Rising Star: Adam Phillips, Partner and Managing Director of Portfolio Strategy, EP Wealth Advisors


In the perspective of the first RIA Intel Awards in SeptemberRIA Intel will post Q&As and other short articles highlighting this year’s accomplishments nominees and rising stars.

In 2014, when Adam Phillips joined EP Wealth Advisors, a California-based wealth management firm, the company had about 20 employees and managed about $1.5 billion in assets. Eight years later, EP Wealth Advisors now has 265 employees (including 105 advisors), more than 10,000 clients and approximately $15 billion in assets. Through a mix of organic and inorganic growth, the company has more than doubled its assets under management since January 2020.

Phillips started in the firm as Senior Vice President of Investment Strategies, having spent nearly a decade as an investment portfolio manager at City National Rochdale, an investment management firm based in New York with approximately $53 billion in assets.

He was eventually promoted to partner and managing director of portfolio strategy. In this role, he serves as co-head of the company’s investment process and helps guide the company’s portfolio allocation.

He is also the face of the company when it comes to talking about its investments. Phillips says he’s now comfortable talking to the media, but it’s not something that came naturally to him and that when he started studying for the CFA exam after college, he saw himself working behind the scenes as an analyst.

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“I never thought of myself as someone who liked to be the center of attention,” Phillips said. “And when the opportunity arose [at EP Wealth Advisors]I didn’t know how I would manage [public speaking]or if it was even something I wanted to do.

Phillips considers overcoming this fear to be one of his greatest accomplishments. “I’m really proud of the fact that I stepped out of my comfort zone to become the voice of the company,” he said. “I really like.”

In addition to public speaking, Phillips also writes a quarterly company newsletter, produces weekly market update videos, and sends timely “news versus noise” breakdowns to clients to help them differentiate between significant financial problems from the public chatter.

Her advice to others is to keep an open mind when it comes to new and uncomfortable opportunities. “When I started, I wish I had known how much I would enjoy the role I have now,” he said. “I probably would have been more deliberate in seeking out opportunities and roles with higher visibility,” he said.

The inaugural RIA Intel Awards are a celebration of financial advisors, wealth management firms and industry leaders. The results will be announced at a gala dinner and ceremony at the Metropolitan Club in New York on September 14, 2022.

Click here to sponsor or register for the event.

Holly Deaton (@HollyLDeaton) is a writer at RIA Intel and based in New York

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Don F. Davis