Location: New York, NY
Industry: Financial services
Karen C. Altfest
Owner and Principal Advisor
FOUNDING PRINCIPLES: Altfest Personal Wealth Management was founded to be a pioneer in fee-only wealth management. The family-run company takes a holistic approach to its advice, understanding that each person’s lifestyle is unique, says Karen C. Altfest, owner and principal advisor. From the company’s inception, its values have included putting the client first, having respect for the team, thinking independently and maintaining open communication, she says.
Quick Tip “Never take shortcuts; be superior in everything you do. It all counts in the way you and your firm are perceived and valued.”
ONBOARDING FAMILY: Altfest holds new recruits, family or not, to high standards for employment. Not only do family candidates have to meet the same educational and professional requirements as non-family members, but they also have to be a good cultural fit. “The great thing is that since the values of the family are consistent with the values of the company, usually the cultural fit is strong with a family member,” says Altfest. To move up the Altfest ranks, family members are expected to develop a track record of results, and work toward advanced levels of education.
CULTURAL VALUES: “Our culture is collegial, dedicated and driven by commitment to clients,” says Altfest. In addition to a customer-focused environment, Altfest says continued communication is important both internally and externally. This includes having an open space and an open-door policy, and making sure managers form close relationships with staff.
LASTING LEGACY: “Senior members have worked to preserve their legacy by mentoring the next generation on long-term business planning,” says Altfest. “The firm will be led by people in the next generation who protect its values and find new ways of interpreting them for additional client, employee and business success.”