Skip navigation Jump to main navigation

Morningside Campus Access Updates

Yellow Level from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Open to all. Orange Level from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.: CUID holders and pre-authorized guests only; limited campus entry points. Read more.
Close alert

Virtual Fireside Chat: 3 CEOs, 3 Bird's-Eye Views on Wealth Management

Investors, particularly those based in the U.S., are benefitting from a large, vibrant, and diverse wealth management industry. They face a myriad of distinct options when it comes to what type of business model with which to partner, including Registered Investment Advisors, Trust Banks, and large diversified financial institutions. How can investors make the right decisions?

Join Columbia University’s Master of Professional Studies in Wealth Management program on September 21st at Noon ET for an interactive panel discussion with three industry-leading CEOs to help answer this question. The panelists will also discuss the key dynamics impacting clients and employees in the wealth management industry today.

Following the conversation, the event will be opened for a question and answer period, where attendees can ask questions directly.

Topics of discussion include:

  1. Key features of and differences between various wealth management business models
  2. Client versus employee perspectives
  3. Key challenges and opportunities in wealth management  

The Wealth Management Speaker Series is brought to you by Columbia University’s Master of Professional Studies in Wealth Management program. Uniquely designed to educate working professionals, this 16-month, part-time online program prepares experienced and aspiring wealth management professionals to meet the disruptive challenges of today’s industry. The innovative and rigorous curriculum connects advanced theory with practical applications through problem-based learning while providing students with the educational requirements for the CFP® certification.


Haig Ariyan, Head of Raymond James Global Wealth Solutions; President of Alex. Brown

Haig Ariyan is the president and CEO of Alex. Brown, America’s oldest investment banking firm. Alex. Brown. a division of Raymond James Financial, focuses on wealth management and opportunistic private market investing for high-net-worth individuals and the family office market. Alex. Brown currently oversees $60 billion of clients’ assets through 18 offices around the United States, with 510 employees. Additionally, Haig is the head of Raymond James Global Wealth Solutions, which provides the investment solutions platform for the Private Client Group’s 7,400 financial advisors. Raymond James purchased Alex. Brown from Deutsche Bank in 2016. Prior to this transaction, Haig was the head of Deutsche Bank Wealth Management in the Americas.

Following a career start at Dean Witter Reynolds, Haig joined Alex. Brown & Sons in 1996 as a client advisor in Greenwich, Connecticut. After several years of building a successful practice working with high-net-worth families and emerging growth companies, Haig was named regional executive of the Greenwich office. In 2005, Haig was promoted to manage the midtown New York City office, while continuing to oversee the Greenwich business. He was also responsible for opening Deutsche Bank’s Wall Street branch. In 2009, Haig served as head of the eastern region of Private Client Services and one year later was appointed the head of the American wealth management franchise.

A graduate of Rutgers University, Haig is active on the board of trustees of the Diocese of the Armenian Church and has served as chairman of the Armenian Church Endowment Fund’s investment committee. He is a member of the board of trustees of St. Nersess Seminary and the board of the Dadourian Foundation.

Haig Ariyan resides in West Nyack, New York, with his wife, Nadine, and four daughters.

Melinda Davis, Founder and CEO, Davis Wealth Advisors

Melinda Davis is the Founder and CEO of Davis Wealth Advisors. She brings both technical expertise and passion to her work with her clients, including affluent family stewards, self-made entrepreneurs, and thriving retirees. Melinda is committed to simplifying the complexities of wealth for her clients and helping them align their values with their investments and giving. She and her firm act as a family’s personal CFO. She earned her M.S. in Finance from Boston College, a B.S. in Finance from the University of Florida and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional as well as Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor™. She lives on a farm in southern New Hampshire with her husband and two daughters.

Jeff Whitaker, President and CEO, Chevy Chase Trust

Jeff is President and Chief Executive Officer of Chevy Chase Trust Company. He also is a Director of Chevy Chase Trust Company and ASB Capital Management.

Prior to joining Chevy Chase Trust, Jeff held a series of leadership positions in the investment management and wealth management industry. Most recently, he was Chief Operating Officer for Client Service and Marketing at Bridgewater Associates, the Connecticut-based hedge fund. Prior to that, he was Chief Operating Officer of Berkshire Partners, the Boston-based private equity firm.

Before joining Berkshire, Jeff was Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer at the J.P. Morgan U.S. Private Bank.  Prior to that, he was Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management – Americas. Earlier in his career, Jeff served as Vice President in Strategic Marketing at GE Commercial Finance, was a Principal in The Boston Consulting Group’s financial services practice, and held various management positions with The Advisory Board Company.

Jeff holds a B.A. (cum laude) in History and Political Science from Williams College and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Moderated by

Philipp Hecker, Advisor for Columbia University’s Master of Professional Studies in Wealth Management program

Philipp Hecker is a member of the Advisory Council for Columbia University's Wealth Management Program. He co-founded and serves as CEO of Bento Engine, a FinTech at the intersection of technology and wealth management advice. Previously, he focused on defining and implementing client-centric growth strategies at J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank and BCG. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Diploma from the University of Passau, Germany.


For questions, please contact sps-wealthmanagement [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.

For additional information about program offerings at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies, please contact an Admissions Counselor at 212-854-9666 or inquire [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu.