Scarsdale, N.Y.-Based Firm Manages $1.1 Billion, Serves Clients in 34 States and Abroad
SCARSDALE, N.Y.—Jan. 7, 2013—Launched as a one-man shop in 1993, Palisades Hudson Financial Group has become one of America’s top independent wealth managers. It manages more than $1.1 billion of assets and provides comprehensive financial planning to affluent clients from its offices in Scarsdale, N.Y., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Atlanta, Ga.
“Surprisingly, the business I launched 20 years ago turned out almost exactly as I envisioned,” says Larry M. Elkin, president.
Elkin had left Arthur Andersen, where he was a senior manager in the personal financial planning practice, and opened a small office in the New York City suburb of Hastings on Hudson. He wanted to offer soup-to-nuts financial advice to senior executives, business owners, creative or athletic individuals, and wealthy families. And he knew he wanted to build a real firm.
But Elkin had few customers at first, so he wrote the first book on financial planning for unmarried couples and started publishing his client newsletter, Sentinel.
By 1998, Palisades Hudson was well established, but still small, with a staff of four, including Elkin’s wife, Linda, who set up its recruiting and marketing functions.
The newest of the four was Shomari Hearn, who was just a year out of college. Today Hearn is the firm’s vice president and also head of the Fort Lauderdale office, which he opened in 2005.
“It’s a great working environment,” Hearn says. “We have an intelligent group of individuals who have our clients’ best interests at heart. The work is challenging and rewarding, as our clientele tend to have complex planning needs that require creative solutions.”
Like Hearn, most financial professionals at the firm were hired right out of college or soon afterward. Today, the staff is a close-knit group of about two dozen, spread across the country – senior manager David Walters has moved to Portland, Ore., to open a forthcoming office there – but operating as a single team. Larry and Linda Elkin treat the staff like a second family.
Elkin, a former journalist, still edits Sentinel, which is outspoken and frank, unlike the typical bland financial newsletter.
“Sentinel has drawn some angry letters, but it has also attracted fan mail,” he says. “I have never heard of another financial firm newsletter that received fan mail.”
Both clients and staff have stayed for the long term.
“Our clients today include children and grandchildren of people I first counseled 20 or even 25 years ago, going back to my Arthur Andersen days,” he says. “There are some great-grandchildren on our client list, too. If my luck holds, I’ll be able to stick around for another 20 years to see these fourth-generation clients grow to adulthood.”
More information about Palisades Hudson can be found online at www.palisadeshudson.com or by calling 914-723-5000.