Rob Friedman, CFP,® CDFA®, MBA
Prior to becoming a Certified Financial Planner™, I spent more than 25 years as an executive and management consultant in the consumer banking, investment management and insurance industries. During those years I focused on high-profile customer analytics and business strategy issues, advising senior executives at the largest banks and insurance companies on how they should better run their consumer-oriented businesses. While I was successful, in many ways I was left greatly unsatisfied.
Unfortunately, I saw from the inside that large financial services companies – and the people who work for them – often don’t make the needs of a prospect or client their top priority but rather too frequently focus too heavily on their own well-being. They would ask:
- What products do I have to sell and how can I convince the prospective customer one of those products is what he or she needs?
- How much does a particular product generate in compensation for me and profit for my company rather than are there other more effective or less-costly alternatives that might work better for them whether or not I have them to sell?
- Is what I’m offering “suitable” for them (the standard for non-fiduciaries) rather than is it truly in their best interests (the standard for fiduciaries)?
I also saw through my own personal divorce almost two decades ago that many people going through a life change simply are not ready to take on significant responsibility for their own financial decision-making even though such decisions will have a great impact on their own well-being going forward.
I had a desire to directly help people in making smart financial decisions for themselves and their families. Because of my background, friends and family members would often seek my perspective on something concerning their own personal financial situation. I always found great satisfaction in working through the issues with them, working to educate them and coming up with a solution that would best meet their needs.
Initially I became a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® and assisted individuals and couples going through divorce to make more informed and more effective decisions. While I continue to provide such services, I also became a Certified Financial Planner™ and focus on a broader range of financial planning issues for individuals and couples. In this work, I am able to bring to bear my business school education, my experience in the banking, investment and insurance industry and my skill at advising client on often complex matters.
While I was born in Chicago and went to school in Philadelphia, I’ve lived in New York City for most of my adult life. As a result, I know what it is like to set money aside for the future and to raise children while living in one of the most expensive places on the planet. I recently relocated from Manhattan to Westchester County with my wife and enjoy spending time with family and friends, bicycling and running along the many bike/running paths in the area and exploring New York City and beyond.
- Certificate in Financial Planning with Distinction, UCLA
- Master of Business Administration with Distinction, Real Estate Finance & Marketing, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
- Bachelor of Science in Economics, Summa Cum Laude, Finance & Accounting, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
- Alliance of Comprehensive Planners
- National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
- Financial Planning Association (FPA)
- Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts
- Association of Divorce Financial Planners
- Family & Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York
- New York State Council on Divorce Mediation