COLUMBUS — Former Piqua resident Eric Marquardt was recently named one of Forbes’ Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisors for 2019.
Currently residing in Columbus with his wife and three children, Marquardt, 34, graduated from Piqua High School in 2003 before attending the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Marquardt was nominated for acceptance into the esteemed school by then-Rep. of Ohio’s 8th congressional district John Boehner.
“I had always been interested in the military, and I was looking for something that was going to challenge me beyond normal college,” Marquardt said. “The mission of the Naval Academy is to develop people morally, mentally, and physically, and I wanted that whole-person development.
“It was just an absolutely amazing experience; life-changing,” he continued. “I’m a very different person because of it — much more confident and well-spoken.”
After graduating from the academy in 2007, Marquardt spent seven years on active duty in the Navy. He served as a weapons officer on service ships and made two deployments to the Persian Gulf.
In 2014, Marquardt graduated from Northwestern University with a Master of Business Administration degree. That same year, he went from active duty to reservist in the Navy, and decided to settle in Dublin — a suburb of Columbus — with his wife, Katie.
Marquardt had made the decision to attend business school in part due to his innate interest in the field.
“While I was in college, I became interested in investments and managing my own money — what little of it I had. I kept up with investment markets as a hobby, and I ultimately decided that after getting out of the Navy, I wanted to come back home and settle down,” he said. “So, I started to think about how to transition, which is really tough for a lot of veterans; coming out into the ‘real world’ for the first time and trying to find a job that hasn’t been provided for you was a bit intimidating.”
Marquardt had formulated an idea of how he wanted to use his knowledge of management and investments and much of his outlook was formed as a result of his time in the military.
“I asked myself what I most liked about the Navy, and the answer for that was getting to know my sailors and marines, who came from all walks of life, all over the country, and in some cases all over the world, with different stories and different backgrounds,” he said. “I really enjoyed getting to know them and their families, their kids, their dogs, because when you’re in the military, you spend a lot of time away from home so you grow very close to these people while you’re also responsible for leading them.
“The epiphany I had was, ‘Well, I love deep personal relationships and really getting to know people, and I also love invetsments,” he continued. “So, I put those two together and realized I wanted to be an advisor.”
Before deciding on the Columbus area, Marquardt said he had interviewed at banks and investment firms across the country, but quickly realized his values did not align with those of the majority of these companies.
“They want you to be a salesman first, and if you don’t bring in millions of dollars, they’re going to fire you,” he said. “That didn’t really resonate with me because I actually wanted to provide people advice. That’s not the job on Wall Street.”
It was these same values that made Marquardt feel right at home at Hamilton Capital in Columbus.
“I had been interviewing coast to coast at the time, and the story here just made sense,” he said. “They told me they wanted me to come and learn to be a great advisor first and that if you learn to be a great advisor, you won’t have to go out to find people and chase business — they will come find you. Five years later, that’s been the case.
“What’s important to know about the firm is that it’s structured in a way, and in a relatively small part of the financial advisory industry, where we are required to act and recommend in the best interest of our clients at all times,” Marquardt continued. “We are fiduciary. The vast majority of the advisors out there are not.”
After gaining experience through his time at Hamilton Capital, Marquardt looked into the possibility of applying to be considered for the Forbes’ Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisor honor.
“It was something I researched and pursued,” he said. “When I took it to the leadership at Hamilton, telling them I was interested in applying, they were more than willing to support it.”
The Forbes’ Next-Gen Wealth Advisors rankings, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative criterion, mostly gained through telephone and in-person due diligence interviews, and quantitative data.
To be considered, advisors must have a minimum of four years’ experience, and the algorithm weighs factors like revenue trends, assets under management, compliance records, industry experience, and high standards of best practices.
“Honestly, I wasn’t very confident; I didn’t know what to expect,” Marquardt said of his chances. “I know we have a good firm, and I’d like to think that I’m very talented at what I do, but it’s a big industry out there, and I thought it might be dominated by advisors in the big cities, like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. It’s a bit different out here in flyover country.”
Yet Marquardt was one of the 250 rising advisors from throughout the country, who help manage over $490 billion in client assets, named to the 2019 Top Next-Gen list.
As for what comes next, Marquardt said he is happy where he’s at and looks forward to continuing his career as an advisor at Hamilton Capital.
“My sincere hope is that I have a lifelong career here,” he said. “Ultimately, if I’m lucky, I’d like to run the company some day. The next step would be to make partner. I think I’ve got a pretty good shot at that, perhaps a decade or two down the road. In the meantime, I just want to continue to take care of my clients.”
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