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Sincerely Yours, What’s in a name?

Articles & Interviews | Feb 1, 2019 | Robert C. Smith

Market Leader Bob Smith talked to Cleveland Magazine about the thoughtful process of coming up with a brand name that reflects the character of our people and our practice.

Cleveland Magazine – A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a single word can be even more powerful if you choose the right one. That’s what the new Cerity Partners did when it rebranded itself earlier this year.

“We recognized an opportunity to better communicate the character of our people, advice and service to clients and business partners,” explains Kurt Miscinski, president and CEO, Cerity Partners. “Our new name is a modification of the word sincerity, which encapsulates our firm’s character and the experience our clients receive.”

A leading, national registered investment advisory firm, Cerity Partners provides comprehensive objective financial advice to high-net-worth individuals and their families, businesses and employees, as well as nonprofit organizations, from its offices across the country.

So why the name change and why now? It turns out, it could be a case of simply aligning the company’s name with its culture.

“That might be a fair assessment,” says Robert C. Smith, a partner in Cerity Partners who is also the market leader of its Cleveland office. “Our clients think we are unique. The firm wants its brand name and identity to express its powerful, contemporary and distinctive manner.”

Robert C. Smith


Bob is a Partner in the Cleveland office and the firm’s Ohio Market Leader. He serves on the firm’s Leadership Team. Bob has more than forty years of experience in investing, finance, accounting, and business management.

Bob joined Cerity Partners in October 2016 when Cerity Partners merged with Spero-Smith Investment Advisers. Previously, Bob was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Spero-Smith. Bob joined in 1993 as President, Chief Investment Officer, and co-owner with Founder, Karen Spero.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Accounting) degree from Ohio Northern University and holds a Masters of Business Administration (Finance) from Duquesne University. ONU has awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration for his six years of service as Chair of the Board of Trustees as well as  many other civic leadership roles.

Bob is deeply committed to civic engagement and has received numerous awards and recognition for his leadership. He was appointed to Chair the JobsOhio Board by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine as well as the Broadcast Media Commission.  He has been inducted in the Ohio Foundation for Independent Colleges’ Hall of Excellence as well as the Association of Ohio Commodores. He has served in leadership roles on numerous boards and investment committees of corporations and non-profit organizations including Encova Insurance, Ohio Northern University, University Hospitals of Cleveland, ideastream, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Team NEO and Crime-stoppers.  Several elected officials have also appointed him to boards of public entities, including the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the Ohio Oil & Gas Commission, the Port of Cleveland and Tri C’s Board of Visitors.