Toledo woman listed among elite advisersWritten by Joel Sensenig | | email@example.com
For many, the word “boutique” conjures images of a fashionably small shop specializing in fancy paper products or handcrafted jewelry.
For Rita Mansour, the term brings to mind private equity funds and unique real estate deals.
The local businesswoman’s unique take on “boutique” is indicative of her elite standing in the financial advising world: Mansour was recently named one of the top 100 women financial advisers in the country by Barron’s magazine and business author R.J. Shook.
In September, she opened a Thomas McDonald Partners, LLC office in Maumee, the third location (with Cleveland and Ann Arbor) the boutique firm has established since being founded in 2004. In November, she attended the “Top Women Advisers Summit” in Orlando, Fla., along with the top advisers of big-name firms such as Ameriprise, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney.
As senior managing director of Mansour Wealth Management under the Thomas McDonald umbrella, Mansour provides her high-net-worth individual and business owner clients with a personalized attention they’re not likely to find with larger firms.
“We don’t believe money is the ultimate goal,” Mansour said of her firm’s customer service philosophy. “Your ultimate assets are your health and relationships. Money is just a tool … money can’t resolve everything in life.”
Mansour is an expert at handling clients’ money – and plenty of it. The local office has more than $200 million in assets under management, with more than $500 million assets under management company wide.
According to Mansour, Thomas McDonald Partners offers clients the opportunity to invest their money in a variety of ways they won’t be offered at larger firms. Her clients have access to real estate deals and private equity funds that will most benefit them individually, rather than being pushed toward certain corporate-suggested products and services that may not be right for the customer at hand.
Bringing a more human dynamic to the relationship between client and financial adviser is important to Mansour and her team of advisers and support staff in Maumee.
“Our industry is not a services industry. That’s kind of a pet peeve of mine, and I want to change that,” she said, comparing her firm’s distinct brand of financial advising to a bubble where fun and success merge.
“The culture here is tremendous,” Mansour said. “We have a lot of fun, and clients stop in to see us. We like to bring people into our bubble. We want to continue to only bring in clients whose philosophies match ours. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter about the sizes of the accounts, it’s about ‘Do these people like us, and can we get along?’”
If the UT graduate’s take on advising seems unlikely, it makes sense when considering her pro-community approach to her life outside the office. Mansour is active on numerous local efforts, and is a member of the Toledo Children’s Hospital Foundation Board, Arts Commission of Greater Toledo Board and the Toledo Opera Board.
Thomas McDonald, founder of the firm bearing his name, has known Mansour since the mid-1990s.
“Rita brings an extreme amount of professionalism, client loyalty, integrity and a sense that everything she does comes from the attitude that what we do is what’s best for the client in every regard,” he said.
While Mansour’s selection as a top female adviser may have come as a surprise to her, McDonald had a different reaction.
“It was well deserved and did not surprise me at all,” he said. “And I’m very proud of her, at the same time.”