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Our Team

Executive Leadership
Investment Committee

We are the sum of our people. That’s why we focus on hiring smart, service-oriented employees who are passionate about what they do, dedicated to constantly enhancing their knowledge and skills and committed to building long-term relationships with our clients.

Alex Potts
President and Chief Executive Officer

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? I once received sage advice from Gene Fama Jr. “Money is like a bar of soap, the more you touch it, the less you have.” A witty quote to be sure, but it is also an important part of our investment “creed” here at Loring Ward.

Why do you do what you do? As a young teen, I remember my mom balancing her meager checkbook at the kitchen counter. She was raising two boys on a teacher’s salary; every cent mattered. At sixteen, I watched as an unscrupulous broker locked in his commission by selling my mom a product she really didn’t need. This was a transformational moment for me. When I joined Loring Ward in 1990, I was very pleased to find a firm with strong values aligned with my own. I am so happy to be part of a firm that helps change the world by empowering Financial Advisors to provide the authentic and personal financial advice—not product sales—that so many investors need.

What do you feel most grateful for in life? Outside of work I enjoy spending as much time as possible with my lovely wife Karen and our kids. They help me navigate what’s really important and instill a wonderful sense of purpose in my life that I hope I bring to work with me every day.

Michael Clinton
Chief Financial Officer

What do you love most about being part of Loring Ward? What I love most is the passion the employees have for helping Advisors and investors and coworkers alike. I genuinely like the people we work with, and we have fun in delivering what I feel is a great service to our partners. If you don’t believe in what you do and aren’t passionate about what you deliver, then it’s just a job.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Be very clear on your goals and objectives and stay focused on the long term. Don’t let short term noise and distractions keep you from focusing on what really matters. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

What would you be doing if you weren’t working for Loring Ward? I would likely be helping people solve financial problems since I love making a difference for people who need financial advice and guidance. I would also try to incorporate two of my favorite passions: travel and photography. I love traveling to new destinations and meeting new people and new cultures. To be able to capture people in their environments and day-to-day activities through photography would be incredibly rewarding.

Payel Farasat, M.Sc.FA
Chief Investment Officer

What do you love most about being part of Loring Ward? I used to be an Advisor, so I know how hard – yet rewarding – that role can be. I understand how it feels to sit across from a client and have them look to you to do the right thing for them. That’s why I love what I do at Loring Ward so much! I really love partnering with Advisors, helping them make a big difference for their clients.

How are your personal qualities reflected at work? I guess you could say that I’m a “science nerd” who looks at everything with a healthy dose of skepticism — I love the academia part of our industry, digging deeper and separating fact from fiction. I enjoy taking academic research and distilling it to valuable information that Advisors can then use to meaningfully help their clients. I think too many investors have a lack of clarity and insight into what is truly important and helpful. After the rigor of reading, researching, analyzing, testing, and validating, what helps me keep things real is that I often use what I refer to as my “Mom lens” – if I cannot easily explain it to my Mom, I don’t believe I have done a complete job.

What is your greatest passion? My family is my motivation for everything I do and why I go to work. Like most parents, I want my children to have an even better life journey than I have had. And I believe it is my responsibility to teach by example. One of the ways I love to teach my children is through traveling. I think seeing the world and learning about different cultures is not only memorable, but it helps us to be more open to new ways of doing things and improves our ability to truly think “out of the box.” Traveling strengthens your root system and helps you figure out who you are. Those are the same principles that make us wiser as investors and Advisors.

Howard Lee
Chief Operating Officer

What do you love most about being part of Loring Ward? There are many reasons I love it here. My job is to consistently understand what clients need and empower my team to deliver 100% of the time, ensuring that the “engine” of Loring Ward runs efficiently and smoothly. Everyone here genuinely wants to see one another succeed. We are all rewarded by our shared success, which in turn creates a wonderful sense of community and purpose.

What would you be doing if you weren’t working for Loring Ward? Community and family are very important to me. I come from a very large family (who all get along!) and am blessed to have an awesome wife and two lovely kids. If I wasn’t part of Loring Ward, I would want to mentor inner city kids, helping them realize their true potential while providing a clear sense of direction and purpose to their lives.

Why do you do what you do? The most gratifying part of my job now is watching newer folks on my team develop, grow and find satisfaction and enjoyment in their roles.

Steve Atkinson
Executive Vice President, Head of Advisor Relations

Why do you do what you do? I think everyone deserves comprehensive advice, not just the affluent. When I was growing up I saw my single, blue collar mother consistently get sold product rather than receive comprehensive planning which she needed for our future.

What are you passionate about? I am passionate about teaching our common sense, yet scientific investment philosophy to advisors so they are freed up to deliver comprehensive planning to their clients. This is what drives me and my team to get up every day to make a difference.

What would you be doing if you weren’t working for Loring Ward? If my life had taken a different path, I would have liked to be a hobbyist farmer, deriving satisfaction from growing something out of truly nothing but dirt. I’m also a big animal advocate, so I’d have an animal rescue facility where my kids and I could help raise animals for adoption.

Chris Stanley
General Counsel

What’s your worst financial mistake? My first foray into the investment world was an ill-fated purchase of a company called “Enron.” Thankfully I ended up being a lawyer and not a portfolio manager.

Why do you do what you do? One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is guiding Advisors through the inevitable complexities of today’s regulatory requirements. I take great pride in helping Loring Ward always do the right thing, and I truly enjoy untangling intricate legal concepts and distilling them down to their purest form. It’s certainly not easy for Advisors to keep up with myriad changes all while running a business and creating excellent client experiences, which is why I strive to be a go-to regulatory resource for all Advisors with whom we work.

What is your favorite place in the world? When I’m not wearing my legal or compliance hat, you can find me anywhere outdoors, happily unplugged from our continuously connected 21st century.


Our People Make the Difference

Supporting and guiding Advisors is what we love to do. It’s in our DNA.

Click here for the complete list of our services. Or if you’d like a guided tour, click here to talk with one of our Regional Directors and experience the Loring Ward difference today.