In this blog series, the Yale ICF will highlight ICF Advisory Board Members who are practitioners from various finance fields and alumni of the Yale School of Management and/or Yale University. Our board members enjoy giving back to the Yale community by participating in panels, guest lecturing, and taking part in Q&A sessions with students. Their generous financial support allows the Yale ICF to host events, sponsor academic initiatives, provide research support to faculty, and much more. The Yale ICF is grateful for their continued support!
Andrea Baumann Lustig SOM ‘86 is Managing Partner at Fischer Stralem Advisors based in New York and an ICF Advisory Board Member.
What is your current role and industry?
I am Managing Partner of Fischer Stralem Advisors, a New York-based wealth management firm with approximately $1 billion in assets under management. I work closely with ultra-high net worth clients to create sophisticated, bespoke wealth management strategies that integrate investment, tax, insurance, and estate planning considerations into a holistic view of their personal wealth. Over the years, I have found that often individuals and families work with professionals in each of these areas separately and miss out on key opportunities that come from synthesizing their financial lives into a single cohesive plan. My role is to develop strategies to add value and reduce risk, and help clients optimize the probability of meeting their wealth management goals. Integrating across disciplines and testing outcomes under different market conditions over time enables us to make sure the different structures actually work as intended. Outside of Fischer Stralem, in addition to the Yale ICF, I serve on the boards of Albert Einstein School of Medicine, ARIF (a foundation supporting Jewish life in France), and Park Avenue Synagogue.
How did you get into this field?
Upon completion of my MBA at Yale SOM, I joined Booz Allen to work in management consulting. It was there that I discovered that I thrived in a fast-paced environment focused on problem solving across projects with ever-changing clients, industries, functional areas and challenges. Wanting to apply this strategic lens to families’ and individuals’ financial futures, I moved to the wealth management industry -- careful to choose a firm grounded in financial theory and where advisors served as fiduciaries. I wanted to test my interest in the industry and build skills so that that I could add value should I choose to join Stralem & Company, the wealth management firm founded by my father. Drawn to its thoughtful approach and high level of client service, I joined Stralem five years later and eventually became CEO. We went on to celebrate Stralem’s 50-year legacy serving clients in 2017. In 2020, Stralem merged with Fischer & Company, a successful wealth management firm with a similar history and approach, to create Fischer Stralem Advisors. Throughout my career, serving as a client’s trusted advisor and sounding board based on experience, analysis and the application of longstanding principles has been enormously gratifying.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities that professionals in your industry face today?
Challenges and opportunities are two sides of the same client relationship coin for wealth management professionals. Advisors constantly confront the challenge of keeping clients focused on their long-term goals while acknowledging, respecting, and responding to concerns raised by short term market volatility and relative performance. These same conversations, when done with a trusted advisor, reveal hopes, dreams and fears that give the advisor insight, allowing him or her to adjust the client’s wealth plan accordingly. These insights refocus the client on the rewards and opportunities created by staying the course.
Where do you see the industry going in the future?
The wealth management industry is going to continue to grow rapidly as the “greatest generation” embarks on the largest transfer of wealth in history to the generation of baby boomers who will need increased guidance as they confront the complexity of investment decisions. We will continue to see new client segments emerging, new products being developed and entirely new business models coming into existence making use of new technologies. Wealth management firms will continue to be called on to keep up with the fast-paced nature of the industry—one which demands staying abreast of the ever-changing economy, markets and our clients needs.
What advice do you have for someone new to the industry?
I’ve found that those who are most successful in their roles are doing something they have a genuine interest in. If you think that might be wealth management, my first piece of advice is to explore the many facets of the industry—investments, relationship building and operations—to discover where your interests and strengths may lie. Next, I always recommend talking to friends and family about their experience, questions and struggles when it comes to their own wealth management so you can start to get a real world understanding of the landscape—your network is at your disposal; don’t be afraid to use it. Lastly, keep in mind the importance of joining a good team. The nature of wealth management is not solitary, and it takes a diverse group of talent to bring about success for you, the firm and your clients.
Andrea Baumann Lustig Biography
For Andrea Baumann Lustig, nothing is more rewarding than helping clients build, protect, enjoy and pass on a legacy. As the 6th consecutive generation to work in wealth management, she carries forward the heritage of her great, great, great grandfather, who founded The Banque Levy in 1810. She follows in the footsteps of her father, an early partner in the 50-year-old firm Stralem & Company, where she serves as President and Director of Wealth Management.
Over the years, Andrea has established herself as a thought leader, spokeswoman and strategic thinker in the wealth management industry. Under her leadership, Stralem implements a wealth management philosophy based on the principle of “participation with protection.” She works closely with families to balance growth and capital preservation tailored to their specific goals and risk tolerance. Acting as fiduciary, she creates highly personalized and comprehensive investment plans, builds portfolios using Stralem-proprietary and outside investments, and coordinates with attorneys and accountants to give clients confidence in their future. This approach helps them forgo Wall Street fads and keep focused on their long-term objectives.
Andrea graduated from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where she earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in International Relations, and Yale University, where she received her Master of Business Administration degree. She has had an expansive career in investment banking, management consulting and wealth management. Prior to joining Stralem, she was vice president with Bernstein Investment Research and Management, where she worked extensively with private clients. She joined Bernstein following more than a decade at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Inc., an international management consulting firm, where she was a principal in the Strategy Practice and director of operations for the Financial Services Practice in the United States and in Europe. She joined Booz-Allen after having been a financial analyst in Mergers and Acquisitions at Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated and an associate in Investment Banking at Jefferies & Co.
An advocate for honoring tradition while embracing change, Andrea supports missions that matter. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and of Park Avenue Synagogue, where she chaired the record-breaking capital campaign and recently served as vice president. She is also president of the Association for the Restoration of Jewish Works and Institutions in France founded in 1943 to support Jewish life in France. In addition, Andrea has been the Co-chair of Annual Giving for the Princeton Class of 1980 for the past 20 years. She is an Advisory Board member of Yale School of Management’s International Center for Finance, a member of the scholarship committee for Le Rosey and a Steering Committee member of the Socrates Society of the Aspen Institute. She is also a former trustee of the Horace Mann School, where she served as president of the Parents’ Association.
With pride and purpose, Andrea understands the value of family legacy and strives every day to exemplify the tradition of giving back, paying forward, and preserving what matters most.