Managing Director, Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown, Los Angeles
Education: B.A., business economics, University of California, Santa Barbara
Team Assets: $1.6 billion
Typical Account: $10 million
Years in Business: 24
Quote: "Spreading out risk across asset classes is my mantra. That's how you identify and control risk. It's extremely basic."
As a young stockbroker at Merrill Lynch, Bruce Treitman got a hard lesson drilled into him in the months following the October 1987 stock market crash: the need for portfolio diversification.
Nearly 20 years later as a managing director and client advisor in the L.A. private wealth management office of Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown, diversification has become Treitman's dominant guiding principle.
"Spreading out risk across asset classes is my mantra," Treitman said. "That's how you identify and control risk. It's extremely basic."
It's also how as he manages the portfolios of his clients, about 120 Los Angeles multimillionaires. Most of these clients have already gone through the aggressive wealth accumulation stage and now want to safeguard what they have while also earning a "competitive" rate of return.
Recently, his client returns have been pumped up by the good performance of small cap equities and international stocks, but that doesn't mean that going forward Treitman will load up on them.
"What if these areas cool down? By spreading out the investments, I don't have to be right about what the best sector will be in the next six months. As long as the overall market is flat or rising, I'm going to capture those returns. Plus, I'll minimize my clients' exposure to losses in a weak market," he said.
But while Treitman may have a conservative approach, he doesn't shun more exotic investment classes altogether. There's a portion of most portfolios that's invested in hedge funds or with private equity funds. But the dominant components of the portfolios tend to be bonds and equities.
And like most of the wealth managers on the Winner's Circle list, Treitman doesn't actually pick the stocks or hedge funds his clients ultimately invest in. Rather, he directs portions of his clients' portfolios to various mutual fund managers or exchange traded fund managers.
For Treitman, catering to the financial needs of extremely wealthy clients has been a lifelong ambition. "I never thought about being a floor trader, even when I was up close and personal with the stock market at Merrill Lynch. Rather, I decided very early on that I wanted to invest on behalf of wealthy clients."
So after joining Lehman Bros., Treitman began to develop a clientele of high net worth clients. He stayed with Lehman Bros. through a series of acquisitions in the 1990s until the firm was acquired by Smith Barney. Lehman Bros. was then spun off and Treitman left Smith Barney to rejoin Lehman in 1996.
Three years later, Treitman joined Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown as a producing branch office manager. He moved up the organization, becoming managing director of the of the Los Angeles office. In 2005, he stepped away from the managerial role to focus more on his clients.
Treitman is the first person in the downtown Deutsche Bank office each morning, coming in from Oak Park in Ventura County by 4:30 a.m. That leaves his afternoons free to spend time with his three teenage daughters.
"All my hobbies are geared around the kids, whether it's going to athletic events or taking my middle daughter to cheerleader competitions around the nation," he said.
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