants on the individual side.”

As part of his retirement planning process, Mountain does a financial plan for each individual client. Such plans naturally cover investments, and the risks those clients can tolerate in order to seek the desired results.

Recently, according to Mountain, preparing financial plans often turns into a “tug of war,” as he puts it. People want income in retirement, he says, but low interest rates make it difficult to generate sufficient investment income. “Clients must take some risk to get the income they’d like,” Mountain says.

Therefore, Mountain spends a great deal of his time trying to help clients win this tug of war. First, he searches for investments with adequate income and acceptable risk levels. Second, he must go over the tradeoffs to clients. “We guide them through our process for building their portfolio,” he says.

Today, Mountain uses a variety of tactics to deliver investment income. Dividends for equities are in the mix, with an emphasis on payouts from high-quality blue chip stocks. “We’re also selling covered calls,” Mountain says. “We’ve done this for a few years, and we’ve put more emphasis there recently.”