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Norb Vonnegut
Works at Norb Vonnegut
Attended Harvard Business School
Lives in Narragansett, RI
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Norb Vonnegut

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Yeah, yeah. Lip service. Why don't investment firms do more to protect their clients against identity theft?
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Excerpt from Goddess and Doormats...
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Everything you were afraid to ask your financial adviser...
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Do you give good phone? My column for financial advisers in today's WSJ.
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Do they still let you do that these days?  It's a critical skill!
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Great insights for financial advisers from bestselling author, Turney Duff. My column in the WSJ.
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Norb Vonnegut

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In celebration of March Madness, here's my column about the dream team of financial advisers. (Need a subscription to read.)
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Thanks.
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How do you work with a family when different generations have different expectations about managing their wealth?
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I like to think of these predictions as my top five "surprises" for 2014.
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Do you have a great boss? Or is he/she the new Wolf of Wall Street? I want to hear and, this being the holiday season, why not give them a shout-out? This is my column in today's WSJ. (Need a subscription to read.)
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Have him in circles
140 people
Kevin Hern's profile photo
Jay Berkman's profile photo
Donna Galanti's profile photo
Alex Akesson's profile photo
John Koenig's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Author of financial thrillers/suspense novels. I also write a regular column about wealth management for the Wall Street Journal.
Employment
  • Norb Vonnegut
    Author, 2009 - present
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Chase Manhattan Bank
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Narragansett, RI
Previously
Bronxville, NY - Charleston, SC
Story
Tagline
"Author of ... glittery thrillers about fiscal malfeasance." - NYT
Introduction

The New York Times describes my novels as “money porn,” “a red-hot franchise,” and “glittery thrillers about fiscal malfeasance.” Through fiction I explore the dark side of money and focus on the motivations of those who have it, want more, and will steamroll anybody who gets in their way.

I wasn’t always an author. I spent most of my career in private wealth management with several brokerage firms, primarily Morgan Stanley, and with a registered investment adviser in New York City. Back then, I always thought the people of Wall Street and their clients—smart, goofy, the complete spectrum from good to evil—would make great characters in a novel.

One thing I’ve learned: If a novelist can cook it up, chances are somebody is doing it. In December of 2007, I delivered the manuscript for Top Producer to St. Martin’s Press. My debut novel told the story of a Ponzi scheme in the public markets—which may not sound like a big deal in the aftermath of 2008. But I completed the book twelve months before Madoff unraveled.

More recently I wrote The Trust, a novel about drugs, money laundering, a sex superstore, and the Catholic Fund. A few months after its publication, a Catholic priest was indicted in Connecticut for cooking methamphetamine. And the press reported that he bought a sex shop to launder his drug money.

My stories have been nosing up to reality, long before the headlines make the press. The reason? Fiction is liberating. Novelists can advance theories about characters, no matter how crazy, without fearing the public embarrassment of being wrong. In my case, I’m probing people born from my real-life experience in the trenches of private wealth management. I’m straddling fact and fiction, which may explain why Top Producer and The Trust were predictive. And I sincerely hope The Gods of Greenwichnever comes true.

Let’s see what happens with End Game, the working title for my next novel. The story begins in 1986 with an art heist at Pell College, a fictional woman's school in Newport, Rhode Island. Picasso, Monet, Modigliani, Matisse–six priceless paintings disappear for over twenty-five years. Then, one day the Modigliani is returned to Pell with a ransom demand:

"Wire us $100 million in five days, or we'll turn the others into confetti."

The hero of End Game left Wall Street for the sanctuary of a small town in New England. But he’s so good at his job, so completely trustworthy and rock-solid reliable, he keeps getting sucked back into the muck of his former life. End Game takes an irreverent look at big money and big lies. And like my other novels, the stakes are deadly.

Other things to know about me: I write a column about private wealth management for the Wall Street Journal. My commentary addresses financial advisers. It’s opinionated. I don’t hold back. But it’s unbiased, because I’m not constrained by ties to Wall Street. If you’re evaluating your own financial advisers, I encourage you to take a look.

