I began my career five decades ago working for a life insurance company, which inspired me to establish a firm that would focus on not only at the insurance needs of clients, but at their total financial needs and goals.
I launched our firm in 1970 with the belief that the most successful client-advisor relationships are those that are long term. That is why I think it is so important clients know the how and why of what we do to help them achieve their goals. When clients understand this, they tend to stay with you. In fact, I’ve had client relationships that have lasted over 50 years
As a fiduciary, our firm has a moral, legal and ethical duty to always put our clients first. This is a foundational principle for us, and I believe it’s one of the primary reasons why we have a retention rate of over 98%.
We’ve grown over the years, but we’ve always stayed true to our core values.
I’ve always believed that education is the best road to success. My personal education has made me an expert in my field and improved my understanding of the financial tools available to me and my clients. For this reason, I’ve always stressed the importance of professional development for both myself and the advisors at our firm.
I hold both the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation and the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation from the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Because I believe in the critical importance of planning, I’ve also earned my Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation
Most importantly, I work to share my knowledge with clients. As they learn more about investing and financial planning, their understanding of the process makes an enormous difference in their lives
Life isn’t always easy and often unpredictable. During the years, I’ve had many curve balls tossed my way. One of the most tragic experiences in my life was the loss of my oldest son who was killed in a car accident. Not only was this a personal loss to me and my wife, Barbara, but it also changed the trajectory of our lives. Because of the accident, we’ve raised our grandson, Jacob.
This experience taught me that life can bring many unexpected challenges, but I feel fortunate to have been able to channel my own loss in a positive way. Most of us will experience hardship and curve balls at some point in our lives, and my own experiences allow me to understand what my clients are going through and be a caring resource.
I believe in not only being a positive influence on the advisors and clients who work with our firm, but on financial services in general. In my early career, I was the youngest President of the Buffalo Chapter of CLU & ChFC. Afterwards, I served on the board of the Buffalo Life Underwriter Association before becoming their president and ultimately, moving on to serve on the State Board.
Because of my focus on education, I was selected to teach advanced financial planning concepts though the Life Underwriting Training Council and became a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF). As a result of my professional success, I’ve been honored to become a Life Member of the Million Dollar Round Table.
In addition to giving back professionally, I’ve dedicated my time to many not-for-profit boards. I served on the Variety Club of Buffalo board, including working on their annual telethon. I’ve also served as president of the Buffalo Area council on Alcoholism, and on the boards of both Temple Beth Zion and Jewish Family Service of Buffalo.
After graduating from the State University at Buffalo, I promptly asked the love of my life, Barbara Silvert, to marry me. She has been by my side to face life’s challenges and has always motivated me to persevere and push forward. From the start, she believed in my vision to help others and saw the firm grow from its infancy to now, where we can make a difference for hundreds of families.
None of this would have happened if not for the support and encouragement of Barbara. I will always be grateful for her total commitment to our success.
We’ve been married now for over 54 years and have been blessed with two sons and three grandchildren.