Two years ago, when Ajay Gupta left UBS to start his own independent wealth management firm in San Diego, he wasn’t sure if anyone was coming with him.

But it wasn’t the first time Gupta took a risk in stepping out on his own: Fifteen years ago, he transitioned his advisory practice in Canada to start anew in San Diego. Today, he is CEO and CIO of Gupta Wealth Management, an RIA that recently surpassed $1 billion in assets under management.

Gupta, 44, has also received attention for his high-profile clientele, who include self-help gurus Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins. Gupta Wealth Management serves high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth families, endowments and foundations nationwide.

“All of our clients are high net worth,” Gupta says. “Many of them have substantial assets with us. We have a lot of accounts between $2 million and $20 million.”

Last year, Robbins included Gupta’s experience in his book Money: Master The Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom.

“He’s spent hundreds of hours talking about my perspective on the industry,” Gupta says. “The people who read it were curious—they were accustomed to the brokerage model—and we’ve received a lot of inquiries since the book was published.”

The exposure has fueled the growth of Gupta Wealth Management and has raised Gupta’s profile within the industry.

But his success and ambition are guarded by his humility. The Canadian son of an Indian immigrant, Gupta is a second-generation financial advisor.

“My father inspired me to take care of others, as he did for myself and my siblings,” Gupta says. “I began exploring the realm of finance at a young age, and have been learning ever since.”

After studying at Concordia University and completing the Wharton School's advanced training program for the CIMA designation, then interning with his father, he began working in the industry, first taking a job as a broker and advisor with Midland Walwyn, which was later purchased by Merrill Lynch. In 2000, he moved his practice to San Diego.