I graduated from Phillips Exeter in 1976, Harvard College in 1980 and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1986. My family and I split our time between New York City and Narragansett, Rhode Island. I'm an avid cyclist and a Trustee with the American Foundation for the Blind. And I absolutely love books on tape.-

Bragging rights
Published novels: MR PRESIDENT (2011), THE TRUST (2011), THE GODS OF GREENWICH (2010), TOP PRODUCER (2009)
Education
  • Harvard Business School
    MBA, 1984 - 1986
  • Harvard University
    American History, 1976 - 1980
  • Phillips Exeter Academy
    1974 - 1976
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Norb Vonnegut's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Vonnegut: Before the Con Man Comes Knocking
online.wsj.com

Wealth managers need to help shield clients from hackers, identity thieves and con-artists while teaching them security techniques, writes N

Vonnegut: Pieces of an Advisory Dream Team
online.wsj.com

New blood can help invigorate an advisory team. But first, Norb Vonnegut suggests auditing the bench strength you already have, with an eye

Vonnegut: Be Smart and Take the Call
online.wsj.com

When recruiters call, it may be wise to listen to what they have to say, Norb Vonnegut writes. After all, the conversation can shed light on

Vonnegut: All's Fair in Love and Comp
online.wsj.com

Advisers with Barclays Wealth and Investment Management in the Americas recently learned half their monthly pay will be withheld pending qua

Vonnegut: The Leaky Bucket of Family Wealth
online.wsj.com

When wealth moves to a new generation, unprepared advisers can get left behind, Norb Vonnegut writes. That's why advisers need different sty

The Art of Badmouthing the Competition
online.wsj.com

There are so many ways for advisers to gather insights on their competition. But how to use them in client conversations is a tricky busines

Vonnegut: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Being Partners
online.wsj.com

It's a good time of year for partners in an advisory practice to sit down and honestly discuss what's working and what isn't in their relati

Be Great on the Phone
online.wsj.com

The lull between now and Monday morning is the perfect time for financial advisers to up their game--that is, to figure out how to hone thei

Vonnegut: Cautionary Tale from the Buy Side
online.wsj.com

Turney Duff is a onetime wirehouse sales assistant who soared too high--in more ways than one--as a hedge fund trader. He now has some advic

Who Really Wants a Great Boss?
online.wsj.com

Bosses can help financial advisers accomplish more than they can on their own. So why do so many want a hands-off leader?

Vonnegut: Five Years after Bernie Still Offers Lessons To Wealth Managers
online.wsj.com

The massive fraud by Bernie Madoff still offers lessons to wealth managers today, says Norb Vonnegut. One takeaway: Don't count too much on

Vonnegut: Private-Placement Advertising the New New Fiasco
online.wsj.com

Using wealth to identify "sophisticated investors" is an impending train wreck of regulation, says Norb Vonnegut. And the problem will only

Vonnegut: How to Fire Your Client
online.wsj.com

When the client relationship goes bad, what can an adviser do? Norb Vonnegut has a simple answer: Show the client the door. But first sell t

Vonnegut: Wealth Management's New Dinosaurs
online.wsj.com

Advisers who drone on and on about asset allocation are a dying breed, says Norb Vonnegut. Diversification provides little unique value to c

Vonnegut: Now, About that Signing Bonus...
online.wsj.com

The likely outcome when securities brokers take a signing-bonus case to arbitration: They lose. They repay in full, with interest, filing fe

Vonnegut: A Message for the Oxygen Thieves
online.wsj.com

Fiduciary-speak makes for good marketing, but doesn't guarantee the best service, says Norb Vonnegut. Real fiduciaries, he stresses, aren't

Sometimes advisers' clients want 'nurses' or other perks.
online.wsj.com

It's a problem when the client wants a financial adviser to supply Super Bowl seats, or something else, writes Norb Vonnegut. He divides cli

Vonnegut: Seven Secrets to Successful Adviser Partnerships
online.wsj.com

For a partnership among financial advisers to work well, Norb Vonnegut lists seven must-haves. Among them: Shared philosophy, clear accounta

Vonnegut wonders: is mandatory arbitration the root cause of the wealth ...
online.wsj.com

When it comes to career prestige, Norb Vonnegut says financial advisers rank pretty low on the food chain. Why? Mandatory arbitration may be

The adviser, the custodian and the thief.
online.wsj.com

A financial adviser told Norb Vonnegut a story about an attempted fraud. The takeaway: Nobody knows your client better than you.