Reputation and the Value of a Phone Call: an Interview with Ronen Schwartzman
Mr. Ronen Schwartzman, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Ten Capital Advisors, led an executive seminar at Business Today’s 44th International Conference. Mr. Schwartzman’s firm conducts business with families of clients and prides itself on thoughtful and “tailor-made” advising. With multiple years of experience, Schwartzman has been quoted by Bloomberg and a number of other respectable outlets with a business-economics approach. The following interview provides a look into his perspectives on his career, advice for the next generation, and the business community.
BT (Emily Cheston): You truly place an importance on the individuality of each client and value getting to know the families you work with. How has this focus on personal relationships shaped the success of your business, to date?
Schwartzman: Having clients from different generations, I communicate with them in the way that feels most comfortable for them. For example, I have an 81-year-old client who I meet with in person, rather than discussing business affairs over the phone. That’s the way that I was taught business was carried out. The younger generation is a little more used to emailing and texting. Aside from that, I really enjoy getting to know the families and I tend to believe you should enjoy what you choose to make a career in. My clients like to know that I am available to them at any time and value the personal touch that my work has.
BT: You have received degrees from the College of Management- Tel Aviv and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School. How have these educational experiences in different countries impacted your career differently?
Schwartzman: Undergrad was great because it taught me the foundations of the language of finance and what I would be using in my career later down the road. The MBA at Wharton helped me hone my skills related to these fundamentals. This experience allowed me to work on weaknesses in an environment that was friendly-- everyone around you is a student and you are not reporting to a boss at a firm.
BT: It seems that change is occurring at rapid speed in many career fields, largely due to technology. What advice would you have for students who are unsure of their ability to adapt on the job?
Schwartzman: I think knowing where your passion is, to begin with, is very important. Being in tune with this will tell you what path you should stick to. If you feel like you are not where you need to be, I say reach out to coworkers in other departments and learn about what they do. Always keeping an open mind to new interests is very important in the workplace.
BT: Ten Capital Advisors prides itself on meticulous analysis on behalf of its clients. How has this “tailor-made” approach helped you remain successful throughout the years?
Schwartzman: The premise of my company has always been wanting to give the best, independent, thoughtful, professional advice to families. This means zero conflicts of interest and has always been crucial in the success of my company. I am grateful for the trust that this has granted me with my clients and I credit much of the quality of my relationships with them to the attention to detail that we provide.
BT: How important has the establishment of a respectable reputation been in the lifespan of your career?
Schwartzman: Being in a people’s business, investment banking in based in professionalism and respectability. My name and my integrity is a number-one priority and our company is mindful of that in the way that we hire.
BT: On your website, there is an exceptional effort to provide a well-articulated explanation of what it means to be a client of Ten Capital Advisors. You make a clear effort to make sure that your clients understand the logic behind the advising that you provide-- what is your philosophy in doing this?
Schwartzman: Well, I have always believed that a well-educated client is a better client. Being transparent about our process helps build a relationship out of respect for each other.
BT: After being in the real world of investing for a number of years, how do you view the value of experiential learning, through trial and error, in comparison to years of learning in the classroom?
Schwartzman: A lot of important lessons have come from actually working in the field. Everyone makes mistakes and making peace with that is important. Doing your best and learning from those mistakes is equally, if not more, important. Being resilient in your career is one of the most valuable things and managing money can be a very humbling experience.