Your Name: Liz Miller

Business Name: Summit Place Financial Advisors, LLC, a provider of wealth management services

Type of Business: Financial Services

Business Location: Summit, New Jersey, United States

Twitter @summitpl

Reason for starting
At the same time I noticed that my clients needed more than investment management. They were looking for answers on a wide range of financial questions in their families. I saw the opportunity for a new kind of high service firm focused on the wealth complexities of high net worth clients.

How do you define success?
I am very proud that my firm’s long-term results exceed the popular benchmarks, and some investors are always looking for great investment restuls. But these days, every firm has to be able to deliver results; I do not consider numbers alone to be measure of success. Success is when I help a family achieve their goals and simplify their financial challenges. Success is when I help their children understand how to manage a budget or read an investment statement. When I help a family find comfort and confidence in their financial situation, I know I’ve used my expertise to make a positive contribution.

Biggest Success
Starting my firm in October 2008. The day I planned to resign, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy! I sat in my office that morning thinking what am I doing? But I followed through and gave my resignation. I started up a couple weeks later. All the prospects for new business that I had been collecting completely disappeared. But past clients reached out, eager to have my stewardship in such uncertain times, and I finished my first year profitable! Now four years later, we have had another huge success as clients have supported us and asked for our expertise in growing areas. This past September, I published my first book, Clutter-Free Wealth, to bring our personal, goals-oriented approach to more people. I never could have imagined how excited my clients and friends are to receive my book.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Learning that I can be a salesperson. I am a math geek who found a home on Wall Street. Over the years, I loved that success came from measurable investment results, no matter your gender or personality. I knew I could run a successful investment business, but I wasn’t sure how I would “sell” my services. My clients helped me realize that my expertise engenders trust, and I just need to be myself and share my best thinking to help people.

Who is your most important role model?
My twin daughters. I have learned from many wonderful mentors and I look to them often, but it is my young daughters that constantly make me want to be the best I can be. As they grow, I am constantly thinking of the women they may become and the world in which they will live. It pushes me to be a woman, leader, and volunteer that they can be proud of.