Scott sees himself wearing two hats. The first is his investing acumen. While the second is more personal; his ability to show empathy as well as his listening skills and ability to relate with clients .
"You need to be an empathetic, good listener, good question-asker and almost like an investigator to really, really understand what your client's concerns are and what their worries are," Scott says.
One reason that the duo has been so successful at that is their ability to parlay their father-son dynamic. Scott admits that he was initially cautious about going into business with his father. But the two now pool everything together and the relationship has evolved into a family perspective approach that is a strong advantage for dealing with multi-generational families.
"Our clients are multi-generational and we're a multi-generational team," Scott says. "So during meetings it's been very successful. Maybe I'm able to see the world a little bit better through the kids' eyes and my father sees the world a little better though the parents' eyes."
Having strong relationships with a manageable number of clients, coupled with the help of their two client associates, will help the business last through whatever market innovations the future holds, Scott predicts.
"Sustaining that skill set will provide some resiliency to our practice as technology in this industry and markets evolve," Scott says.
— Mason Braswell
Daniel Rothenberg, 31
UBS / Los Angeles
$1.56 billion in assets
Daniel Rothenberg's entry into the advisory industry was all about relationships. He teamed up with a family friend who he knew growing up, and leveraged his connections from a college internship to seal his big first retirement plan client.
And those relationships have continued. Rothenberg, who has made this list three times, has worked with his partner, Roger Stephens, for more than six years. Their team also includes four support staff members. And that first retirement plan client he landed has been with them for five years.
Rothenberg's team specializes in 401(k) plans, endowments, retirement plans for nonprofits and individuals. That focus allows him to delve into the "nerdy" economics he has loved studying since college. The team uses the investment analysis they do for both retirement plans and endowments to better assess other investments such as mutual funds for their individual clients, he says.
Clients, Rothenberg says, will be demanding more specialized advice. "People will want to be dealing with specialists, more so than generalists," Rothenberg says. That means he is often in the office before 6 a.m. to handle trades and stays well after market close either in the office or attending meetings. And Rothenberg says he still employs the lessons he learned from the financial crisis to his work with clients today.
"It taught me very quickly that this is really a very client-focused business and a very client service-oriented business," Rothenberg says, "and then when people and clients need things done or have questions or issues, that we drop everything to get that done as quickly as possible." When it comes to investing now, Rothenberg's team has been conservative because of the uncertain U.S. political climate. They now favor municipal bonds.
When approached by aspiring advisors, he tells them they need a team. "You really have to hustle and put everything you have into it and do your best to try to find somebody that has a good business that you're interested in that you could complement."
— Lorie Konish
Greg Cash, 36
Merrill Lynch / Charlotte, N.C.
Targeting only a handful of the ultra-wealthy, building close relationships with multi-generational clients, and dedicating himself to his team, Greg Cash reflects many of the fundamental themes of advisors who make this list.
Cash got involved in the business during college after interning at wealth management firms over the summer. He went on to join Merrill Lynch once he graduated, began by cold calling prospects, and after four years as a solo practitioner, hopped on with the team of Charles L. Wickham Jr. and his son R. Mitchell Wickham. They are now the Wickham Cash Group and practice with Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Private Banking and Investment Group, which deals only with clients who have a net worth of $10 million or more.
The team, which has grown since its founding more than 50 years ago by Charles Wickham to 12 total members, including the three partners as well as two analysts, six client associates and an on-team banker, has been the linchpin of Cash's success. "It's not all about me and without them I would not be at all wherever you are ranking me on this list," he says.