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Gary is a Partner and Wealth Advisor with more than twenty years of investment experience. He uses his expertise in financial planning and portfolio management to help high-net-worth individuals and families manage their wealth responsibly, grow it tax-efficiently, and realize the lifestyle they want to lead now and for years to come.
Prior to joining Cerity Partners, Gary was the Chief Investment Officer and Wealth Management Practice Leader for Blue Prairie Group where he was responsible for defining, articulating, and overseeing the implementation of Blue Prairie Group’s prudent investment research processes and its planning-first approach to wealth management. He began his financial services career as an Executive Vice-President at Morningstar, Inc. and the head of their Institutional Services Group. He also spent time at other financial institutions honing his skills as an analyst, portfolio manager, and wealth advisor.
Was there a specific incident in your life that made it clear you were made for this career?
I ended up here after two earlier “acts”, first as a technologist at IBM and then as a management consultant. However, I believe those prior experiences each lent something crucial to my professional development and help make me effective in this career. Computer programming (at least as it was back in the 1980s) was predicated on logic, detail, and precision, while management consulting is conceptual, strategic, and deals with ambiguity. Advising clients on their wealth requires a blend of these two types of thinking and problem-solving.
Why is (your specialty) important, especially today?
As the landscape surrounding wealth planning gets ever more complex, the need for holistic, integrated planning and advice becomes more necessary and more valuable than ever. With this complexity, you realize there is no single right solution that can be solved by numbers alone. The ideas, objectives, and preferences of the client are an equally important part of the equation, which is why open and honest dialog is so crucial.
What do you do in your personal life that helps you help your clients?
I read voraciously, and not just finance material (though there is a lot of that). By trying to be comprehensive and informed in my worldview, I believe I bring a more complete set of perspectives to help solve my clients’ problems.
How would you describe your best day doing what you do?
Every so often, when working with a client to optimize their situation or solve a specific problem, there is an “a ha” moment where the solution becomes clear. I love those “a ha” moments.
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