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Partner & Market Leader
Steve is a Partner and Market Leader for the Florida Region and has over twenty years of experience in the financial services industry. He is responsible for implementing portfolio investment strategies and asset allocation for high net worth and institutional clients. He is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee and the Manager Selection Sub-Committee and oversees the firm’s Responsible Investing Platform.
Prior to joining Cerity Partners, Steve was a Director in Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management’s New York office. He was responsible for asset allocation and manager review for investment assets in client portfolios. He was also a member of the bank’s Investment Advisory and Trust review committees and served as the program manager for PWM’s Socially Responsible Investing platform.
Who inspired you to pursue your career in financial management?
My father was the biggest influence on my decision to pursue a career in financial management. He was a very hard worker who instilled in me financial discipline and a passion for investing at a young age. I began saving/investing money that I earned from birthdays, babysitting etc. and learned the power of compound interest very early. That discipline helped my buy my first car at 16.
Was there a specific incident in your life that made it clear you were made for this career?
One of my first clients was a widow whose husband passed away unexpectedly. Unfortunately she had never taken an active role in managing the families' finances before and was suddenly thrust into the role without the background or financial knowledge to be able to do so. I could sense a deep anxiety and unease in her in carrying that burden as well not knowing where she stood financially. Over time, we developed a plan and most importantly, developed her working knowledge and understanding of that plan to help ease her anxiety and get her back to enjoying life.
Why is your work important, especially today?
I am passionate about Socially Responsible Investing. I've been actively helping clients align their values with their investments for over 15 years now. I think this is especially relevant today as clients think more about their legacy and look at their portfolios as more than just a number.
What should your clients know the most about you?
That I truly care about our relationship and their well being. It's painful for me to look at client statements when markets are down and I take my responsibility and the trust that clients have placed in my very seriously. I want to do everything that I can to help clients create a sound financial plan and most importantly, stick to that plan through thick and thin.
What kind of clients work best for you?
I enjoy working with clients where I can help make a positive and meaningful impact on their lives, whether that is helping them send kids to college, planning for retirement or buying their dream home.
What differentiates Cerity Partners from other firms in our space?
I believe our scale, expertise and collaborative culture truly differentiates in the marketplace. By employing a specialist approach, clients can rest assured that they are getting top notch advice by subject matter exerts across investments, planning and tax matters.
What do you do in your personal life that helps you help your clients?
As a father of 3 children, I've had to hone my emotional intelligence and empathy over the years. Over time, I've come to appreciate that wealth management isn't all about performance and the numbers. It takes evolved "soft skills" and being a good listener to truly help clients. The handholding that is done during turbulent markets can have a far greater impact on clients well being that what stock was bought or sold.
What does the world need now more than anything?
Patience, compassion, and a better ability to listen.
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