On the money: Attorney picks new career over lure of retirement


By Jeanine Matlow
Legal News

When Michael Kratchman was ready to retire from a long and prestigious legal career, a friend suggested he join him at UBS Financial Services instead.

“It was like a light went on. It took me five seconds to say yes,” recalls Kratchman, who managed money part-time while practicing law.

During his 40-plus years as an attorney, Kratchman handled various securities matters. Before then, while in law school at University of Michigan, he spent a summer working at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. and earned a scholarship from the Ford Foundation to study the British Securities Markets at The London School of Economics.

Someone working for FINRA, an independent financial regulatory authority, told Kratchman he was the only person she knew who went from representing clients to representing the industry.

“I was heavily involved in securities law including tender offer litigation and I represented clients in securities arbitration,” says Kratchman, who has been a financial adviser with LPL Financial in Farmington Hills since 2009.

“I enjoy my life at LPL,” he says of the profession that lets him combine two of his greatest interests. “I pick individual stocks for my clients and I enjoy doing the necessary research.”

Among the highlights of his legal career is a Certificate of Innocence he was able to obtain for a young man who had been convicted of bank robbery, wrongfully imprisoned and later found to be innocent. Another unique experience was the Northwest Airlines class action suit where he represented passengers who were left sitting on the tarmac for hours during an ice storm, which resulted in a large settlement. 

Kratchman, who currently serves on the board of Kadima, a mental health organization, also has been active in the past with ArtServe Michigan (now known as Creative Many) where his wife Barbara was president for the organization designed to advance arts and culture in Michigan.

In his spare time, he enjoys, golfing, tennis, and swimming.

“I like to keep active. It’s a healthy lifestyle and I try to stay trim,” he says.

He and his wife are avid travelers. Michael covered the country with his children when they were young.

“We took a big eastern trip and a big western trip,” he says.

Now their grandchildren get to go places, too. One went to Israel; one to New York and another to the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks. 

Kratchman never lost his fondness for London after living there for nine months.

“It’s my favorite place. I’ve gone back and I still have friends I met there,” he says.

Sicily is another top contender. He also appreciates different methods of transportation.

“A cruise is suitable when traveling long distance to see multiple cities in one trip,” he says. 

Kratchman and his wife even took a trip with the former Nomads.

“It was wonderful – 28 people sitting in first-class seats visiting seven great cities around the world,” he says.

His longtime travel companion and wife Barbara says, “We’ve had many wonderful opportunities to go to new places and Michael is always up for the challenge. My involvement in the cultural community is often very
demanding and he has been a most willing partner. He’s always open to new experiences and people. He’s a great partner and companion, no matter what or where.”

She believes her husband has much to offer wherever he is.

“He is the kindest person and exceptionally patient. It’s a pleasure. You don’t meet many people like that,” she says. “He often brings a different point of view to dinner conversations and he is a great listener.”

His wife is very supportive of his second career.

“He has this unique ability and deep interest in the stock market. With his background in securities, the industry gave him an entrée to do something that he’s thoroughly enjoying,” she says.

“He has an analytic mind and he is open to new ways of thinking,” says Barbara. “His fascination with the stock market fascinates me because I always think of him as being risk averse. He loves the people he works with at LPL Financial. He’s just having the time of his life and doing extremely well.”