This profile appeared earlier this year as part of On Wall Street's Top 40 Under 40. All details are as of Sept. 31, 2017. To see who else made the top 10, please click here.

When clients take charge of their finances, they control their own destiny. That’s what coaxed advisor Adam Rosenfeld from pursuing a career in law and into the financial services industry.

A self-described “people person,” Rosenfeld says that catering to his ultrahigh-net-worth client-base brings him a significant amount of joy. “It’s not work at all,” he says. “I spend my day talking to my friends.”

Rosenfeld, who ranked No. 9 on On Wall Street's Top 40 Under 40 with $4.24 million in production, didn’t initially leave the University of Miami with plans to become an advisor. After graduation, he applied to law school and paid the bills by clerking for an attorney who happened to be in the same building as a Morgan Stanley office.

A chance encounter in the elevator developed into a friendship with a Morgan Stanley branch manager and led to an eventual job interview. Next, Rosenfeld was given a big blue book with almost every phone number in Miami, and he was told to start making calls.

Advisor Adam Rosenfeld says he gets his joy from bringing joy to others.
Advisor Adam Rosenfeld says he gets his joy from bringing joy to others.
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“I didn’t come from any family money. I didn’t inherit anybody’s business. And I didn’t start with a team,” he says. “It was just me, the phone, the computer, and I just worked really hard to put myself in a position to get lucky.”

Eventually, Rosenfeld’s cold calls paid off when he got a response from a couple that would form the basis of his client pool. The couple later told him that his pleasant voice and demeanor made them want to work with him. They referred their friends, which helped Rosenfeld to grow the practice even further.

After 10 years with Morgan Stanley, Rosenfeld took his team to Merrill Lynch in 2011. He is currently serving as a managing director and senior financial advisor with the firm’s global wealth management division.

Looking ahead, Rosenfeld says his six-member team wants to take a “doing more for less” approach and continue to differentiate itself as a unique boutique office.

“In developing that high, high relationship, my clients wanted to do more things with me,” Rosenfeld says. “They wanted to do lending. They wanted to do banking… The positives about Merrill was I just saw this vision of how I would be able to do everything with them and that’s what happened.”

Amanda Schiavo

Amanda Schiavo is an associate editor for Financial Planning. Follow her on Twitter at @SchiavoAmanda.