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First Manhattan Review

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

First Manhattan Co. is a New-York based limited partnership offering portfolio management to both individual and institutional clients. The firm is fee-based and works with several types of clients. It employs a large team of financial advisors to help manage the firm.

First Manhattan Background 

Principally owned by David Gottesman, founder, and Robert W. Gottesman, executive chairman, First Manhattan’s website mentions that it strives to build stock portfolios with the goal of capital appreciation over time. Though it offers individually managed portfolios, the firm also provides investment advisory services for two private funds that invest in publicly-traded companies (the funds) located in mainland China.

As for First Manhattan’s team, several have the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation. 

First Manhattan Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes 

First Manhattan offers investment advisory services for individuals, estates, charitable organizations, investment companies, trusts, retirement accounts, corporations and other business entities. 

The firm generally imposes an account minimum requirement of $200,000 for new clients, though it has the discretion to adjust account size requirements. 

Services Offered by First Manhattan

First Manhattan mainly provides investment management services. The firm's research process typically involves lots of face to face meetings.

First Manhattan Investment Philosophy

The firm’s website touts that it applies a risk-averse, long-term and value-oriented approach to its investment services. In honoring its core philosophy, First Manhattan says it uses in-house, proprietary research to identify opportunities, avoids undue risk by being rigorous in portfolio construction and delivers outstanding client service. 

In alignment with its long-term investment approach, the firm uses fundamental analysis and proprietary research to inform each of its investment decisions. First Manhattan mainly invests in equity securities, municipal securities and corporate fixed-income taxable securities.

Fees Under First Manhattan

First Manhattan primarily manages client accounts invested in equity securities and fixed-income securities. For equity securities, First Manhattan charges 1.20% of the value of the client’s portfolio invested or available for investment. The firm charges 0.375% for fixed-income securities. First Manhattan handles all portfolio transactions since it also acts as a broker-dealer. 

First Manhattan requires different brokerage charges for customers whose portfolios aren’t invested in equity securities. These clients either pay a $25 charge for each fixed-income securities transaction, or $2.50 per $1,000 principal amount of the first $250,000 and $1.00 per $1,000 multiple on accounts over $250,000, according to First Manhattan’s firm brochure. The maximum charge is $1,000 per transaction.

What to Watch Out For

The firm has 13 disclosures listed on its Form ADV. One of First Manhattan's latest disclosures was resolved in 2010 after it received a censure and fine of $7,500 for late filing to the Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE).

First Manhattan generates performance-based compensation from pooled investment vehicles, and some advisors simultaneously manage both performance accounts and accounts that pay standard fees. This creates a potential conflict of interest if portfolio managers favor pooled investment vehicles, but First Manhattan is a fiduciary.

Opening an Account With First Manhattan

If you'd like more information about working with First Manhattan, you can call them over the phone at (212) 756-3300. You can also reach out via email.

All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.

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How Long $1mm Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research