With Avy Stein, Founder and Co-Chairman of Cresset
Advisors and clients have been the beneficiaries of a more than decade-long evolution—with changes impacting both the landscape as well as the mindsets of advisors and their clients.
In this new world order, advisors have come to the realization that the status quo need not be something they settle for. And for their high net worth clients, they too have recognized that wanting more from their advisors and the firms they work for is a right that they’ve earned.
As such, new models have emerged that are taking the best from all others and delivering options that are more flexible and client-service driven—topped off with the ability for advisors to take greater agency and control over the businesses they are building.
It was a vision that came to Avy Stein and Eric Becker, who, as family office clients, found themselves exploring options and were struck by the limitations of existing wealth management approaches, including sophisticated advice and access to an ecosystem of direct private investments.
As business investors and innovators, Avy and Eric set out to build a better mousetrap: A model that checked off all the boxes of features that high net worth clients wanted and deserved.
And in 2017 Cresset was born: An employee- and client-owned multi-family office designed to deliver a new paradigm for wealth management with rockstar leadership and advisor talent, and a value proposition that’s resonating with the wealth management world.
For example, in 2020 they made headlines with their acquisition of $2.3B RIA PagnatoKarp—the firm Merrill breakaways Paul Pagnato and David Karp originally launched with Hightower in 2011, before making the break for full independence in 2016.
Plus, Cresset has had unprecedented success in recruiting private bankers and high net worth-focused advisors from throughout the industry landscape.
Avy joins Mindy on this episode to discuss Cresset’s journey, why their model is “disrupting” the landscape, as well as:
- The specific gaps they saw in wealth management firms that serve high net worth families—and how Cresset has filled those gaps.
- The key drivers fueling their growth—and how both advisors and their clients are attracted to the firm’s core values.
- The similarities and differences between Cresset and a firm like Rockefeller—and why he feels models like these will continue to resonate with top advisors.
The world’s greatest businesses were built by founders looking to find a better way: That is, to fill a gap and continuously create value for the constituents they serve. As such, firms like Cresset are winning in the race for top advisor talent.
In an evolving landscape, it’s stories like these that will drive the conversation. So listen in and learn how firms like Cresset aren’t just disrupting the landscape—they’re redefining it.
The Real Beneficiaries of Independence: Your Clients
While advisors have a real opportunity to build the advisory business of their dreams in the RIA space, it’s the clients who stand to gain the most. Read->
Why Advisors and Their Affluent Clients are No Longer Looking the Other Way When it Comes to Independence
As advisors make the move to independence, their high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients reap the benefits of a more personalized approach. Read->
How “Transparency” Propelled Growth from $1B to $4B in 8 Years
With Paul Pagnato of PagnatoKarp. Listen->
Co-founder & Co-chairman of Cresset
Longtime investor and entrepreneur, Avy Stein is Cresset’s co-founder and co-chairman. With his Cresset co-founder, Avy has been involved with starting, investing in and growing over 150 businesses and raising funds totaling over $8 billion.
Before launching Cresset in 2017, Avy served as Chief Executive Officer of Willis Stein & Partners, a private equity firm he cofounded in 1994, where he was responsible for managing the firm’s investments in the education, recycling, telecommunications, energy and consumer sectors. During that time, Avy also co-founded Lincoln Clean Energy, an operator of utility-scale clean energy projects later acquired by I Squared Capital in 2016. From 1989 to 1994, Avy served as Managing Director for Continental Illinois Venture Corp (CIVC). Prior to that, he was the President of Cook Energy Corporation, an oil and gas exploration and production company, and served as the parent company’s Vice President of Corporate Planning and Legal Affairs. Avy began his career in 1980 as an attorney at Kirkland & Ellis, having received his law degree from Harvard Law School and his B.S. in accounting from the University of Illinois. Avy currently serves on the board of directors for HilCo Global, a Chicago-based financial services company that specializes in asset valuation, monetization and advisory solutions.
Deeply committed to giving back, Avy is an active philanthropist and civic leader. He is a member of the Board of Trustees, former Treasurer, and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Ravinia Festival. He is also a member of the Harvard Law School Leadership Council. In addition, he provides fundraising support and strategic counsel for B.U.I.L.D. (Broader Urban Involvement in Leadership Development), a nonprofit organization that helps at-risk youth on Chicago’s south and west sides. He is also a director for the Western Golf Association and supports the Evans Scholars Foundation.
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