<p>No. 20: Joshua Carter</p>
Firm: Merrill Lynch
Location: San Francisco, CA
Production: $3.42 million
AUM: $747.06 million
A self-described "transplant to the wealth management industry," Joshua Carter is steering his practice toward an underserved segment of clients.
Carter, who joined Merrill in January 2009, is helping lead his group's expansion into the institutional market, handling investments for organizations like nonprofits, endowments and defined-benefit plans. Currently, about 40% of his clients are institutions. Its a segment that is growing and has become Carter's primary area of focus.
"We fall into the category of really pursuing the ultra-high net worth client as well as institutions that look and feel a lot like ultra-high net worth clients in terms of their asset size," Carter says. "It's a relatively small, concentrated book of clients."
But an endowment of $100 million to $200 million might be too small to attract the attention of the large institutional consultancies that often cater to clients with assets in the billions. Some of those institutional clients, Carter says, are "looking for an outsourced CIO" in their financial advisor.
Carter cut his teeth at Goldman Sachs, beginning as a sell-side research analyst before moving to the proprietary trading desk, where he enjoyed considerable success. But as he emerged from the tumultuous period of 2007 and 2008, Carter concluded that he wanted to move from proprietary trading to a field where he could take "a longer-term approach to investment management and relationships."
"What I think really differentiates our approach is just the care and the focus that we're able to give to each individual client, really because we have a small number of clients," Carter says. "It's really sort of an intimate service model."
<p>No. 19: Thomas Kane</p>
Location: Chicago, IL
Production: $3.52 million
AUM: $748.92 million
There are many requirements to be a great financial advisor, but in Thomas Kanes view, one rises above the rest: swagger. Swagger or a really high degree of confidence- is the one characteristic all of his clients share, so to work with them, you have to have a certain amount of swagger yourself, he says. If youre more passive, clients can start to run over you and youll have performance problems because youre being reactive instead of proactive.
Kane and his two partners work with just 65 clients, most of whom are successful entrepreneurs with investable assets of $40 million and above. Twenty-five of those clients are family offices looking for select services; the other 40 hire Kanes firm as a virtual family office, handling the full range of issues. We take a lot of what we learn from working with our very sophisticated family offices and translate that down to families with one-tenth of the assets, giving them best-in-class services, says Kane. Both he and a partner worked for family offices prior to starting their firm in 2003.
Within the team of three, which has a total AUM of $2.24 billion, Kanes specialty is alternative investments, including real estate. He says he embraces open architecture to the point that only about 3% of their managed assets are in anything even remotely related to UBS. But his real passion is working with people, not investments. You need someone who is happy to go out and have dinner and drinks with clients every single night thats me, he says. Thankfully, one of his partners is just as happy to arrive at 6 am to begin trading.