Having seen what works and doesn’t work during my career, I can quickly diagnose and identify the key elements of successful advisors and teams: 1) a clear understanding of strengths and weaknesses combined with patience, trust and acceptance, 2) humility and willingness to step outside comfort zones, 3) focused goals that leverage strengths and mitigate weaknesses, 4) a consistent application of activities that produce positive results, 5) continued improvement of developed processes with best-practice achievement.
My passion is growing financial advisory businesses. My career in sales began at a leading consumer products company. Later, at the age of 30, I was Subsidiary President of an oilfield services company where revenues grew 500% in 4 years. From there, I spent over 30 years as a financial services professional applying my skills of business development, sales, and marketing to the businesses I led while helping individual advisers raise the bar. I began as a Financial Consultant at Merrill Lynch, and subsequently became a Branch Manager, Complex Manager, and Sr. VP. During this time, I achieved proven results with significant top and bottom line improvement while supervising a cumulative $7.25 billion of client investment assets.
At later firms, I served in the role of District Manager for multiple offices in several states. I was named to the Branch Manager Advisory Council at Prudential Securities, received the Branch Excellence award and Branch Manager of the Year-Finalist awards at Legg Mason, and was voted by my peers as Co-Chair of the Branch Manager Advisory Council at Legg Mason. Also during this timeframe, I served as a FINRA arbitrator. In 2006, I completed the Securities Industry Institute’s 3-year course at the Wharton School and in 2007, was nominated to “100 Leading Branch Managers Nationwide” by On Wall Street Magazine.
Since leaving the Securities Industry in 2008, I founded an RIA, Ascent Advisors LLC, merged it into an insurance practice that I purchased, and sold both in 2012. Following that, I worked for 2.5 years as an independent consultant with a large multi-state RIA and helped them with business planning, talent recruitment, and acquisitions.
I hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, which I attended on a Track scholarship. I also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In September 2013, I was honored to be named a Pitt Varsity Letterman of Distinction (Hall of Fame).
Why do you coach?
I get true enjoyment helping advisors excel at what they did not think they were capable of achieving.
How would you describe your coaching style?
Get to the truth of the matter. Confront the realities. Listen in earnest. Be honest when honesty is needed. Don’t accept mediocre effort. Praise lavishly when success is realized.
Having recruited, trained, and coached many financial advisors over my career– coupled with broad business experience–allows me to approach any assignment with a unique blend of knowledge and skills in strategic planning, M & A, practice transition, succession planning, family practices, branding, relationship management, relationship marketing, and process improvement.
What are some of your personal interests and hobbies?
I love to read, especially historical pieces. I am fascinated by humans overcoming all odds. I am delighted at shown compassion and affection; awed by grace, steely determination, and the will to live and exceed. Favorite movie in last 5 years is “Unbroken.” The physical activity I most enjoy is golf; it is hard to accept the game of golf as never mastered but just played. Golf breaks the rule about 10,000 hours, because even after that effort, the best pro will still put a shot in the water. I am not that good. Someone told me once I should have stuck to tennis.
What do your clients say about you?
They have said things such as, “You really like what you do,” and, “I feel that you listen and seek to understand,” My wife and I raised 3 boys; it was quite a learning experience: patience, coaxing, understanding, and letting them learn by getting up on their own.