Her father died on September 11. Now she helps others plan the unthinkable
Chloe Wohlforth, pictured with her father Martin, who died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, said she still feels his presence in her life today.
Courtesy of: Chloe Wohlforth
For Chloe Wohlforth, September 11, 2001 started out as an ordinary day.
That started to change as she sat in her high school French class in Greenwich, Connecticut, and a friend walked in and said a plane had just landed on the World Trade Center in New York City.
Chloe’s first instinct was that her father, Martin Phillips Wohlforth, 47, managing director of Sandler O’Neill & Partners, with offices at 104e floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center would be nice.
She quickly realized that the situation was much more serious.
After being picked up from school by her mother and grandmother, Chloe returned home at the start of an eventful period filled with a lot of uncertainty.
The family hung pictures of Martin, also known as “Buff”, in town as the missing person. Chloe made a TV news appearance to describe what her father looked like in case he was found injured or in the hospital.
This frantic search eventually turned into mourning when it became clear that Martin had not made it out alive.
At the time, it was as if the world had ended as she and her family knew, recalls Chloe. There was also a constant stream of people dropping off flowers, food, or calling on the phone.
“People presented themselves in the most selfless way I have ever seen,” said Chloe.
While many have asked, “How are you? Or “What can we do?” a couple asked the same question, but about family finances.
Her mother’s response was “I don’t know,” Chloe said, as her father had always handled the money.
These friends introduced her mother to a financial advisor, who helped them start putting the pieces back together in October 2001.
“We were lucky that someone decided to ask this tough question,” Chloe said.
Chloe, 36, remembers Martin as an exceptional father. “Of course I am biased,” she admitted.
Although he has dedicated himself to his career as a bond trader, he has always put his family first.
On weekdays, he would wake up at 4:45 am to go to the World Trade Center. On weekends, he got up at 5:45 a.m. to go to the golf course for the first time so he could spend more time with his family.
During the week, Martin would call Chloe, an only child, on the way to school to wish her luck no matter what test she took or what game she was playing that day. While work was very important to him, he walked through the door every evening at 7:30 p.m. for dinner.
“I still feel his presence and his support to this day,” said Chloe.
“I always tend to think how amazing it is that he could have been such a source of support that I can still draw on him.”
Chloe Wohlforth, CEO of Angeles Wealth Management’s New York office, was inspired to join the profession after seeing how a counselor helped her family in the aftermath of 9/11.
Courtesy of: Chloe Wohlforth
As she began to consider universities, Martin had insisted that Chloe look around and find the best solution for her.
Although he didn’t pressure her to go to Princeton University, his alma mater, she enrolled there after graduating from Greenwich Academy in 2003.
At Princeton, she earned a degree in art history. “I was and still am an art lover,” said Chloe.
After graduating in 2007, a career in financial services began to unfold. An internship at Bear Stearns led to a full-time job in a hedge fund.
When a position opened up at a wealth management company, that was when Chloe said she realized she preferred to directly help individuals and families alike. way her mother’s counselor had helped her family.
Today, Chloe is a Certified Financial Planner and is Managing Director of the New York office of Angeles Wealth Management.
The financial advisor his mother started working with in 2001 is still a part of their lives.
This initial introduction came at a time when Chloe and her mother were in “the thick of all heartache and despair” and also great uncertainty.
In addition to dealing with the loss of her husband, Chloe’s mother also faced big questions. Should they also mourn their old life and start over? Should they sell their house? Should Chloe go to another school? What about college?
Their financial advisor, who asked to remain anonymous, looked at every financial statement her mother could get her hands on and was there to read between the lines and figure things out, Chloe recalls.
New York firefighters gather at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City on September 11, 2020, as the United States commemorates the 19th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images
He worked to make sure they were positioned in the best possible way, she said, from building an investment portfolio to handling the huge amount of paperwork that accompanies an event too. tragic.
“He became her lawyer like I had never seen before, and we were complete strangers,” Chloe said.
While Chloe now has a say in her mother’s financial situation, the counselor will “always be a huge resource” for her mother.
“What I really saw with him was how much he had compassion for my mom,” Chloe said. “It took me years to figure out what this means.
The relationship was an “a-ha” moment for Chloe, she said. She knew she wanted to have her own financial freedom. At the same time, she also saw how powerful good financial advice can be.
Today, Chloe aspires to provide the same level of care to her clients, many of whom are women.
Her father, she said, would be happy.
“I think he would probably be surprised and thrilled with the type of work I do and to be in a place like Angeles,” Chloe said.
For Chloe, remember September 11 on the 20e anniversary of the terrorist attacks is somewhat bittersweet. While the day represented an unfathomable loss for so many, it was also a moment of unity.
“People really rose to the challenge and helped in any way they could,” she said.
Twenty years later, some of these efforts continue to bear fruit.
In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, many people sent Chloe books on death and bereavement. A children’s book called “The Next Place” by Warren Hanson particularly touched her.
This inspired Chloe to launch a campaign to send the book with handwritten notes to all the children who lost loved ones in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For help, she enlisted the help of other students and teachers.
At a recent funeral, someone approached Chloe to tell her that they had received a copy of “The Next Place”. Inside the book was an article about the project with his photo.