Leaders of Wealth Management

Jay Pelham, president of Kaufman Rossin Wealth, was interviewed by South Florida Business and Wealth. He described current challenges and opportunities and how his team is helping clients navigate these uncertain times, while protecting their assets. 

How do you stay balanced and centered during the COVID era?

I look to do things that create a sense of “normalcy” on a day-to-day basis. This means keeping a regular work schedule, a dedicated workspace separate from my “home life” space, keeping a professional appearance (even if there not any video meetings that day), and maintaining regular contact with colleagues and clients. I have tried to integrate the new aspects of COVID work life in a practical manner. For example, although there are now more webinars offered, I try to match the time allocated to this learning to the amount I spent on these topics prior to COVID. 

How should clients and investors be looking at risk during this time? What are you passionate about?

In my view, risk mitigation starts with understanding the client’s perception and tolerance for risk at the inception of the advisor relationship – not when markets exhibit volatility. As part of our process, potential clients participate in a 25-question risk assessment survey. Joint account holders take separate surveys independently, so we can identify different perspectives within households. We review and discuss the results with the client and use the outcome of this discussion to guide their asset allocation decision. I am passionate about my role in helping clients plan their “next chapter.”

What opportunities do you see during this time?

Prior to COVID, many investors benefitted from a stock market that was booming for years. Investors without a solid financial plan often are complacent because they saw strong portfolio performance. However, the impact of COVID on financial markets has exposed the shortcomings of navigating crisis situations without a financial plan. Not only is Kaufman Rossin Wealth held to a fiduciary standard as a Registered Investment Advisor, but we also take a planning-based approach to our advisory relationships. We see a tremendous opportunity to help individuals and families build a solid financial plan to carry them through good times and bad. 

What are you and/or your company doing to stay relevant during these times?

In response to the pandemic, Kaufman Rossin Wealth collaborated with affiliates Kaufman Rossin and Kaufman Rossin Insurance Services to launch a new service line, Business Recovery & Resiliency Services, specifically designed to help our clients through these challenging times. From a client service perspective, we have been reaching out to our clients to listen to their concerns and provide guidance in line with the financial plan we have laid out together with them. Additionally, we have been sharing timely and relevant educational information and insights with clients through webinars, blog posts, newsletters and other channels. 

What’s your philosophy about servicing clients?

Many advisors inadvertently create a one-way street of communication with their clients. However, you can best serve clients when communication is a two-way street. More important than how we educate our clients is that we are educated about them. This does not simply mean knowing their assets and income, but also understanding other aspects of their lives. Death of a loved one, divorce, inheritance, marriage and other major life events each bring unique circumstances – both emotional and financial. By listening to and approaching the financial aspects in the context of the client’s other life events, we can better serve them. 


Jay Pelham, CFP®, is President at Kaufman Rossin Wealth, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser.