Advocating on behalf of his clients is something near and dear to ex-Goldman advisor Gary Hirschberg’s heart.
In fact, before landing at Goldman in 2006, Gary was in the world of nonprofits, serving as director of development at Vanderbilt University Hillel and assistant director of developmental activities at Georgetown University.
So it’s a bit of a paradox that he would transition from working in fundraising where he guided people to make selfless decisions with their money to ones that he describes as more “selfish”—but in a necessary way.
It was a serendipitous meeting with a friend that led him to Goldman Sachs in 2006, where he built a business managing $1.4 billion in assets for high-net-worth clients.
Yet it was this whole sense of advocacy that made Gary question whether he was being limited at Goldman to really act as a fiduciary to his clients. That is, to truly serve on their behalf, without restrictions on what he could or could not do for them.
Plus, Gary had the nagging desire to build a brand of his own—one that would be associated with him and not the firm he worked for.
So in 2018, Gary left Goldman to build Aaron Wealth Advisors with Dynasty Financial Partners.
In this episode, Gary shares the backstory of his journey to independence with Mindy Diamond (who actually helped facilitate his move), including:
- His start in institutional development—and how that informed his path in wealth management;
- The decision to leave Goldman—and what he was trying to solve for in doing so;
- The choice to go independent—and why autonomy was important in how he served his clients and grew his business;
- The value of brand—and how his clients reacted to leaving the Goldman imprimatur behind; and
- The option to use a partner like Dynasty to launch Aaron Wealth—and what value it brings to the table.
Gary credits his background and the culture he grew up with at Goldman as the basis for his growth—a heritage that serves to frame how he sees Aaron evolving in the years to come. It’s an important lesson shared in this episode: That is, the experiences we have are a powerful reference to help us define our way forward.