Widener Alumnus Ed Moldaver '90 Goes from Business Student to Forbes-Ranked Top Wealth Advisor

By Jessica Reyes, Assistant Director of Communications
Ed Moldaver stands in his home office next to an American flag and stock market screen
Alumnus Ed Moldaver '90 is a top-ranked financial advisor on Forbes and Barron's rankings.

Before Ed Moldaver '90 became a top-ranked financial advisor, he was a typical Widener University undergraduate who played football, switched majors, and made lasting friendships in a fraternity.

His Widener foundation – both educational and relational – has proven valuable for Moldaver over the last 30 years as he has gained extensive experience advising and managing high-net-worth clients, entrepreneurs, and middle-market business owners.

His success landed him on several Forbes and Barron’s Top Advisor Ranking lists over the last 10 years, including #7 on Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors 2020 and #28 on Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors in America 2020. Likewise, Moldaver was ranked Barron’s #1 Advisor in New Jersey in 2012.

“My Widener education was very important,” Moldaver said. “I had a lot of good professors in the business school, and I learned a lot of interpersonal skills while at the university.”

From Engineering to Business

In 1978, Moldaver, then age 11, emigrated to the United States from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly the Soviet Union) with his family. His mother was a concert pianist and music teacher and his father an engineer in Ukraine.

Moldaver initially followed his father’s career path and enrolled in Widener’s School of Engineering. He thrived on campus as a fraternity brother in Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) and as a football player, until a torn knee ended his athletic career.

Ed Moldaver poses with Steve Forbes. Logo above them says "Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors 2020"

By sophomore year, Moldaver decided to switch from engineering to business.

“I enjoyed the mathematical work in engineering, but the more I thought about what I wanted to do after graduation, the more I realized engineering didn’t fit my personality,” Moldaver said.

After moving to the business school, Moldaver secured an internship as a runner in the New York Mercantile Exchange commodities pits at the World Trade Center. 

“I enjoyed the action of being on the floor of the exchange,” he said. “I was always fascinated by the movement of prices and human psychology. It was the best experience in the world.”

Moldaver earned a bachelor of science in management from Widener in 1990 and continued the career he had already started.

A Philosophy for Success

Moldaver spent most of his career as a senior managing director at Bear Stearns Private Client Services, and a managing director at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. From 2012 to April of 2020, he and his team serviced their clients at Barclays and then Stifel through its acquisition of Barclays and oversaw $3 billion in clients’ assets.

In May of 2020, he joined Rockefeller Capital Management, the original family office of John D. Rockefeller, at the Manhattan Rockefeller Plaza.

Moldaver has authored two books, Logical Investing: Bringing Financial Certainty to an Increasingly Uncertain World and Logical Investing: The Fluff, The Bark & The Bite, and contributes to and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Fox Business, Crain's New York Business, and dozens of other national publications and media outlets.

He also earned a Certified Portfolio Manager® designation from The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University and served as a board member of the Academy of Certified Portfolio Managers (ACPM) at Columbia University. 

Moldaver attributes his success to devoting his attention fully to the field of wealth management and fostering relationships. 

His advice is simple: Find your passion and give 100 percent of your attention to it.

My philosophy is pick one thing and do something every day to be the best you possibly can in that field. Focus on something that is unique and that you love. — Ed Moldaver '90

He also recommends students use technology to their advantage to create a broad digital footprint that differentiates themselves from others in the same field.

“You don’t have to wait until you have graduated; you can build that targeted profile right now,” he said. “By the time you want to get a job, employers will look at that.”

He adds that you don’t need to concentrate on making money. It will come as a byproduct of providing a valuable service or product.

Moldaver lives with his wife, Eve, and their three children, Jenna, Danny, and Nick, in Colts Neck, New Jersey. He maintains friendships with his classmates and fraternity brothers from Widener, and he is a community leader who supports and volunteers his time with nonprofits and community activities.

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