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Meet Danilo Kawasaki of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth Management in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danilo Kawasaki.

Danilo is the Co-Founder, Vice-President and COO of Gerber Kawasaki, a wealth and investment management firm. Danilo oversees the compliance and day-to-day operations of the firm as well as serves individuals clients. He is a member of the Gerber Kawasaki Board of Directors and the Investment Selection Committee. In 2018, Danilo was nominated by Investment News as one of the top 40 advisors under the age of 40 in the country (

Danilo received his BS degree in Business Administration from the University of Redlands. As a scholar athlete, Danilo is a three-time All-American in tennis. Danilo received a certificate in Personal Financial Planning from UCLA and is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional. Danilo also received a certificate in Wealth Management Theory & Practice from Yale School of Management.

Danilo was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil where he was a top-ranked junior tennis player, which earned him a scholarship to play tennis in the US. Growing up in Brazil, Danilo learned the importance of proper wealth management at a very young age. With inflation averaging as high as 1000% a year, it was vital to ensure that your money was always working for you.

Danilo started his career in the financial services industry joining SunAmerica Securities in 2002. He moved up the rankings in record time and was promoted to the branch manager position of the West Los Angeles branch by the age of 24. Danilo’s conviction that he is doing one of the most important jobs anyone can do in life by helping people save, grow, and preserve their assets helped gross revenues for the branch tripled from 2004 to 2007. Shortly after, his branch became the top office in the company.

The 2008 financial crisis, which resulted in the collapse of large financial institutions and the bailout of many others, challenged the status quo. Large financial institutions got themselves in trouble for not putting their client’s interests ahead of their own. Danilo felt that clients deserve modern, impartial, independent financial advice in line with their goals and tolerance for risk. With all that in mind, Danilo and his business partner, Ross Gerber, founded Gerber Kawasaki Wealth Management. ‘It is our mission to have a client-centric practice, provide our clients with quality and objective financial advice, and by combining the latest technology and our personal touch Gerber Kawasaki promises to offer our clients a unique client experience.’

Danilo lives in Pacific Palisades and enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Wendy, and his three kids, Gabi, Tristan, and Bodhi. In his spare time, he can be found beating opponents on the paddle tennis courts of the Jonathan Club, playing golf, and practicing yoga and meditation.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all. As a foreigner, trying to break into the financial world, the obstacles were immense: my foreign accent, my lack of experience, my lack of contacts, just to name a few. I thought about quitting a few times at the beginning of my career, but I knew anything worth getting would have to be difficult. Through perseverance, hard-working, and an unbreakable desire to succeed, I started paving my way to becoming a successful advisor and eventually creating a successful firm. Surrounding myself with positive role models has also been instrumental in my development. No one can succeed alone.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We created Gerber Kawasaki to disrupt the antiquated and broken system of financial advising. We created three programs to cater to a diverse group of clients. Our wealth building program helps young investors get started in the world of investing and planning for the future. This is by far my most proud accomplishment. Giving people the proper financial advice to get started building wealth and setting themselves up for a successful financial future is something that no other firm is doing out there. This is our way to help address wealth inequality in this country. Our other two programs: wealth management and high net worth (HNW) programs cater to more established investors with more complex situations where we will dive deeper into investment management, tax planning, estate planning, and risk mitigation. I am also very proud of the fact that our staff is comprised of very diverse individuals. We have won several awards now for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Being a foreigner myself, I couldn’t be any prouder of this recognition.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I believe LA is an amazing place to live and work. One of the most eclectic places you can be in. Definitely not a cheap city to live in, but you do get what you pay for: beaches, mountains, restaurants, concerts, sports, and tons of opportunities. Having lived in San Francisco and Orange County, I would not want to be anywhere else other than here.

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Image Credit:
Gerber Kawasaki

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