Allison Donaldson, CFP®
My route to a career in wealth management started, believe it or not, with my love of all things French. I began studying French in middle school, and the summer between my junior and senior years of high school, I participated in an immersion program in Montreal. I chose to pursue a French major at Hamilton College because of its reputable year-long study abroad program in Paris.
After graduating from college, I was introduced to NeubergerBerman, an investment management firm that had recently signed a joint venture with BNP. After an intense interview in French with one of the partners, I took an entry-level job with a portfolio management team.
Other than my interview, I never spoke a word of French at Neuberger, but I did gain interest and experience in investment management. Before too long, Neuberger agreed to sponsor me for the Executive MBA program at NYU’s Stern School of Business. After two full years of classes, working full time, and getting married, I graduated in 1996 with an MBA in Finance.
I continued to service Neuberger’s institutional clients from New Jersey to Maine for several years. I particularly enjoyed helping organizations understand their investments and build diversified portfolios.
After taking some time off to raise my three sons, the “original HTG” (Tom Gnuse) invited me to the office to network with some of his colleagues and ultimately offered me a job. I realize now that he saw something in me that I didn’t yet see in myself—that I had the experience and compassion to serve families well on their financial journeys. Pivoting to work with individuals rather than institutions was the missing piece to a very satisfying career for me. Then, to round out my education and give me a solid foundation for working with families, I received my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation a few years after joining HTG.
There is nothing more rewarding than engaging with clients to solve problems, discuss and implement strategies that improve their outlook, and give them a vision of their financial future.
Each client comes to the table with different circumstances. I enjoy the challenge of using my knowledge and resources to develop solutions that add value. I also enjoy getting to know our clients and understanding what is important to them. Doing so allows us to build a more meaningful financial plan together.
I am proud to work for a firm that was founded with a fiduciary mindset. Trust and transparency are at the very core of what we do. It feels great to be in a role helping people, not “selling” to them.
Like most of us at HTG, I wear a couple of hats. In addition to my work with clients, I lead the firm’s marketing efforts.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy running, painting, and spending time with my family. I also value giving back to the community. I have served on several nonprofit boards and am currently a Director on the Board of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce.