Registered Rep.: Solaris Advisors saw over 200 percent growth in assets between 2007 and 2008. How did you do that?
Ralph D. Sinsheimer: Strong market action and continued interest from mega-wealthy families seeking unbiased, creative and customized advice. Also, the transfer of a few wealth accounts “housed” in our affiliated companies to our wealth management company.
RR: How do you think this year will compare?
RS: Do I have to answer?
RR: Has any good come out of this environment for your firm?
RS: My colleagues would say that I have become refreshingly humble, which is not a character trait they would have previously ascribed to me.
RR: Have your work hours changed in the last six months?.
RS: Not at all. I don't have the creativity to live much of a life outside my work. Like many advisors, I am on call 24/7, and clients have become comfortable reaching out to me frequently and at odd hours during this financial crisis.
RR: Favorite drink?
RS: I am told copious amounts of cool, still water guards against kidney stones and is non-caloric. Then again, a glass of 1999 Chateau Lafite Rothschild or a Bordeaux of similar quality would do just fine.
RR: If you had to leave New York, what city would you pick?
RS: Chicago for the people, Paris for the food and Austin for the music.
RR: Favorite business lunch spot?
RS: Oceana on East 54th is a wonderful spot — quiet, understated and the fresh fish is out of this world. But recently I have been meeting at Joe's Diner.
RR: Have you ever fired a client?
RS: Yes, and it was one of the most liberating acts of my career.