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

How an opportunity for external outreach lead EP Wealth Advisor’s Adam Phillips to discover his passion for public speaking.

Adam Phillips (Courtesy Photo)

Adam Phillips

(Courtesy Photo)

In the run-up to naming the winners of the inaugural RIA Intel Awards on September 14, 2022, RIA Intel will publish short features highlighting the accomplishments of this year’s nominees and Rising Stars.

In 2014, when Adam Phillips joined EP Wealth Advisors, a California-based wealth management company, the firm had a staff of roughly 20 and managed about $1.5 billion in assets. Eight years later, EP Wealth Advisors now has 265 employees (105 of whom are advisors), more than 10,000 clients, and roughly $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 off at the company as the senior vice president of investment strategies, after spending nearly ten years as an investment portfolio manager at City National Rochdale, a New York City-based boutique investment management firm with about $53 billion in assets.

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

He’s also the face of the firm when it comes to speaking about its investments. Phillips says that he’s now comfortable talking to media, but that it isn’t something that came naturally to him and that when he first 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 enjoyed being the center of attention,” Phillips said. “And when the opportunity arose [at EP Wealth Advisors], I wasn’t quite sure how I would handle [public speaking], or if it was even something I wanted to do.”

Phillips considers overcoming this fear to be one of his biggest accomplishments. “I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone to become the voice of the firm,” he said. “I really love it.”

Apart from public speaking, Phillips also writes a quarterly company newsletter, produces weekly market update videos, and sends out one-off “news versus noise” breakdowns to clients to help them differentiate between important financial issues and public chatter.

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

The inaugural RIA Intel Awards is a celebration of financial advisors, wealth management firms, and industry leaders. Winners will be on announced on RIAIntel.com September 14, 2022 and will be honored in-person at upcoming RIA Institute Forums.

If you have any questions, please contact your relationship manager at II or RIA Intel.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the winners would be announced at a dinner and ceremony at the Metropolitan Club of New York on September 14, 2022.

However, due to an unanticipated scheduling conflict with the venue, we regret that Institutional Investor’s inaugural RIA Intel Awards Dinner & Gala on September 14 in New York will not take place. We apologize for the inconvenience.

The Awards themselves remain unchanged. Winners will still be on announced on RIAIntel.com on September 14, and will be honored in-person at upcoming RIA Institute Forums.

Each winner will also be the subject of a feature story on RIAIntel.com.

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

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