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Gould’s steady hand steered Alesco past early obstacles

gould-jimThis year, investment advisory firm Alesco Advisors LLC surpassed $4 billion in assets under advisement. But the firm had a rocky start after its founding in 2000.

“The first several years were really difficult,” says Jim Gould, founder and CEO. “We were undercapitalized. We had some of the wrong people in the organization. It took us three and a half to four years before we had the ship righted and moving in the right direction.”

It’s been mostly uphill since then. The financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 posed another obstacle for the investment company, but they were able to weather the storm relatively smoothly.

“Fortunately, because we have relatively low overhead compared to most other firms, we were able to get through that in pretty good shape both in terms of having a favorable performance compared to most others and we were also going through a period of time where we were expanding and getting a lot of new clients,” says Gould. “So, we had a revenue boost to offset the market value declines of the portfolios.”

In 2006, Gould oversaw an expansion into the Buffalo market. Ten years later, Alesco Advisors dug roots in San Francisco.

Working with a consultant from BlackRock—an international investment management company—opened Gould’s eyes to the San Francisco market.

“This (consultant) had seen many different firms around the country and when she wrapped up her work here she said that she loved Alesco,” says Gould. “She loved the culture, the company, our investment approach. She said if we ever wanted to open up an office out west to let her know.”

Three years later, Gould received a call following through with that offer.

Gould says that he plans to see continued geographical expansion of the company, though he isn’t sure of the exact location. He expects a move to the east to a region like Albany, Syracuse or even Boston.

Gould is a St. Bonaventure University graduate. He received his bachelor’s in accounting, and has maintained close ties with the college. In fact, he received the Gaudete Medal from the school, an award for “one who has inspired, encouraged and enlightened others through their personal and professional lives.” He also sat on the St. Bonaventure Board of Trustees for almost a decade and served as the St. Bonaventure Rochester Alumni Association president.

The firm as a whole has achieved notable accolades under Gould’s leadership. In 2017 and 2018, Alesco Advisors was named to Financial Times’ 300 Top Registered Investment Advisors, and was ranked as one of Forbes’ 2015 Top Wealth Managers.

Prior to founding Alesco Advisors, Gould spent 13 years at Clover Capital Management Inc., where he rose through the ranks to president until stepping away to launch his own investment management firm.

Not only does Gould pilot Alesco Advisors, he also lends his expertise and time to local organizations that he has fostered long-standing relationships with, including St. Ann’s of Greater Rochester, St. John’s Home and the Diocese of Rochester. In addition, Gould most recently joined the board of directors for the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, where he serves as secretary and treasurer.

Highly accomplished and a leading investment advisor and business owner in the community, Gould is well-deserving of joining the ranks of the Rochester Business Hall of Fame.

“I don’t understand how (I’ve been chosen as an inductee), but I am honored and humbled,” says Gould. “I’d also like to express my appreciation for the selection committee that they’re willing to look at small businesses for nominees to the Hall of Fame because I think it’s a reflection of how our economy operates. Many people work for smaller organizations and I think it’s wonderful that the selection committee recognizes this.”

nsheldon@bridgetowermedia.com /


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