What drives the success of a bank program? Advisors who view it as an opportunity to grow their own business, says Paul Restante, program manager of Community Bank in upstate N.Y.

"Reps need to have ownership of their programs," he says. That's the mind-set that he looks for when recruiting.

His team produced $5 million in 2012, up 16% from the year before. And it was difficult to recruit advisors to remote DeWitt, N.Y., outside Syracuse, but with persistent recruiting and offers of more money, he overcame that challenge.

Another challenge was integrating the 11-year-old program into the overall bank. "My challenge was to convince the bank that the broker-dealer investment program was a core part of the bank rather than just a convenience program," he says. Restante encouraged reps to work with business bankers and branch managers and "collectively go out as a team and call on prospects and clients."

He also reduced the number of branches that advisors covered, so they could deepen relationships with banks, clients and the community.

Now he has management's full support. "We had to prove to them that we're a significant part of the overall bank offering, and we've gotten to that point now," Restante says.


Bank: Community Bank, N.A.
TPM: Invest Financial
Location: DeWitt, N.Y.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/12): 26
LBEs manager oversees (12/31/12): 6
Team production 2012: $5.1 million
Team production 2011: $4.4 million
Team AUM (12/2012): $1 billion
Team AUM (12/2011): $615.5 million
Avg. production per rep: $195,000
Years at bank: 4
Years in industry: 30
Age of program: 15 years
Sample of products: Mutual funds, ETFs, Equities
Do you decide what products are on the shelf? Yes

Related: The Top 20 Program Managers

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