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South Florida's Best and Brightest
Originally published: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 (12:00:01 a.m. ET)

Meg Green
Wealth manager Meg Green. (Photo courtesy of Meg Green & Associates).
Meg Green
The most important things to know about her have nothing to do with the consistent returns she shows her millionaire clients, or her perennial appearances on the lists of America's most successful wealth managers, as compiled by publications like Forbes and Barron's. Meg Green brings an unusual compassion to her work, the kind few would expect from someone who oversees approximately $750 million in investable assets. Indeed, Green is just as accessible on a personal level as she is on a professional one to those who've entrusted her with their vast fortunes. With the average net worth of her clients hovering between $10 million and $15 million, according to Barron's, Green ranked 34th in the country among female financial advisors in 2009, and 45th in 2010. Her eponymous firm has been headquartered in North Miami Beach for the better part of the last three decades, and she just completed construction on a second office outside of Los Angeles (Woodland Hills, Calif., to be exact).

Q: What advice would you give youngsters who want to embark on a career in your industry?
A: You have to intern and walk the talk before you can become a responsible financial advisor. That's because the biggest learning lessons are going to be the mistakes you watch other people make. You never want your earliest mistakes to be the ones you make on friends and family. You want to learn before you fly on your own.

Q: Of what professional accomplishment are you most proud?
A: I think the fact that I've built this wonderful team of people who are bright and who have made their careers as a part of this team. I'm really proud to be able to have an ensemble like ours that guides and advises people through their financial world.

Q: What's the most challenging part about your work?
A: Navigating the black swans and the swoons when the world or the markets provide them. Navigating them and keeping clients okay during those periods of time is a big challenge. When things are good, life is great. Keeping their portfolios okay, and keeping them okay, and keeping their cash flow okay, and keeping their heartbeat okay. There constantly are things out there that we can't control.

Q: What did you envision doing for a living when you were growing up?
A: I envisioned being a mommy. If I was playing something, my game always involved a desk with a lot of papers on it; that would make me feel important. I'm a mommy now and I'm happy, but I hate the papers on my desk.

Q: In ten years' time, I will be _________________.
A: I hope I'm healthy enough to continue doing what I'm doing. Healthy enough and bright enough.

Q: Who are/were your professional role models and why?
A: I've never really had one role model to follow, but I've had lots of mentors. Professionally speaking, I've created the place where I want to be, and I don't know any other places like it out there. I don't know anyone else who is head of an ensemble who I mimicked. We just created our own. I would love to say that there is one person, but there isn't. I go to the "Barron's Top 100 Women" every year and I am so mentored by these women. Everyone brings something different to the table, so I really can't say one.

Q: If you could do anything else in the world for a living, what would it be?
A: I'd like to be a Broadway star, but I can't sing and I can't dance.

Q: What's the best part about your job?
A: Helping people on a daily basis. Finding solutions to problems that people have, almost like a doctor, except in finance. When somebody walks out of my office and says, 'I am so relieved, I feel so much better.' That's the best thing they could say to me.

Q: What's the worst part about your job?
A: I feel it when clients or employees have some type of bad happenstance. Everybody's tragedy becomes mine, everybody's difficult times become mine because I take it on. If I can help fix it, that's what I'll do; sometimes I just can't, and I'll stress. So I guess it's not being able to solve every problem and satisfy every need.

Q: What's the one most important thing that experience has taught you?
A: A little more humility than I've ever had. That humility is a good thing. Experience humbles you. That's what I've learned, no matter how good things get, experience has taught me to stay humble.

Q: What's the best career advice anyone has imparted on you?
A: Do what you love because if you do, then it's not work. There are too many people who are working and they can't stand it, and they can't wait to retire. Actually working at what you love is a good thing.

Q: What one thing would you do different/better if you could start it all over again?
A: I wouldn't have blindly listened to people at the beginning of my career. I would have questioned a lot more in the beginning. I question everything now. But in the beginning, I followed leaders and I learned you don't follow leaders. You become a leader by questioning and figuring out, and then you lead with your knowledge. Question, question, question.

Q: What's your favorite South Florida charity?
A: I love "Kids In Distress." It's a wonderful place where kids are saved, basically from bad happenings, bad families. They have a wonderful campus where they're doing dental and eye care now for these kids. So they are a fabulous, fabulous, charity. And the "Cancer Support Community," which used to be the "Wellness Center," is just a wonderful community, where you walk in if you have cancer and you say, 'Okay, I have cancer, what do I do?' They have all kinds of support. There's education, knowledge, and classes. There are other people going through what you're going through, and it's all free. People with cancer always wonder, 'What do I do now?' It's nice to have a community to go to. I can go on and on naming others. "Women Of Tomorrow" is another one I always back. We mentor young ladies in high school and pay for their college. It's kind of cool.
Archive: 20 Good Questions
Best & Brightest: June 2011