Ted Reid

Wealth ad­vi­sor, Mor­gan Stan­ley

Financial Planning - - LEAD GENERATION: SPECIAL REPORT -

Join­ing the busi­ness just be­fore the 1987 stock mar­ket crash, Ted Reid’s ca­reer en­dured a rough start. His ten­der age didn’t help any ei­ther. “I had a very dif­fi­cult time. I was 21 years old, and I looked like I was 15,” he re­calls. Reid, who has been with Mor­gan Stan­ley and its pre­de­ces­sor firms for nearly 31 years and has been in­volved in the firm’s mul­ti­cul­tural lead­er­ship sum­mit, says he failed at first to make in­roads with his at­tempts to break into var­i­ous niche mar­kets: first ar­chi­tects, then en­gi­neers, fol­lowed by auto deal­ers and fran­chise own­ers. “I re­al­ized I had noth­ing in com­mon with them, so it didn’t work,” Reid rec­ol­lects. By chance, how­ever, he be­gan at­tract­ing pro­fes­sional ath­letes as clients through con­nec­tions he had made via his former room­mate, a one-time NFL player. “While I was search­ing for a tar­get mar­ket, I was spend­ing all this time with these ball play­ers and help­ing them with­out think­ing that they could be my tar­get mar­ket,” says Reid, who’s based in Marl­ton, New Jersey. By 1991, his prac­tice had turned a cor­ner, and other ad­vi­sors turned to him for ad­vice when they strug­gled. Six years later, Reid de­cided to take a broader ap­proach to of­fer­ing his ad­vice. “I went to my man­ager and said, ‘I want to hold a meet­ing for all the African-amer­i­can bro­kers in this re­gion, and I will talk about some of the chal­lenges I faced, but, most im­por­tant, about how not to see be­ing an African-amer­i­can as a dis­ad­van­tage,’ ” Reid re­counts. My man­ager said, ‘There’s a res­tau­rant down­stairs in this build­ing. Here’s my credit card. Take them all out to din­ner.’ ” Reid sug­gests that new en­trants to the wealth man­age­ment busi­ness make an ef­fort to work with un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated client seg­ments. “Fig­ure out what you en­joy, be­sides sports and en­ter­tain­ment, and cre­ate a niche in that space,” he says. “That is what will make you dif­fer­ent.”

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