<p>No. 10: Daniel Rothenberg</p>
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Production: $4.08 million
AUM: $2.13 billion
The choppy markets of 2008 and 2009 taught UBS financial advisor Daniel Rothenberg an important lesson about client service: It's the only part of the business he can control. "Clients didn't expect us to know the market was going to go down 40%, but they did expect that we would work hard to help them solve a problem," Rothenberg says.
To that end, it was not unusual to find him in the office from 5:30 a.m. until late at night. He formed an advisory council of clients to explore how his practice could improve. Even now, with markets on a steadier course, "managing the service side of the business is more important to us than getting the exact right investment," he says.
Performance is still important, but Rothenberg has the benefit of clients who are generally oriented toward long-term outcomes. Based in Los Angeles, the 32-year-old advisor's AUM is primarily institutional retirement plans. "It's hard to ignore the headlines, but we're more focused on what will happen 10 or 15 years from now," he says. With his partner, Roger Stephens, he serves about 60 institutions and 60 individuals.
These days, a happier disruption is teaching Rothenberg new lessons—a two-year-old daughter at home and another child on the way. Becoming a father "has changed the way I view business," he says, and even affected how he schedules time. Now, he confesses, his workday might start at 6 a.m. instead of 5:30 am.
<p>No. 9: Brian Bova</p>
Location: Houston, TX
Production: $4.18 million
AUM: $582.61 million
Brian Bova didn't expect to become a wealth manager. After graduating from the University of Washington, he got his law degree from the University of Arizona. But then he did a pension fund internship that introduced him to the allure of the markets and joined Merrill Lynch's management training program. After joining UBS in 2003, he became especially knowledgeable about alternative investments.
Bova switched to advising clients just as the markets tanked six years ago. He joined three experienced advisors who were building a practice in Houston. It was perfect timing. "Modern portfolio strategy falls by the wayside in times of crisis," he notes. His experience with non-correlated assets classes became a critical asset.
Bova's law degree remains valuable, though, especially for estate planning. In fact, Bova and his partners typically lead with a holistic approach to financial advice, which features estate planning, when talking to a prospective client. "We view ourselves as an outsourced family office for the families we work with," he says.
Bova, his three partners and four support staff now serve approximately 70 families, with a combined $2.3 billion under management. Along with investments and estate planning, they also advise clients on foundations, succession planning and major purchases such as ranches or airplanes.