"You may hear some things on this phone call that may surprise you, that may be outside the realm of traditional Wall Street," warned Matthew Ramer, who left Morgan Stanley last November to found his own firm, MOR Wealth Management.
The first surprise is that in addition to helping safeguard his clients' retirements, Mr. Ramer doubles as a private pilot and is a national search-and-rescue flight instructor for the Air Force Auxiliary. After Hurricane Katrina, for example, he flew to New Orleans to help search for survivors and deliver supplies. He also has flown for the local medical airlift, although his charitable flights have been tapered back in light of the time he has put into his recent transition.
"There are careers in America that are — more important than mine, yet in some cases I am more handsomely compensated," Mr. Ramer said. "And I think that where resources don't exist, it's our responsibility to give back."
Although his charitable flights are on hold, Mr. Ramer has been applying that same mentality to building his business. He said his first priority is building the team, and looking after his staff.
Counter to the way large companies are run, Mr. Ramer said, his philosophy is not about money or profit margins. He may let an employee leave early, for example, or hire more workers, whereas some organizations would see such moves as a drain on income.
"There are some things that I will do that will cost me money that I will never be able to quantify the return," he said. "But when a staff member knows that their employer cares deeply about them and will go out of their way for them, the effort they put into their job or role is amplified dramatically."
— Mason Braswell
Executive VP, Personal Capital