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What's valuable to a client is developing a big-picture financial plan that addresses financial, investment management, insurance and estate issues, says William Oliver, this years top advisor in BICs top 50. When clients panic, he points to the long-term financial plan to show them where they stand in relation to their long-term goals.
Matthew Fryar suggests that other advisors keep the business as simple as possible. One of his biggest challenges stems from the onslaught of todays media and "the noise that it creates." He works hard throughout the year to get his clients' attention away from whats happening day-to-day in the markets and back to their long-term financial plans.
3. Bruce Knott, Wells Fargo
Bruce Knott joined E.F. Hutton in the early 1970s when he decided he didn't have passion for his then-current job at GTE. In the years since, he has perfected a strategy that can only be described as the power of patience and the strength of the soft sell. "The worst thing the industry has done is pressure people to make fast decisions," he says.
4. Jeffrey Reichwald, Wells Fargo
The best piece of advice Jeffrey Reichwald has for rookies sounds simple enough, but can be hard to truly implement for the go-getter personalities that often come with the territory in this industry: Be patient. "Being able to say 'I know I have to put this time in to be a success' is the answer," he says.
5. Jim Applewhite, Wells Fargo
When renewed fears of another financial crisis flared up over the summer, Jim Applewhite went into damage control. He reminded clients of the risk management they already had in place and evaluated ways to insulate client portfolios against possible exposure to any fallout from the European debt crisis. In other words, he held their hands. He tried to calm them during the market's roller coaster dives.
6. Randall Krenzin, Wells Fargo
Randy Krenzin of Wells Fargo works by referral only and specializes in high-net- worth individuals. He starts with a full understanding of client's entire balance sheet and only then implements a plan, which typically includes discretionary portfolio management.
7. Russell Cesari, Northwest Financial
Russell Cesari views each client relationship as a holistic lifetime partnership. His target market consists of retirees and people who are nearing retirement. For referrals, the majority come from his existing clients, which he notes is a sign of client satisfaction.
8. Kin Vinson, Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo's Kin Vinson prides himself on creating specific retirement and estate plans that meet clients' financial goals while staying within the parameters of their risk tolerance. He focuses on preservation of clients' net worth and increasing the overall efficiency of their portfolios.
9. Charles Lewis, Wells Fargo
Charles Lewis brings a small-town flavor to the turbulent Wall Street environment, and offers a quiet and calming influence to clients in a challenging market environment. Born and bred in the town where he works, he's able to offer confidence and commitment to clients.
10. Jeff Nuttall, Wells Fargo
Jeff Nuttall has many clients who are executives or business owners. So they have a lot of risk in their main source of income. So his goal is to preserve wealth rather than create it. He achieves this by targeting low volatility and is willing to accept slightly lower returns in up-markets.
11. Sam Sleiman, Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo's Sam Sleiman is a big believer in education. He has an MBA degree and 2 designations (Certified Investment Management Analyst and Certified Private Wealth Advisor). But what's even more important than knowledge is a true desire to help clients, he says.
12. Darin Dewsnup, Wells Fargo
Darin Dewsnup serves a broad array of clients in more than 20 states and 10 foreign countries. His main goal is to create a plan that will allow them to preserve their wealth and their estates for generations to come. He has found a particular niche within the wildlife and habitat preservation community.
13. Jeffrey Wyatt, Wells Fargo
Jeffrey Wyatt and teammate Jason Hyrne (next slide) use a holistic planning approach focusing on clients' goals. Wyatt focuses on internal relationships at Wells, continually fills the pipeline with prospects and works on "rainmaking activities" like golf outings and intimate dinners where they ask clients to bring friends.
14. Jason Hyrne, Wells Fargo
Jason Hyrne focuses his time on the planning and portfolio management side of the business. (The stats considered for Hyrne and teammate Wyatt were separate). They manage clients' money on a discretionary basis using 10 different models, including ETFs and institutional funds.
