Published in The Hudson Independent, April 07 2017
Like the corner office he occupies on the third floor of a modern office building on White Plains Road, Rob Clarfeld is big, bright, expansive, guileless.
He’s also a highly successful money manager. His Clarfeld Financial Advisors was ranked fourth among the top independent wealth managers by Barron’s last year, and Forbes singled out his penchant for “looking beyond asset allocation and catering to clients’ every personal finance need.” In addition to making a lot of money for his clients ($5 million minimum investment), the firm is willing to pay their bills, handle paperwork, even find lawyers if necessary. Clarfeld, like the company he runs, is hands-on.
As a board member for nine years and chairman for the past year, he has brought that same hands-on approach to Tarrytown’s venerable Music Hall. Bjorn Olsson, the theater’s longtime manager, recruited him. “We knew we needed some hard-hitting businessmen on the board,” said Olsson. “We’re theater people but not necessarily business people.”
In some ways, according to Olsson, Clarfeld, 65, has served as his mentor during a decade in which the Tarrytown Music Hall has undergone significant change—physically and organizationally. Two years ago, the theater, which was built by chocolate-maker William Wallace in 1885, underwent a $1.5 million makeover that included rebuilding the drainage system, shoring up walls, restoring the roof, dormers and windows. “Lots of unsexy work,” remarked Olsson, “but we’ve secured the building for the next one hundred years.”