sontag advisory defined

We are a registered investment advisory firm founded in 1995. We act as a fiduciary for wealthy individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations and foundations. Our position as fiduciary means we are under legal obligation to provide the most prudent advice based upon our experience. It also means we are required to focus on our clients’ needs and to align ourselves with their interests while maintaining the highest level of integrity.

Our approach is holistic and tailored to each client. Our objective is to maximize each client's goals and help them secure a promising future.

independent advisor advantage

At Sontag Advisory we are objective decision makers. We have no inventory of financial products to sell. We are not obligated to any brokerage house, money management firm, mutual fund, insurance company or bank. Which is why we can offer completely independent advice and put all our focus on our clients' needs. All of our clients' assets are held in custody outside of Sontag Advisory.

*Sontag Advisory is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Financial Partners (NFP). NFP has an affiliated broker-dealer, NFP Securities, Inc. Sontag Advisory utilizes NFP Securities Inc. only in limited instances. Our full disclosure document (ADV) is available upon request.


an overview of you

We take a holistic view of our clients’ financial situation. We use this information to create a personalized wealth management and investment program that also incorporates estate planning and tax management.

We review and report on all of our clients’ investment assets monthly, even if some of our clients’ holdings are not assets that we have placed. This comprehensive reporting allows us to consistently monitor and focus on a very important question; is a client’s portfolio in alignment with his/her goals and risk preferences? Is also allows our clients to have a consolidated monthly update on the state of all of their assets.

assessment of resources & life goals

Conduct a comprehensive review of client overall assets and income sources, including investments, retirement plans, real estate, annuities, stock option plans, etc. The review is then considered in concert with the client’s personal situation, family status, children’s profile, special needs, family obligations, living expenses, and overall life goals.


our senior advisors

Our boutique-style approach gives each of our clients direct access to a diversified group of senior financial specialists who work together to meet our clients’ wealth management needs.

Each member of our experienced management team excels in a specific area of wealth management; financial planning, investment advisory, estate planning and tax management.
They are intimately involved in creating and monitoring the action plan that seeks to maximize each client’s success.


articles and features

• Sontag Advisory commemorates 15th anniversary with plans to build new school in Haiti, April 2010

• Howard Sontag addresses the question “How Are We Doing” in Financial Planning Magazine,
--November 2006

• Howard Sontag goes “One on One” with Brooke Southall of Investment News, August 2006

• Howard Sontag profiled in Investment Advisor Magazine, March 2006

• Howard Sontag interviewed by Robert Lenzner of, November 2005

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educational programs

•Wealth Transfer Techniques and Year - End Planning, led by Michael Delgass,
--October 2013 – Listen Here

•Tax Planning, led by Howard Sontag,
--September 2013 – Listen Here

•Year End Planning, led by the Sontag Advisory team,
--November 2011 – Listen Here

• Fixed Income 101 presentation, led by Martha Staniford,Sontag Advisory managing director,
--October 2009 – View Here

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Sontag Advisory, LLC
295 Madison Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212-973-1200

our focus is on the client

Our goal is to become our clients’ trusted advisor in all aspects of their financial life for the long-term. We focus on developing a deep understanding of our clients’ individual circumstances, priorities and goals. No two clients live the same life. Which is why every financial strategy we build is unique.

With our integrated financial thinking and our exceptional level of personal care and commitment, our client-advisor relationships tend to go on for years and years.

wealth management approach

We listen, educate and advise. We act as a financial executive office - and partner with our clients in managing their wealth. Our approach is comprehensive and tailored to our clients’ goals and priorities. After jointly discussing a client’s specific goals, we create a personal investment portfolio that incorporates old-fashioned investment advice with our fiduciary standards. Client meetings offer an opportunity to review investment results, discuss non-financial issues and consider life events that could have an impact on a client’s overall financial priorities.

our investment philosophy


Sontag Advisory makes personalized recommendations that are firmly grounded in research, supported by the combined talents of our senior investment team, and, most importantly, reflective of the personal goals and objectives of each client.

