Gary Hirschberg left Goldman Sachs in May 2018, after roughly 12 years, to launch Chicago-based RIA Aaron Wealth, which after a little less than a year has $600 million in assets under advisement.
“The independent space was starting to be more attractive to me,” he told ThinkAdvisor. He also wanted to take the firm a certain direction, one focused on environmental, social and, especially, governance investing. He says a smaller percentage of the firm’s accounts are 100% ESG invested, but Aaron Wealth is directing clients that way “because we believe it is the right move for them for a better return.”
This week the firm announced the creation of its Impact Advisory Board, which was Hirschberg’s way to bring together “like-minded people” from various backgrounds to get their views on impact investments that affect their clients, society and the planet.
“We needed to have a sounding board of folks who were interested in this space. Kind of like a hybrid nonprofit board,” he said. “These people truly have an avid interest one way or the other in sustainability and socially responsible investing.”
The “inaugural” board, to which Hirschberg says he’ll add people, is made up of himself and Bill Andrakakos, director of investments of Aaron Wealth, as well as Doug Scott, CEO of Ethic; Kimberly Venable, business development at Addepar; Jennifer Rhodes, partner at Ice Miller; Todd Thomson, chairman and co-founder of Dynasty Financial Partners; Nick Gerace, senior VP of investments of Dynasty, and the Rev. Joseph L. Morrow, pastor at Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago.
The diversity of the group speaks to their mission, whose first board meeting is in early August, and all have worked in SRI “in their various worlds,” Hirschberg says.