Neal Jerry Simon
May 1, 1968
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Education||Brown University (BA)|
University of Chicago (MBA)
Neal Jerry Simon (born May 1, 1968) is a business executive and community leader in Potomac, Maryland.
Simon has led four businesses and has served on the boards of several leading Maryland non-profits. He is the CEO of Bronfman Rothschild which manages $6.1 billion and has eleven offices in the Midwest and east coast. From 2006 to 2008, Simon was the chairman of the board of the Montgomery County Community Foundation and in 2016 Simon was elected chairman of the board of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. In April 2016, Simon and his family were recognized by Interfaith Works as Humanitarians of the Year.
Early life and education
Simon was born in New York City, the middle child of Donald Simon and Sylvia Abitbol Simon. At a young age, his family moved to North Woodmere, New York, while his father worked in equipment leasing and his mother worked as a school teacher then a travel agent. In 1986, Simon graduated from George W. Hewlett High School, where he served as class president for three years. Donald Simon was from Brooklyn, NY and is the son of immigrants from Belarus. Simon’s mother, Sylvia Abitbol, was born in Casablanca, Morocco.
In 1986, Simon began his studies at Brown University. He also attended the Sorbonne (Universite de Paris) for the summer semester. While at Brown University, Simon attended Tel Aviv University for the spring semester of his junior year, and he spent two summers working for Neuberger Berman in New York, NY. In 1990, he graduated from Brown University with a BA cum laude in Applied Mathematics and Economics. His senior thesis evaluated the impact on Palestinians of work in Israel. Between stints at William Kent International, Simon attended University of Chicago Graduate School of Business where in 1995 he received a Master of Business Administration high honors (top 5% of class). Upon graduation, in recognition largely for his starting and running the business school’s Public Service Fellowship program, Simon received the President’s Award for Student Volunteer Service.
While at University of Chicago, Simon attended Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile, for one trimester. During the summer of 1994, he worked for the World Bank in Washington, DC.
Simon worked for William Kent International (WKI) from 1990 to 1993 and again from 1995 to 1999. WKI specialized in helping large US corporations build their businesses overseas. Simon’s clients included Alcoa, Rockwell, Kennametal, and Rubbermaid. During his time at WKI, he worked in over 30 countries and ultimately became the firm’s COO. Simon also served on the Board of the company’s joint venture in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In 1999, Simon left WKI to become chairman and CEO of USLaw, a national network of small law firms. USLaw was financed with $15 million led by UBS Capital, and the website USLaw.com quickly became the leader for consumers and small businesses researching their legal issues. The company gained notoriety for its offering online chats with attorneys. At its peak in 2000, the company employed 96. In November 2000, the company laid off 16 of its 96 people in a business restructuring. In late 2001, in the midst of the bursting of the tech bubble, USLaw was sold to Grand Central Holdings in New York City. In October 2000, Simon was recognized by Washington Business Forward as one of the top 40 business leaders under the age of 40 and in December 2000 he appeared on the cover of Money magazine.
After leaving USLaw in 2001, Simon joined the Meltzer Group as its president and COO. In 2002, Simon started a registered investment advisor which four years later became Highline Wealth Management. By 2015, the company managed $1.5 billion and was one of the fifty largest registered investment advisers in the country.
On July 31, 2015, Highline was acquired by Bronfman Rothschild. As part of the transaction, the company moved its headquarters to Rockville, Maryland, and Simon was hired as chief executive officer. Simon’s new partners include Sir Evelyn Rothschild and Matthew Bronfman. The Washington Post estimated the acquisition price at $30 million.
In 2015, Simon appeared on the cover of Charles Schwab’s Portraits of Independence, a collection of success stories in investment management. In January 2016, along Matthew Bronfman, Simon appeared on the cover of Financial Advisor magazine. In October 2017, Simon appeared on the cover of Financial Planning magazine, for an article featuring the company’s growth.
In August 2017, Simon hired Michael LaMena as President and COO, creating a new position in the company's leadership team.
2018 Campaign for U.S. Senate
On February 27, 2018, Unite America, a grassroots political organization that advocates for the statewide election of independent candidates, announced their formal endorsement of Simon, Governor Bill Walker (I-AK), Greg Orman, Terry Hayes, and Craig O’Dear.
On July 19, 2018, Simon submitted over 12,000 signatures to complete Maryland’s state requirement for Nomination by Petition so he could be included on the ballot. Among Simon’s signers was Governor Larry Hogan.
One of Simon’s stated primary objectives was to bring the country together.
On Monday, September 24, Simon’s campaign held a rally with Isaac Slade, the lead singer of The Fray, which was Slade's first solo performance. On October 18, Simon endorsed Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for re-election.
General Election Debate
On Sunday, October 7, Simon participated in a debate against Cardin and Republican candidate Tony Campbell. At the debate, Simon criticized Cardin for "failing to solve a range of problems during 52 years in public office," saying that he wants voters to be able to see “what a different government could look like, and what it might look like if we didn’t just have a senator following his party 97 percent of the time.”
In response to a question about Baltimore’s education system, Simon had some of his harshest criticisms.
Simon also made his case against overt partisanship in the Senate, saying “I think the Steelers and Ravens are nicer to each other than the people in the United States Senate."
