He was responsible for the firm’s business management work, overseeing the wealth, career and lives of some of America’s most accomplished entertainment industry pros.
But by all accounts the most remarkable thing about Philpott, who died in March at the age of 66, was his ability to make anyone, no matter how rich or poor, feel important.
“Right after he passed away, a gardener of one his clients sent an email to someone (at the firm) saying, in broken English, ‘He made all of us feel like the most special people in the world,’” says his son Aaron, who was named a partner in PBSM in January.
Naturally, there were questions of who would handle Bob Philpott’s clients in the wake of his death. But because he had installed system where a team of four to eight business managers worked on each account, the transition was seamless.
Growing up in a rough part of Southern California’s San Bernardino County, Philpott was not necessarily destined for success, but a two-year tour of duty in the Marines (1968-70) kick-started his ambitions. He graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.S. in accounting in 1974 and did stints at Price Waterhouse and Traubner & Flynn before founding his own firm in 1984.
Today, the Encino shop has more than 50 employees serving 150-plus clients.
Away from work, Philpott indulged in his passions for fly fishing and piloting his Piper Meridian. But, according to his son, his priority was his family, which also includes his wife of 43 years, Margaret, and daughters Bekki and Mandy.
“He worked harder than anyone I know,” says Aaron Philpott, “but family always came first.”