John Lesser On Plante Moran’s Client-Centric Approach


John Lesser, President, Plante Moran Financial Advisors joined Julie Cooling, Founder & CEO, RIA Channel to discuss what makes a top advisor, and how Plante Moran has built an internationally recognized firm with a client-centric approach. 

Plante Moran is ranked #9 on RIA Channel’s 2021 Top Wealth Manager’s List. Plante Moran is a holistic advisor, and offers a wide range of wealth management services and expertise. “We connect the dots between income taxes, estate taxes, liquidity and leverage, investment portfolio, as well as financial independence and really focus on the personal balance sheet,” says Lesser on being a well-rounded financial planner. 

“We earn our fees during the most difficult markets and difficult legislations,” explains Lesser on the adjustments the firm made during the Covid pandemic.

Lesser emphasized the importance of communication and devotion to the financial plan, when managing client emotions and behaviors during challenging times. On the investment side, Lesser points to opportunities in the rotation between U.S. growth and value stocks, and internationally from a valuation perspective. Plante Moran also incorporates exposure to a diversified private markets strategy in order to generate alpha and create a more balanced portfolio.

To learn more on Plante Moran, head here.

The Top 100 RIA Ranking by RIA Database ( was produced using quantitative and qualitative measures. Firms were ranked based on total assets under management as reported on their form ADV part I as of September 30, 2021. RIA firms were included in the ranking based on several criteria that qualified them as wealth management firms. Included RIA firms predominantly serve individual clients including family offices, high net worth or non-high night worth individuals. Pure asset managers, hedge funds, institutional firms and broker/dealers were excluded from this ranking. Firms with regulatory or criminal ADV disclosures were also excluded. ETF assets are shown for informational purposes only and are aggregated by RIA Database, as reported on 13F filing data as of September 30, 2021.

RIA Database is the leading provider of advisor data, profiles and prospecting software for the financial services industry. They manage current and historical profiles on over one million advisors across all channels: the RIA Channel, broker/dealers, family offices, foundations, institutional investors and banks. They are producers of the Forbes Top RIA list for over ten years and provide surveys and rankings for several industry publications as well.