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How a passion for coaching turned into a successful career in asset management

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Gary Collier has always had a passion for mentorship. An affection for sports, coaching and teaching helped this 26-year industry veteran — currently serving as executive vice president and manager at Pinnacle Asset Management — to develop a thriving career in asset management.

“As an advisor, I like to make my clients feel safe in the relationship,” Collier says. “Being a program manager allows me the opportunity to be the player [and] coach and the time to help others get better at what they do.”

Continuous recruiting is a major goal at Pinnacle and a key part of Collier’s responsibilities with the firm include finding high-quality talent, helping the advisors with the transition to the firm and building on their client base. Collier says his firm tries to provide advisors with well-rounded experience and create a unique work environment.

“Our highest priority is to recruit high-quality people who are looking to improve themselves from a work environment standpoint,” Collier says. “We try to create a work environment where people want to be. We really strive hard for people to say ‘that’s a cool place to work.’”

In a highly regulated industry, giving financial advisors the freedom to operate independently, while offering the support of a larger firm, can be an advantage for the companies’ advisors. That’s the attitude that Collier takes at Pinnacle.

Giving advisors autonomy and allowing them to brand themselves as they wish gives them the freedom to build a practice. It also helps avoid the feeling of being micro-managed that they might get at a big firm that may well tell an advisor to turn away a client for having assets that don’t meet a minimum value requirement.

“We are integrated with our bank partners, but we allow our advisors the latitude to manage their practice as though they are independent financial consultants who happen to work at a bank,” Collier says. “I believe it’s important to give advisors the freedom to develop and brand themselves in a way that helps foster their practice as they see fit.”

This could be something as simple as the way a practice’s website is set up to leveraging the dual association with Raymond James and Pinnacle Bank.

Understanding what advisors need and helping them find their footing in a tumultuous industry as well as interacting with clients to better prepare them for their financial future are just some of the more meaningful parts of Collier’s job.

“I feel energy and confidence when I am recruiting new talent to Pinnacle and Raymond James because I love to share the Pinnacle story and our relationship with RJ because I believe in it with all my heart,” he says. “When meeting with clients, I try to be the exact opposite of what one’s perception may be as it relates to advisors in general. I want to be passionate, understanding and caring while gaining insight into their situation.”

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