Michael Gildenhorn joined Chevy Chase Trust in 2005 after previously serving as the President of Asset Management Investment Advisers. He currently serves as Senior Managing Director and Director of Portfolio Management, where he provides portfolio and wealth management advice to high net worth and institutional clients. Having over 25 years of experience, Michael has been recognized multiple times as one of Washington area’s top investment advisors by Washingtonian Magazine. We recently sat down with him to learn more about his background and how he began his career.
Q: Tell us a little about your background.
A: I’m a native Washingtonian and attended Walt Whitman High School. I went to Duke University and graduated with a degree in Economics and then studied law at the George Washington University National Law Center. I earned my JD in 1984.
Q: What was your first job out of college?
A: I was a real estate attorney practicing in Washington, DC. I liked the law, but I always knew I loved finance more.
Q: How did you transition into finance then?
A: In 1986, I decided to explore investment advising opportunities and was offered a job at Asset Management, Inc. in Bethesda/Chevy Chase. To prepare, I spent four months in New York City attending investment courses at the New York Institute of Finance.
Asset Management, Inc. was Buddy Adler’s firm. He was a wonderful business role model. He demonstrated that it is not only important to be an excellent investor & portfolio manager, but that it is equally, if not more, important to be connected to clients in a meaningful way. He truly cared about his clients and they appreciated that special quality.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your career?
A: Investment advising requires my pulling from entire education/knowledge base: finance, investments, law, tax, psychology, math, science, politics, etc. All of these areas affect the investments I make and the wealth advice I provide. Also, I began my career at the dawn of the computer age and I am fascinated with the tools I have available to manage money.
Q: How did you come to be at Chevy Chase Trust?
A: I came to Chevy Chase Trust as a product of an acquisition, but I cannot imagine an investment firm that offers more to clients than the current Chevy Chase Trust in terms of its research team, its global thematic investment approach and its comprehensive financial and estate planning offerings. The attention to detail seen in Chevy Chase Trust’s client service and portfolio management goes beyond that offered by the big, institutionalized money managers in this community. I am thrilled that my clients are benefitting in meaningful ways from the resources I have at my disposal.
Q: Who was your mentor?
A: My father. From a young age, I remember his joy and fascination with investing in the financial markets. We often had conversations about commodities, stocks and bonds, charts and trends and the fundamentals of investing.
Q: When you aren’t in the office, what do you enjoy doing?
A: I am very involved in the Jewish community. I am the chair of the investment committee for the JCC Association of North America, and the incoming chair of the investment committee at the United Jewish Endowment Fund.
I also love fly-fishing and cycling. I have fished & cycled extensively around the world. In September 2017 I will be participating in Deloitte Ride Across Britain which will cover the 967-mile length of the United Kingdom: Lands End to John O’Groats.
Q: What are is your favorite vacation destination?
A: I love taking family vacations. Kennebunkport, Maine, and Aspen, Colorado are my two favorites.
Q: What is the best piece of advice or the best lesson that you have learned throughout your career?
A: Client expertise is just as important as investment expertise.
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