Our independence allows us
to listen to our clients and prioritize their needs rather than being beholden to the direction of a majority interest. Listening—to each client—allows us to deliver the highest level of investment performance, strategic advice and individualized service. It happens in conversation, but also in paying close attention to what is left unsaid. This chapter reflects on the importance of partnership and teamwork to the listening process.
Doug Godine, CFA, Head of Private Client Business Development
At Brown Advisory, client relationships are built on honest and transparent communication and a relentless focus on long-term goals and objectives.
For each and every client, we commit to bringing to bear the resources of our entire firm to help them get to wherever it is they want to go. Each client’s “where” is different, so the solution we develop to help them get there will be different—no two client relationships look exactly the same. Likewise, no client relationship remains static: often, there are multigenerational priorities with objectives and needs that evolve over time. Effective listening puts us in a position to lead that evolution rather than react to it.
"Our secret sauce is partnering with clients, meeting them where they are and creating totally customized solutions for often very complex situations—which we know will evolve over time."
Chief Strategy Officer for U.S. Private Client,
Endowments and Foundations
Tom Geddes, Head of Family Office Solutions
Our family office clients look to us for a wide range of support, from managing sophisticated investment portfolios to complex financial accounting. These families find the firm’s ownership structure compelling—they like the fact that we are building Brown Advisory for generations, and they are attracted to our multigenerational client teams who can grow with their families. Increasingly, we are working with family offices that have multi-national, cross-border considerations. New family office clients—many coming to us through word-of-mouth referrals—are often based in the U.S. and U.K., but also include a growing list of cities such as Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Dubai.
For the nonprofits and charities with whom we work, partnership is paramount. They often rely on us not only to oversee their investment assets but also to provide policy guidance and strategic advice in the face of their many market-related and governance challenges. We find that our clients appreciate an independent perspective and a partner that can engage both in their local community and with very large, multi-jurisdiction organizations whose complex financial needs require the most sophisticated investment solutions.
Brett Gibson, Head of Washington, D.C. Office
Serving entrepreneurs was part of our day-one DNA. Today, we support entrepreneurs at every stage of the business cycle and of their lives—constructing investment programs, providing strategic planning guidance, and making connections with our network of advisors and potential investors.
Quintin Ings-Chambers, Head of International Private Clients and Charities; Georgina Guy, Head of International Strategic Advisory; Andrew Blair, Director of Business Development, International Private Clients and Charities
John Poulton, Strategic Advisor
We built our firm around the idea that an investment program is most helpful when integrated with broader strategic advice. For private clients, our strategic advisors engage in long-term conversations with them to optimize tax, estate, business and philanthropic planning. They help guide families through generational planning and governance, taking into account all aspects of a family's individual values and capital—human, intellectual, social and financial. Especially in the face of today's often stressful and changing geopolitical and economic environments, strategic advisors help clients rise above emotions of the moment to focus on durable plans that advance goals for legacy, impact or philanthropy.
Chris Chalke, Head of Private Client, Endowments and Foundations Client Service
Our client service professionals play a pivotal role in the client partnership. With specific skillsets as MBAs, CFAs, CAIAs, Masters of Taxation, Masters of Trust and Wealth Management, Certified Financial Planners, Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisors, and attorneys, they are the backbone of the client team. They combine technical expertise—in investments, fiduciary oversight, trust management, estate administration, tax compliance, philanthropy, portfolio analysis and more—with the attention to detail and execution that clients need and deserve. Client service team members are typically clients’ first call when they have a question, concern or news to share.
Leveraging Our Network for Learning
“Lunch and Learns” are a mainstay at Brown Advisory—we believe embracing diverse viewpoints and learning from experts across disciplines make us more effective professionals and better contributors to our communities.
As part of our Black History Month celebration, our Black and African American Colleague Resource Group hosted a captivating conversation with Brown Advisory board member, David Robinson. After an illustrious NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs, winning multiple championships, David was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2009. And yet, the impact that David has had on the people around him and on his community is so much greater than basketball. Regarded as one of the preeminent philanthropists in professional sports, David is the co-founder of Admiral Capital Group (now Vero Capital), a real estate and private equity firm, and the founder of IDEA Carver Academy, a public charter school in San Antonio, Texas. In recognition of David’s philanthropic leadership, the NBA named its annual community service award the “David Robinson Plaque.”
The Lunch and Learn was moderated by Brown Advisory Portfolio Manager (and former NFL player) Victor Abiamiri. Among numerous topics, Victor and David discussed David’s philosophy of mentorship.
“Mentorship is so critically important. Really good business people understand that. They understand they have to put their lives into the people coming up. And if those people are better than them, guess what? They’ve got to let them do their thing. That kind of mentorship is important—understanding that if somebody can do something better than you, you need to put them in a position to succeed. That mentality creates success for the whole team.”
Brown Advisory Board Member
"Our ownership structure makes all the difference. When we are working with clients—whether they are families, nonprofits or charities, small foundations or very large pension funds—the fact that we are all equity owners means that we only do well if our clients are thrilled with their experience of the firm."
Head of U.S. Private Client, Endowments and Foundations
Anthony Bethea, Senior Institutional Portfolio Analyst;
Connor Reyman, Institutional Portfolio Analyst
You will hear us say that we “team” well.
Teamwork is the Brown Advisory way. While perhaps not always the most efficient approach, we believe working as a team—spending intentional time to listen, challenge and collaborate with each other—is the most effective way to make decisions for and with clients. Our firm structure supports this team-based approach. As collective owners, we are incentivized to push each other—not to settle for the easy or obvious answer, but to continue to ask “what if” questions until we arrive at the decision that we think will most benefit a client’s situation.
Teamwork is at the heart of our promise to deliver the highest level of performance, advice and service to clients. Our client and research teams are often—sometimes notoriously—large. We believe the cost of multiple sets of eyes, ears and thoughts is worth it if the result is better outcomes for clients.
Brown Advisory colleagues brainstorm during a strategy session.