No. 25: Brad DeHond
Firm: Morgan Stanley
AUM: $702 million
Note: This profile is part of a special series devoted to On Wall Streets 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.
Although his involvement with clients spans a broad range of issues, Brad DeHondsays that financial planning is a misnomer for the way he generally practices.
Typically, I work with clients with liquid net worth of $20 million or more, DeHond says. Were not looking at how theyll pay for college or how much theyll be able to spend in retirement. At that level, those arent major concerns.
In most cases, DeHond will work with a family. Ill meet with one person or with a married couple, he says. If the kids are older, Ill have family conversations that include them as well.
These conversations cover wealth management for ultra high net worth families. That includes trusts, estate planning, the ownership structure of their assets, concentrated stock positions, estate tax and income tax, DeHond says. There has been a good bit of activity lately in the estate planning area.
Such planning, DeHond says, is a departure from his practice in the 1990s, when he began his career. Then, everyone wanted to talk about what stocks they owned. Now the focus is much more macro driven. On the investment side, there is less emphasis on products and more on finding the appropriate mix of the underlying strategies.
DeHonds ability to get exposure to various investments has increased dramatically. If we wanted to put a clients money into private equity or real estate, for example, we had a limited selection, DeHond says. If there was nothing available that you liked, there wasnt much you could do. Now we have access to a wide variety of opportunities, internally and externally. If you want to put a clients capital to work in, say, mezzanine debt, you can do it.
When it comes to basic investments, DeHond is currently cautious about the bond market, wary that rising interest rates could create losses. Were keeping maturities short, putting some money into floating-rate debt and seeking credit anomalies that look attractive, DeHond says. If you stretch for yield, you can get burned so its better to live with low returns for awhile. That beats taking unnecessary risks with the supposedly safe portion of your portfolio.