What key trend is this Top 40 Under 40 advisor watching?
Kevin Bruegge’s team had its best year ever in terms of new business in 2019. It’s one of the reasons he came near the top of On Wall Street’s annual Top 40 Advisors Under 40 ranking.
Bruegge, a Cincinnati-based advisor at Merrill Lynch, ranked No. 8 at $4,335,320 in production.
Here the young advisor spells out what he looks for in teammates, how he stays on top of changes in wealth management and what trends he’s keeping an eye on.
What type of clients do you serve — and how do you meet new ones?
We specialize in serving financially successful families with concentrated wealth generated from public or private business interests. We are fortunate that our existing client families have introduced us to their friends and colleagues.
Have you ever turned away a client for being a bad fit for your practice?
Yes, we maintain a strict focus on the types of clients we advise. We have built a very resourceful and experienced practice around this model. We have developed partnerships with other great advisors with complementary areas of expertise that we refer business to when it doesn’t fit our practice. We believe being specialized is crucial to offering the most specific and tailored advice to clients.
What was your biggest work accomplishment in 2019, and was there something that nearly kept you from achieving it?
Our team had our best year ever in terms of new business. While new business ebbs and flows, I think our results really were a testament to our team’s continued focus on building strong, long lasting (and real) relationships. We are firm believers that it is a marathon, not a sprint.
What was your biggest personal accomplishment in 2019?
This past year the local business periodical in Cincinnati named me to their 40 under 40 list. There are some terrific young leaders in Cincinnati, and I was very honored and humbled to be recognized along this great group.
How do you keep abreast of changes in wealth management?
Reading and listening. We work in a fascinating industry and one that is constantly changing, the only way to keep up is by remaining a student (reading as much as you can), always challenging your viewpoint, recognizing that you will never fully be an expert, and learning from others in all stages of their careers. I learn as much from those who have only been in the business just a few years as I do those who have been in the industry 20-plus years.
What trends are you watching in 2020?
The return of the active manager. Active managers have been under fire the last decade. However with massive cost compression, an aging bull market and a likely pick up in volatility in the near future, I believe skilled active managers with sound processes will add tremendous value to the passive index. With all the flows into indices, it will be interesting to see what transpires over the next 12-24 months.
What qualities do you admire in your team members?
Intellectual curiosity, work ethic in all that they do, humility, and genuine care for my fellow teammates and the clients/families that we serve.
What was the last good book you read?
“Great by Choice,” by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen
What TV show are you currently streaming?
Ahead of the year-end holidays, my family and I were streaming “Friends” on Netflix, so it looks like we are going to need to find a new show in 2020.
What goal, professional or personal, do you want to achieve in 2020?
I enjoy running, but have never committed myself to train for a full marathon. I would like 2020 to be the year!