by:  JC Abusaid, President, COO

Let’s get this out of the way first: If you first met me as HH’s newly hired Operations Manager back in 1996, you would have seen a different hairline. But other than that? I’m the same guy – who completely “got” Russ Hill’s vision for the firm and seized the opportunity to help build it.

Now I’m looking back at those 25 years of caring, patience, discipline, and very hard work in helping grow HH from seven employees and $250M under management to 44 employees and $3B of AUM. And I realize that my business professors were right. To paraphrase: Hire people who are smarter and better at their job than you are and success will follow.

But I think this insight is even more profound: You need to give those exceptional people great reasons to stick around. In our business, our people are our lifeblood. It’s because of them that we are where we are – it’s the teamwork, the collaboration that fosters what we accomplish for clients. So 25 years out …. Here are what I believe are the 10 most compelling reasons our great HH associates choose to put down roots with us:

1.)  We work hard and play hard.

If there’s a project to complete – we all pitch in and do whatever it takes to complete it. And we have lots of fun!  From dress up, to happy hours, to trivia, we value our play time together.

2.)  We celebrate associates.

Welcome bashes, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, achieving business successes and additional credentials – we never miss an opportunity to celebrate one another.

3.)  Food is important to us.

There’s always a great reason to celebrate just about anything with food.

4.)  Employees truly come 1st.

We work with each individual to understand their strengths and passions. Each has their own roadmap within the firm: Together, we figure out the best path – we don’t always get it right at first but we invest the time to help them get there.

5.)  Mentoring and education are a priority for all.

Every associate has a mentor. And every associate has the opportunity to grow professionally through education that we help underwrite.

6.)  We love what we do.

At HH we’re selective with clients and build long-lasting and enduring relationships. Our people find it infinitely rewarding to impact clients’ lives in a meaningful way.

7.)  Innovation is a big part of who we are.

We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our services and create better solutions. We’re not afraid to be industry 1st leaders. Our technology hardware and equipment for associates is always first rate.

8.)  HH’s employee benefits are dynamic.

Here are two examples from our responses to the pandemic: We increased our childcare reimbursement by 150% – and we’re providing associates with one long weekend per month, Friday to Sunday.

9.)  We promote leadership from within.

Every associate has the chance to rise within the firm.

10.)  And last but most important: Our culture is awesome, and we work hard to maintain it.

The best part about my 25-year journey? Seeing the personal and professional growth of those around me. What gives me a sense of accomplishment is seeing how people I hired and mentored have taken on greater roles and responsibilities and now perform some of the job functions I once had. And this is the key issue – they do them better than I ever did! And I’m sure I’m not the only leader here who feels that way.

Another big aspect of my journey is seeing how the culture now has its own life. What I took from Russ, I fostered and cultivated – in turn, this has been championed by our newer leadership. I see our culture as a silent and powerful guiding force. Of course we’re never done making things better. But when we keep a strong focus on making “us” better, the firm’s successful evolution is sure.


Halbert Hargrove Global Advisors, LLC (“HH”) is an SEC registered investment adviser located in Long Beach, California. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Additional information about HH, including our registration status, fees, and services can be found at This blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as personalized investment advice. It should not be construed as a solicitation to offer personal securities transactions or provide personalized investment advice. The information provided does not constitute any legal, tax or accounting advice. We recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified attorney and accountant. All opinions or views reflect the judgment of the author as of the publication date and are subject to change without notice. All information presented herein is considered to be accurate at the time of writing, but no warranty of accuracy is given and no liability in respect of any error or omission is accepted.


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