Our investment strategy is disciplined and focused on each client’s long-term goals and risk tolerance. As a rule, we believe it is more egregious to lose money then to under-perform a benchmark. We are proactive, rather than reactive. Each individual investment is considered based on its fit within our client’s overall portfolio.

our planning philosophy

Our discipline is to objectively evaluate each client’s financial planning situation and to advise on various
financial considerations that include:

• Retirement planning
• Special needs and life event planning
• Insurance
• Wealth accumulation and distribution goals
• Estate and trust planning*
• Tax management*

*Done in conjunction with our client’s attorney and/or accountant


our planning philosophy ( continued )

In addition, working with our client’s attorney and/or accountant, we assist with and facilitate:

- Estate and trust planning

- Tax management


financial & retirement planning

We customize a plan that integrates our client’s objectives within a larger, overall financial strategy.
We evaluate current wills, trust documents and insurance policies, and incorporate wealth distribution and retirement goals.


statement of services


investment planning

Based on the size of a client’s investment portfolio, cash flow needs and risk profile, a customized target asset allocation is developed that includes specific recommendations for investments, as well as the placement of those investments (taxable vs. retirement accounts). Additionally, reviews and assessments of estate, tax, insurance, and other wealth issues are offered.


asset allocation

The most important determinant of portfolio performance and risk is asset allocation. We are disciplined and steadfast in our focus on maintaining appropriate asset allocations for each individual client, while being responsive to market conditions.


investment management

We are very focused on risk management and believe it is more egregious to lose money than to underperform a benchmark. Investment implementation is customized for each individual client using best of breed managers across various asset classes, investment disciplines, and geographic regions.


performance evaluation

We provide performance in absolute and relative terms for each account, as well as for the overall portfolio.


estate and tax planning

We facilitate and assist in the consideration of trust and estate planning strategies and work with clients’ attorneys to establish a highly personalized estate plan.

We also serve as an important conduit to clients’ other advisors and coordinate tax management,
accounting and reporting requirements.


comprehensive monthly reporting

We provide a consolidated monthly statement of all accounts, including those managed by third parties.
Portfolio performance, asset class returns, annual income, and investment flows are consolidated on one
easy-to-understand page.


statement of services


access to investment options

We consider manager selection and due diligence critical components of constructing a broadly diversified portfolio. Our research has identified top tier equity managers with whom we have close working relationships. We work with several bond professionals to maximize efficiency, quality and structure of fixed income portfolios, including taxable and municipal bonds. We select and actively manage blended no-load mutual fund allocations in discretionary accounts. We assist the client in making choices in their qualified retirement plans within the context of their overall portfolio.

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statement of services



We are constantly searching for ways to better serve our clients and have invested in leading-edge, custom-designed technology and advanced analytic systems that give our
clients a clear advantage.



articles and features


February 9, 2009
Howard Sontag and Donna Levy selected as The Top 1000
Advisers by Barron’s -

August 18, 2008Howard Sontag and Donna Levy selected as The Top 1000
Advisers by Barron’s -


in the news

June 25, 2009
Sontag Advisory Conference Call.
Mid Year Report & Outlook Conference Call - AUDIO FILE
June 25, 2009
Sontag Advisory Conference Call.
Mid Year Report & Outlook - VIEW INVITE

February 13, 2009
Sontag Advisory Conference Call - Opportunities in the High Yield Municipal Bond Market - VIEW INVITE


market topics

• Muni Bond Market: Distinguishing Between the Noise and the Fundamentals,
--led by Donna Levy, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Sontag Advisory,
--and Peter Coffin, Founder and President of Breckinridge Capital Advisors,
--December 2010 – Listen Here

• Separating Fear from Fundamentals in the Municipal Bond Market, led by Peter Coffin, President,
--Breckinridge Capital Advisors, May 2010 – Listen Here, View Here

• High Yield Equity Investing, led by Ron Sorenson, Vice Chairman, CEO, CIO, and Portfolio Manager,
--October 2008 –W.H. Reaves Asset Management, October 2008 Listen Here

market outlook

• Municipal Bond Outlook in a Challenging Interest Rate Environment, featuring
--Peter Coffin, President of Breckinridge Capital Advisors, Inc., November 2012– Listen Here

• Outlook on the Global Macro Economic Environment, featuring Liz Ann Sonders,
--Chief Investment Strategist, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., June 2012 – Listen Here, View Here

• Investments and Asset Allocation, led by Donna Levy and Jon Zames,
--February 2012 – Listen Here, View Here

• Third Quarter Review and Investment Update, October 2011–Listen Here

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sontag advisory recognition

• Howard Sontag ranked 7th and Donna Levy ranked 16th as “Top 100 Independent Advisors”
--by Barron’s, August 2011

• Howard Sontag ranked 6th, Donna Levy ranked 20th, and Michael Delgass ranked 97th as
--“Top 100 Independent Advisors” by Barron’s, August 2010

• Martha Staniford ranked 64th as “Top 100 Women Financial Advisors” by Barron’s, June 2010

• Howard Sontag ranked 23rd as “Top 100 Financial Advisors” by Barron’s, April 2010

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