The trips changed my life in 2009 and several years thereafter, literally.
Late in 2006 I was running a practice at UBS Wealth Management and using their equity management team out of Chicago for a lot of my equity management services. I would go to Chicago and meet with them at least a couple of times a year and found the process collaborative, informative, and intellectually engaging. But all of my other money manager relationships were in New York City, so when UBS asked me to go to speak to their new advisor class in November that year (in Weehawken, NJ, where their operational headquarters are that they inherited from the old Paine Webber), I decided to schedule a few meetings with other portfolio relationships. I was only overseeing $100 million at the time, 4% of the assets we manage now, yet it never occurred to me that I may have a hard time scheduling appointments.
As a pure aside, this trip double-dipped as a recruiting trip for another major Wall Street firm who was pushing me to join them in the opening of a new Newport Beach office for their firm. I met with their legendary CEO, a fellow named Ace Greenberg, and heavily considered their extremely flattering offer. The name of that firm … Bear Stearns. In March 2008, they would be dead and gone, sold to the loving arms of JP Morgan for $2 per share (from over $150). Suffice it to say, I didn’t join them after those enticing meetings. God was watching.
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