Rider alumnus named to Forbes’ best wealth advisor list

Robert D’Addario '87 has helped families achieve their financial goals for more than 2 decades

Robert D’Addario '87, a Merrill Lynch financial advisor and Rider University alumnus, was named to the inaugural Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors list in February.

D'Addario has worked in the financial industry since 1989 and with Merrill Lynch in its Short Hills, N.J., office for 23 years. Today he is a senior vice president and wealth management advisor who helps about 100 families properly manage their assets and achieve their financial goals.

He counts the positive relationships he forms with his clients among the most meaningful aspects of his career. "What happens is you go from being a stranger to a person they truly begin to trust," D’Addario says. "It's so gratifying to have people tell you their life stories — stories that their own families probably don't even get to hear."

D’Addario is especially attuned to aiding individuals in periods of financial transition, such as retirement or a career change. In providing customized strategies that align with their overall financial goals, he says his social skills — patience, the ability to listen and coach people through turbulent market swings — are as important as his financial acumen. Participating in ROTC and with his fraternity as an undergraduate helped him cultivate the leadership and social skills vital to his success, he says.

A resident of Madison, N.J., D’Addario added a master's in business administration with a concentration in finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University after graduating with a bachelor's in business administration with a concentration in finance from Rider. He has been a member of the College of Business Administration's Finance and Economics Advisory Council since 2016 and recently joined the Executive Advisory Council, which provides advice and counsel on the continuing development of a Rider business education.

"We are very thankful that Rob chooses to contribute his time, wisdom and experience to the great benefit of our students and the College of Business Administration as a whole, and we congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition from Forbes," says Dr. Cynthia Newman, dean of the College of Business Administration.

D'Addario's participation with Rider as an alumnus is one way he demonstrates his appreciation for the gift he's received from his education. "I've always felt that Rider gave me a chance and supported me with financial aid when I needed it," he says. "You don’t get to where you are without help."

Two of his three triplet children, Jack and Robert, have also attended Rider. Jack '17 earned his bachelor's in finance and will start working in July at Goldman Sachs. Robert is a senior studying criminal justice.

The Forbes ranking was developed by SHOOK Research and is based on in-person and telephone due diligence meetings to evaluate each advisor. It includes qualitative data, such as client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records and firm nominations, as well as quantitative criteria, such as assets under management and revenue generated for their firms.

“We are incredibly proud of Robert and believe he consistently demonstrates what it means to be a leader in the wealth management space through a strong dedication to a high standard of service for our clients," said Jim Hughes, Merrill Lynch managing director.