Billionaires are their niche — knowing them inside out is their edge. Casey Kriedman was a financial advisor for only four years and partner Carryn McLaughlin fresh out of college when, in 2005, they partnered up at Lenox Advisors in New York City.
Faster than you can say ultra–high net worth, the two women, at ages 30 and 20, were creating financial plans for some of the biggest hedge funds and private equity managers in the country.
Fourteen years later, their booming boutique practice, The Broad Group, manages a lofty level of client assets in the top quintile of UBS Private Wealth Management.
On Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, Kriedman and McLaughlin’s success with super-affluent real estate and Wall Street executives pivots on a highly bespoke business model with a key focus on estate planning.
The FAs serve a select 25 multigenerational client families whose members range in age from nonagenarians all the way through to millennial grandkids.
“Getting to Know You” might well be the two certified financial planners’ theme song. Their talent for drawing out clients about both financial and personal matters has meant a greater ability to help with customized solutions and sophisticated investment strategies to achieve financial goals.
Kriedman started out in 2001 as part of a high-touch team at Prudential Securities. Three years later, she moved to the smaller Lenox Advisors. The following year, she and McLaughlin, who had just joined Lenox as an analyst, decided to become a team.
After three years with Lenox, they moved to J.P. Morgan Private Bank. In 2014, the pair joined UBS.
Kreidman is a people person. McLaughlin complements that with a bent for analysis and detail. Together, they’re The Broad Group: broad for providing clients with broad coverage; broad for Broad Street in their native Philadelphia; and broad, yes, for being two brainy broads.
Here are highlights of our interview with the FAs:
THINKADVISOR: What’s your client niche?
CASEY KRIEDMAN: We focus on clients in the real estate space as well as hedge fund and private equity professionals in New York. Their balance sheets are pretty large, and most have an illiquid asset that we’re trying to plan around as a form of collateral and/or a source of wealth to pass from generation to generation.
I assume that most of your clients are male. Right?
CK: Definitely more men, but you’d be surprised that there are a lot of women, too — also female spouses, who work in other industries.
What’s one major differentiator of your practice?
CK: Understanding what’s in clients’ heads helps us help them achieve their goals. As you get to know clients and talk about their finances, topics become very personal. Ultimately, we learn a lot about their families, their values and both their personal and financial goals.
Do you two ever talk about your own personal lives with clients?
CK: Yes, we’ve shared many experiences. Over the 15 years that Carryn and I have been working together, a lot of personal [traumas] have occurred: A year and a half ago, I lost my four-year-old daughter to pediatric leukemia; we’ve experienced parent deaths, premature birth. But going through those struggles have [served to] help us become better advisors.
They’ve been very relevant to estate planning and money management. So sharing those personal experiences have made [clients] feel comfortable and helped to open them up.
You’ve specialized in in the ultra-high net worth space for 14 years now. What have you found helps put your clients at ease when meeting face to face?
CK: Because ours isn’t necessarily the most formal client base — they’re more casual and familial — we don’t walk into a meeting wearing the traditional private banker “uniform”: dressed to the nines in suits. But we do wear professional attire, [usually] pants and blouses, or dresses.
How do you help clients beyond financial planning and investing?
CK: Based on the interest they’ve expressed, we’ve held a series of [female] fertility roundtables discussing the options around [becoming pregnant], including using a surrogate or freezing eggs. Now we’re looking at having a fertility roundtable for men.