No. 9 BRIAN BOVA, 39
Brian Bova didn't expect to become a wealth manager. After graduating from the University of Washington, he got his law degree from the University of Arizona. But then he did a pension fund internship that introduced him to the allure of the markets and joined Merrill Lynch's management training program. After joining UBS in 2003, he became especially knowledgeable about alternative investments.
Bova switched to advising clients just as the markets tanked six years ago. He joined three experienced advisors who were building a practice in Houston. It was perfect timing. "Modern portfolio strategy falls by the wayside in times of crisis," he notes. His experience with non-correlated assets classes became a critical asset.
Bova's law degree remains valuable, though, especially for estate planning. In fact, Bova and his partners typically lead with a holistic approach to financial advice, which features estate planning, when talking to a prospective client. "We view ourselves as an outsourced family office for the families we work with," he says.
Bova, his three partners and four support staff now serve approximately 70 families, with a combined $2.3 billion under management. Along with investments and estate planning, they also advise clients on foundations, succession planning and major purchases such as ranches or airplanes.