Scott E. Tobe, CAP®
Principal & Chief Executive Officer
Scott serves as Chief Executive Officer of Signature Financial, directing the vision of the firm and coordinating the overall efforts of the team. As a licensed financial advisor and a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®, Scott utilizes his experience, knowledge, and education to provide comprehensive wealth management solutions and design charitable giving strategies for high-net-worth individuals.
Scott began working in the financial planning industry as a mutual fund wholesale representative with Eaton Vance and Putnam Investments. He returned to Pittsburgh in 2002 to manage Signature Financial Planning with Stephen Tobe, his father, and the founder of the firm.
Scott graduated from Indiana University with a degree in communications. He is an alumnus of the prestigious Kestra Representative Council, assisting with strategic business improvements for Kestra Financial. Scott was recently recognized by REP. magazine (now WealthManagement) as one of the top 20 financial advisors in the country under the age of 40. Scott is a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative with Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), and is licensed in securities and insurance.
Community involvement holds a great deal of importance to Scott. He serves on the executive board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, where he helps direct millions of dollars per year to worthwhile causes both at home and across the world. Scott is an active member of the Entrepreneurs Organization here in Pittsburgh. He is also a board member for Penn Future, an environmental advocacy organization. Because philanthropy is one of his great passions, in 2014 Scott created a venture fund designed to provide grant money for innovative ideas that help 22-45 year-olds find meaning and participation in Jewish life. Known as the SteelTree venture philanthropy fund, they have given away hundreds of thousands of dollars to date through the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
Scott enjoys investing with real estate development and private equity groups as well as mentoring young entrepreneurs and early-stage companies. Along with the partners and employees of the firm, Scott volunteers with several organizations that support individuals who find themselves in financially challenging circumstances. One such organization is the Circles Program through Roots of Faith in Sharpsburg, PA. Circles is a national program that has had a lot of success at lifting people out of poverty for good.
As a successful young professional, Scott was named one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40 and honored by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as one of Pittsburgh’s Fifty Finest.
Scott is a Pittsburgh native and avid outdoorsman. He lives in Fox Chapel with his wife, Becca, daughter Laila, son, Asher, and dog, Kona.
A chat with Scott
What made you want a career as a financial advisor?
I was at IU studying to become a psychologist. My father, founder of SFP, suggested I meet with one of his clients who was a practicing psychologist. She asked me what attracted me to the field and I told her that I wanted to be able to have my own practice, I wanted flexibility in my schedule and most importantly, I wanted to be able to help people. She looked at me and said “that is exactly what your father has done for me”. The realization of the extent to which you can help people as a Financial Advisor propelled me into the career and I have never regretted the change of direction.
What do you like best about being a part of the signature financial family?
It started as my father’s baby and now I feel that it is mine, along with my partners. Many of our clients have been with us for multiple decades and I truly care about them and their families. Also importantly, our staff are people that I spend a lot of time with and care deeply about. The word family is the correct word for both our clients and our staff. So to answer the questions simply, the relationships are my favorite part of Signature.
How do you want your clients to view their wealth?
As freedom. Building wealth certainly does not buy happiness, but it does provide you with a lot of choices. Do I want to retire now or not? Do I want to travel the world? Do I want to move to a new home or buy a vacation home? All of these questions are easier to answer when one has accumulated wealth.
On a professional level, what are your biggest accomplishments?
Receiving the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation. Outside of Signature, my passion is volunteering for worthy non-profit organizations. The CAP designation allows me to marry my two passions together into one fulfilling career.
What do you love to do outside of work?
Besides charity work that I already mentioned, I love to travel. The more exotic the locale the more interested I am in going there. I love traveling because I love people and I love to be able to immerse myself into other cultures as much as possible and learn how people live. Traveling has both inspired me and it has humbled me. In fact, it was my trip to Moldova in the Former Soviet Union that inspired the philanthropic path that I am currently on.
What are you passionate about in your personal life?
Helping others. In most of my charitable endeavors, I like to focus my energy on helping those that need it the most. Those who find themselves without or at risk of losing their home, who are insecure about their food needs or their medical care. I am also passionate about my wonderful family. I am blessed to have two young kids and an incredible wife. I love to spend quality time with them. I work a lot of hours during the week and I try to make up for that by being fully present and there during the weekends.
What is your most memorable travel experience?
For my honeymoon, Becca and I went to Kenya. I will never forget our first night out in the open Savannah. We took a Jeep ride out to the middle of nowhere. On the way we saw lions and elephants. We got out and made a camp fire and poured a glass of wine while we watched an ostrich charge from 100 yards away from where we stood to about 10 feet from us where it proceeded to jump up and down on a chair. It was one of the most amazing things that I ever remember seeing.