Kristopher Martin, vice president and wealth advisor at Element Pointe Advisors, a fee-only, multi-family office RIA founded in 2016 in Miami, had an unusual start in wealth management. Prior to joining Element Pointe Advisors in 2017, Martin spent five years as a booking manager for Live Nation, a global concert promotion company. Since his arrival, Element has grown from about $300 million in assets under management to more than $705 million and has increased its clients from 20 to 50 families.
Below is our recent discussion, edited for length and clarity.
What motivated you to get into wealth management?
In the music industry, I had the opportunity to work hand in hand with a lot of entertainers, and I really saw a lot of the cracks in the system, especially the kind of financial abuses that can happen to an artist [making the kind] of money that they were making. I really wanted to rotate into an opportunity where I could be the kind of person they’d have in their corner, blocking and tackling a lot of the abuses.
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Since becoming an advisor, what is something you are really proud of?
I’m really proud of becoming a CFP. I also really pride myself in being an African American in financial services. We’re not only minorities in the country, but we’re minorities in the [financial] service sector, and I’m one of a small percentage of African American CFPs. So, to have that designation was very important to me and a great milestone in my career.
What has been the biggest challenge of your career?
In the beginning, my biggest hurdle was to get my name out there and build a presence in the industry. I don’t look like the average financial advisor, although I think there have been a lot more opportunities [for minority advisors] in recent years. But coming into an industry without a deep finance background, without working on Wall Street, I really needed to let my intellect and personal skills speak for themselves. It took me a while to really break through, build a great network, and gain professional respect.
Wealth management is seeing an evolution away from solely managing client assets toward more holistic financial planning and advice only. What do you think about this pivot, and what does it mean for your business?
I think it’s the future. I really think that what families are looking for is wealth planning across the balance sheet, and we’ve definitely pivoted toward that. What families are asking for now is now more holistic, and [Element is] really seeing this, especially around private market deals. A lot of families are looking for a third-party source that can help them navigate the deal flow that they see, whether that comes directly to them or from other counterparties. So, we’ve really worked to make sure we can diversify our services from just portfolio management to financial planning and advice.
The inaugural RIA Intel Awards is a celebration of financial advisors, wealth management firms, and industry leaders. Results will be revealed at a gala dinner and ceremony at the Metropolitan Club of New York, September 14, 2022.
Holly Deaton (@HollyLDeaton) is a staff writer at RIA Intel and based in New York City