Robertson Stephens: Inside Powerful Pillars of Wealth Planning

Evolution is undeniably taking hold in the financial services industry, but registered investment advisors (RIAs) and, more importantly, clients still benefit from some traditional values. While many wealth managers gloss over such standards, Robertson Stephens is blending principles with a unique approach to wealth planning.

Some financial advisors likely remember Robertson Stephens as a leading investment bank – one that was among dominant underwriters of consumer internet and technology initial public offerings (IPOs) during the go-go days of the 1990s technology boom. That’s a bygone era, but it paved the way for the privately held firm to become one of the top boutique wealth managers in the U.S.

“We pride ourselves on our values of integrity, collaboration, innovation, and transparency. Those values drive a highly personalized client experience that combines the high touch of a specialized firm with deep and extensive resources,” according to Raj Bhattacharyya, CEO of Robertson Stephens.

This creates the foundation for the firm’s innovative and modern style of wealth planning. 

Why It’s ‘Wealth Planning’ not ‘Financial Planning’

Robertson Stephens’ wealth planning approach helps clients focus on immediate challenges and needs while building a more encompassing, long-term plan. As the term implies, wealth planning is more applicable to high and ultra-high net worth clients – the target market for Robertson Stephens.

“We iterate rapidly and present an online interactive ‘strategic’ plan before or soon after they become a client,” notes Mallon FitzPatrick, Head of Wealth Planning at Robertson Stephens. “Our planning tool can show adjustments made in real time, demonstrate the impact of our recommendations and evaluate client requested scenarios. It’s deeply collaborative and this allows the client to clearly weigh the impact of potential decisions and select pathways forward that align with their values and personal preferences.”

In our experience, when clients visualize and understand the impact of potential decisions, they get ‘hooked’ on wealth planning. During this process, biases and personal preferences (a.k.a behavioral traits) tend to surface. This helps to enhance our final recommendations and increase the likelihood of execution, therefore driving more rapid, positive outcomes. Clients move from their immediate challenges and begin to think about long term objectives such as a philanthropic giving strategy and wealth transfer planning.  Clients realize freedom of choice and bolstered legacies are attainable, credible goals. Getting there is a combination of art, psychology and science.

“By combining the analytical and behavioral aspects we can understand your personal preferences toward wealth and collaborate with you to try to achieve the best outcomes,” adds FitzPatrick. “Fact-based behavioral science and technical planning expertise – a dynamic pairing – help us as we seek to turn goals and passions into reality for our clients.”

Related: How Advisors Can Work More Effectively with Black, Hispanic Clients


Investment advisory services offered through Robertson Stephens Wealth Management, LLC (“Robertson Stephens”), an SEC-registered investment advisor. Registration does not imply any specific level of skill or training and does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission. This material is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. Please consult with your Advisor prior to making any Investment decisions. This material is an investment advisory publication intended for investment advisory clients and prospective clients only. Robertson Stephens only transacts business in states in which it is properly registered or is excluded or exempted from registration. A copy of Robertson Stephens’ current written disclosure brochure filed with the SEC which discusses, among other things, Robertson Stephens’ business practices, services and fees, is available through the SEC's website at: © 2022 Robertson Stephens Wealth Management, LLC. All rights reserved. Robertson Stephens is a registered trademark of Robertson Stephens Wealth Management, LLC in the United States and elsewhere.