Matthew J. Bruderman is the Chairman and CEO of Bruderman Asset Management and Bruderman Brothers. As the third generation steward of Bruderman, Matthew takes great pride in being personally involved in each transaction undertaken by the firm.
As a merchant banking and private equity investor, he has acquired and sold businesses ranging from $10-200 million in enterprise value. Being knowledgeable and involved in the businesses that the company advises or acquires is critical to Bruderman Brothers, which is why the company has often been the majority shareholders in acquisition.
As an investment banker, Bruderman Brothers have advised on transactions of up to $1 billion across North America, Europe, and Asia. Here Matthew tells us more about it.
You’ve been active in financial services for nearly 20 years – what would you say are the achievements that you are most proud of?
Early in my career, I was asked to help turn-around a failing business, for which I ultimately became CEO. The place was a mess, and the work seemed insurmountable, but with a solid team, we were able to turn it around, return the business to profitability and thereby save some hundreds of jobs – and the families those jobs supported. It felt good. It was a moment in my career where I truly understood the impact that we, “deal guys”, can have, and not just financially. We had to make some tough decisions to save the business and in the long run, it not only survived, but thrived.
What daily challenges do you encounter as the CEO of Bruderman Brothers and how do you overcome them?
As anyone who has ever run a business knows, the challenges are endless and forever changing. To be successful, you have to run just to stay where you are. If you run really fast and get lucky, you’ll move beyond where you are today. I never take anything for granted. The one constant is the need to stay steadfast in your beliefs and core principles and making sure that everyone in the organization understands and ‘lives’ by the high standards of conduct we have always set. If you stick to your beliefs and do things the right way. Things will work out in the long run.
What would you say are the company’s key priorities towards its clients? How have these evolved over the years?
I’m not sure I would say that our priorities have changed or evolved, in the sense that from the day my grandfather started the business through today, we have always believed that serving our clients best interest, being closely involved in their businesses and affairs, and behaving in the most ethical and transparent manner possible is what is required to build a lasting business. Of course the environment, client’s needs and the types of investment opportunities available to wealthy families and individuals have evolved and we have evolved with them. In the past few decades, the markets have changed. The public markets are less predictable and more media driven and the private markets have become much more stable, liquid and a more important part of a clients portfolio.
You’re also an active and private philanthropist who acts as a trustee for several not-for-profit institutions. Can you tell us a bit more about this?
Life is about much more than simply making money or being a successful entrepreneur. It is about legacy, making a positive impact and for me, most critically, teaching my children the importance of being involved, stewardship and utilizing your talents and energy to better the community that we live in. My family has always been (quietly and privately) philanthropically involved, and we continue to do so.
What advice would you give to our readers?
Yes. I would say a real “game changer” for anyone looking to be successful can be found in one place. History. Be a student of history and the great men and women who have come before us. Everything has been done before. I learned so much from my family’s history by hearing about my father and grandfather’s experiences. It inspired me to learn more and to study the industrial revolution, world history, the formation of the US, etc. All history is valuable. I’ll forever be a student. Whatever your interests are, you can learn so much from the past. Learn from those who have come before us. It’s all right there.