view original post

Abacus Wealth Partners, a Santa Monica, California-based registered investment advisor firm with more than $4 billion in assets, is taking a different approach in appointing new leadership, according to news reports.

In an industry where chief executive officers are typically older men and usually the founders of their firms, Abacus has named Mary Beth Storjohann and Neela Hummel, both 37 years old, as the firm’s new co-CEOs starting in February 2022, Barron’s writes.

Storjohann joined Abacus in 2018 as chief marketing officer, according to the publication. Previously, she had been at Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley before launching her own virtual RIA firm, Workable Wealth, in 2013, Barron’s writes.

Hummel started at Abacus as an intern before becoming a financial advisor, partner and the firm’s chief advisory officer, according to the publication.

Industry consultant Eliza DePardo said Abacus “appears to have taken a very different approach,” according to Barron’s.

“It’s particularly exciting to see this next generation of women in leadership roles. I think we can count on a differentiated leadership style, inspired by their own unique perspectives,” she added, according to the publication.

But Abacus’ decision to stray from the fold isn’t surprising given how it operates.

Founded in 1999 by two practicing Buddhists, Brent Kessel and Spencer Sherman — Storjohann says Abacus is known for its “New Age-y” vibe — the company has a meditation room in its office, starts staff meetings with one to three minutes of silence, offers up to six months paid parental leave and was an early proponent of socially responsible investing, Barron’s writes.

Sherman also runs a podcast dubbed “Money Meditations,” which includes mindful breathing, according to the publication.

Abacus is also certified as a B Corp, a for-profit firm that also sees itself as “a force for good,” according to Kessel, Barron’s writes.

Kessel, who’s the firm’s current CEO, is staying on full time, serving on Abacus’ board and working on the firm’s impact investment programs, according to the publication.

Do you have a news tip you’d like to share with FA-IQ? Email us at editorial@financialadvisoriq.com.

Related Posts