Firm: Morgan Stanley
AUM: $809.98 million
Note: This profile is part of a special series devoted to On Wall Street’s Top 40 Under 40 ranking for 2012. Every day we take a look at an advisor who made the list to find out the secrets of their success.
Youth can be an advantage for financial advisors. At least, that’s been the experience of Morgan Stanley advisor Devin Condron, who works with ultra high net worth families.
“Generally, the people making the decisions are in their 60s and 70s,” Condron says. “Yet the fact that we have a young team has helped us win assets to manage.”
His clients, Condron explains, tend to be very concerned with planning for the next generation. “They realize that we can be there for the transfer of wealth to their children,” he says. “We’ll be able to work with their kids.”
That transfer of wealth has already begun. In some cases, Condron reports, his clients made sizable family gifts in 2012, taking advantage of the $5.12 million lifetime gift tax exemption that was in effect.
Today, clients’ children are likely to be young adults. “We’ll spend some time with the kids, often going over basic financial planning,” Condron says. “That could involve contributing to 529 plans, paying off credit card bills in full [and] choosing among mortgages.”
What’s more, some of Condron’s ultra high net worth clients are charitably inclined. “They’ve set up donor-advised funds, and they want their kids to be involved,” Condron says. “These clients want their children to appreciate what they have, and learn how to give something back.”
The children in these families get an introduction to investing through the donor-advised funds, and ultimately help decide where the grants will go.
“The process begins by having the children observe the activity in the donor-advised fund,” Condron says. “Clients find this helps to bring the family together. Sometimes there’s a common cause that drives the charitable donations. For example, there might be a specific medical condition that the family cares about.”
Condron’s client’s aren’t the only ones with a passion for helping others. “I started in institutional trading,” Condron says. “Sometimes it was fun, sometimes it was stressful, but altogether it was not extremely rewarding. I feel that helping people with their financial affairs is much more gratifying. As a financial advisor, I can influence clients and their family members in a positive way.”