No. 5 CRAIG PASTOLOVE, 39
Morgan Stanley New York
During college, Craig Pastolove interned with a top producing financial advisor in New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he became an advisor himself and soon was bringing on 10 to 15 clients a month.
There was just one problem: He wasn't great at picking stocks.
"I was recommending stocks to new clients, and when some of them started going down, I realized I didn't have a clue what I was doing in that area," Pastolove recalls.
So, he went back to the drawing board. Pastolove earned wealth management and planning certifications from the Investment Management Consultants Association and took classes on managing a family office through an educational program offered by Citigroup.
He also switched to a fee-based business model focusing on financial planning for high net worth individuals. "I wanted to create a business where I stay on the same side of the table as my clients. I wanted to help them make decisions that affected their lives as opposed to sitting across from them and selling them stocks," Pastolove says.
Shifting his skill set allowed Pastolove to provide services like philanthropic work, high-end accounting, tax, trust and estate work. As a result, his practice "became much more focused on clients, their families and their businesses," he says. "That enabled us to double our business."
Now, Pastolove leads a team of nine, which includes two other partners, three CFPs and a CFA. His client roster includes many successful financial professionals.
"While they know their financial strategies very well, when it comes to taking care of their own money, they often fail," Pastolove says. "We've been able to make sure that everything from their children's education to their trust and estate work is taken care of."
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