In his closing statement, Simon called for two more debates, which have not been scheduled.
In an October Gonzales Research poll, Simon polled at 18% in the three-way race and had an overwhelming lead among undecided voters over his Democrat and Republican opponents.
On November 6, Simon received 84,453 votes for 3.7% of the vote in the general election.
Neal Simon identifies himself as a "moderate independent"; he described his fiscal positions as being closer to that of the Republican platform and his social positions as closer to those of the Democratic platform. He supports lower taxes and cutting the budget. He is pro-choice on the issue of abortion. He supports same-sex marriage. On his Senate campaign site, he expresses support for the DREAM Act, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and some gun control measures. He also supports tighter border security and nationalizing the E-Verify program, which is believed to cut down on illegal immigration.
Simon supports open primaries, which would allow independent voters to participate in Maryland’s primary elections, a system believed to result in more moderate representatives.
Simon is married to Jennifer Brown Simon. They live in Potomac, Maryland, and have three children.
- Skinner, Liz. "Personalized service the norm at Highline Wealth Management". www.investmentnews.com. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
- McNamer, Bruce (November 21, 2016). "The Spirit of Giving". Greater Washington Community Foundation. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- "The Simon Family: Interfaith Works Humanitarians of the Year". Interfaith Works. December 17, 2016. Retrieved October 8, 2017 – via YouTube.
- "2016 Companies Caring Breakfast - Meet the Honorees". Interfaith Works. March 16, 2016.
- Fritze, John (February 6, 2018). "An independent candidate for Senate in Maryland says 'it's about change,' as the incumbent files for re-election". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
- Dovere, Edward-Isaac (February 6, 2018). "Independent to launch bid for Senate in Maryland". Politico. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
- "Unofficial 2018 Gubernatorial General Election results for U.S. Senator". elections.maryland.gov. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
- "USlaw.com makes case for legal advice". The Washington Times. January 31, 2000.
- Walker, Leslie (December 11, 1999). "Online Answers Raise Questions; Free Legal Advice Via the Internet Could Cross Lines". NewsBytes. The Washington Post. Retrieved July 10, 2018 – via California Bar Journal – February 2000.
- "How Neal Simon parlayed a hoity-toity family office RIA into a $5 billion serial buyer in two years by letting the whale swallow him first". RIABiz.com. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- Heath, Thomas (August 16, 2015). "This Neal Simon script has gold-plated names like Bronfman and Rothschild". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- Schwab Advisor Services. "Advisor case study: Neal Simon, Highline Wealth Management" (PDF). www.schwab.com. Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
- "What's In Your Brand?". www.FA-Mag.com. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- "Neal Simon - Financial Planning". Financial-Planning.com. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- "Bronfman Rothschild Ranks #2 on Financial Advisor Magazine's List of the Fastest Growing RIA Firms - Bronfman Rothschild". belr.com. July 12, 2016. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- "HighTower president jumps to Bronfman Rothschild". Financial Planning. Retrieved 2017-10-03.
- Fritze, John. "An independent candidate for Senate in Maryland says 'it's about change,' as the incumbent files for re-election". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- "Independent to launch bid for Senate in Maryland". POLITICO. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- News, A. B. C. (February 28, 2018). "Independent candidates unite to support each other's campaigns". ABC News. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- "Statewide independents roll out national slate". POLITICO. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- "Unite America, the Political Party That's Not a Party, Announces Slate of Five Candidates – InsideSources". InsideSources. February 27, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- "CORRECTION: Simon, Cardin raised similar amounts for Senate race". MarylandReporter.com. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- "Neal Simon and Independents Aren't Going Anywhere - Smerconish.com". Smerconish.com. April 25, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- "Unaffiliated U.S. Senate Candidate Neal Simon Submits More Than 12,000 Signatures to Maryland's State Board of Elections". Retrieved July 23, 2018.
- "Two gubernatorial candidates. One clambake. No interaction". Washington Post. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
- "Ben Cardin To Face 2 Challengers For US Senate Seat". 2018-08-20. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- Polus, Sarah. "The Fray's Isaac Slade plays first solo show at rally for Md. Senate candidate Neal Simon". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
- "Independent U.S. Senate candidate Neal Simon endorses Hogan for governor". Washington Post. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
- "Independent Senate Candidate Simon Says He Has Won the Support of GOP Gov. Hogan". Bethesda Magazine. 2018-11-01. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
- Broadwater, Jeff Barker, Luke. "Independent U.S. Senate candidate for Maryland Neal Simon says Gov. Larry Hogan voted for him". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
- "Cardin defends record in first Maryland debate for U.S. Senate". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- Dresser, Michael. "U.S. Senate challengers fault Cardin in debate for not solving problems". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- Gonzales Research & Media Services (October 2018). "Gonzales Maryland Survey" (PDF). RealClearPolitics. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
- "Neal Simon: Fighting to Moderate the Senate". Smerconish.com. February 15, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
- "Finally Pass Legislation on Immigrants and Border Security". Neal Simon for U.S. Senate. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
- Simon, Neal (July 18, 2018). "Why Maryland Needs Open Primaries". Maryland Matters. Retrieved July 23, 2018.