15. Eileen Allen, Wells Fargo
Eileen Allen lives in a town with 10,000 people about three hours from any city. She likes the remoteness because it fosters a close community. Her clients are neighbors and colleagues so she knows what keeps them up at night, which makes her enthusiastic about coming to work each day.
16. Philip Moses Jr., First Federal Financial
Philip Moses Jr. has segmented his practice so his team can provide financial planning to their top 300 clients. Investments for these clients are in fee wrap accounts where he utilizes asset-allocation models together with alternatives. And Moses still finds time to remain active in the community.
17. Kevin McDermott, Citadel Federal CU
Kevin McDermott builds deep relationships with clients-more than 80% of them have been with him over five years. He trains tellers and loan officers to listen for certain keywords and he returns the referrals having cross-sold more than $6 million in business back to the credit union this year.
18. Michael Pepper, Wells Fargo
Michael Pepper says his team runs a macro allocation strategy. After the tech wreck of 2000, he studied why people made and lost money and derived a strategy that replicates the approach used by large academic endowments for his $1 million retail clients.
19. Frank Au-Yeung, Wells Fargo
Frank Au-Yeung develops tailored wealth management plans for each client using all the resources within Wells Fargo. His niche consists of Silicon Valley executives, businesses and retirees, as well as the Chinese community both locally and internationally. He maintains strong relationships with bank employees who refer clients to him.
20. Marco Mendoza, Wells Fargo
Marco Mendoza has leveraged a defined planning-based process into frequent referrals from clients, bank partners, and many of the other business units at Wells Fargo. He has gained the trust of his partners so they feel that he will impress their referrals. The result has been a 20%+ increase in his business and AUM.
21. Greg Warner, Wells Fargo
Greg Warner has a holistic approach to serving clients in his Raleigh, N.C. market. He says his practice revolves around services such as investment planning, life insurance, long-term care, mortgages, lending and estate planning.
22. Doug Leonzi, National Penn Bank
Doug Leonzi, one of the mainstays on our top 50 list, says patience is necessary when prospecting, especially when an advisor is looking to land a highnet-worth client. But he also values his experience, which allows him to keep things in perspective and make time for his family.
23. John McRae, Citizens National Bank
John McRae started in January 1990 working in a management training program for about a year year. But he wanted to work in the investment field. He was about to bolt for a wirehouse when the company launched a program. He was the only one "young and dumb enough" to sign up.
24. Donna Barclay, Wells Fargo
Donna Barclay from Wells Fargo has brought on three junior financial advisors from the company's training program, plus an administrative assistant and sales assistant. In addition to serving clients and increasing business, Barclay spends time mentoring her team of young advisors.
25. Besart Morina, Wells Fargo
Besart Morina's team takes a comprehensive approach to identify client needs. They recognize there is much they cannot control. But they do control the client service and they enhance that experience by using all the bank partners available including trust, lending and insurance.
26. Horacio Choi, Wells Fargo
Horacio Choi of Well Fargo says the keys to being a successful financial advisor are maintaining a focus on the client; remaining diligent in all tasks whether they be service, research, or advisory in nature; and staying hungry in the quest to constantly improve your craft of financial advising.
27. Edward Jordan, Wells Fargo
Edward Jordan develops strategies consistent with clients' specific goals and objectives. He maintains a conservative investment philosophy with a focus on fixed income and managed money. A disciplined approach is used with regards to asset allocation, safety, liquidity, diversification and tax liabilities.
28. Guy Guidry, Wells Fargo
Guy Guidry uses a holistic wealth-based approach by bringing in planners, bankers and insurance experts as needed to enhance his clients' experience with his team. This helps generate referrals from clients, which, in turn, helps build a successful practice.
29. William Gamble, Wells Fargo
William Gamble of Wells Fargo strives to maintain perspective for clients based on their risk tolerances. He assists them in maintaining their lifestyles by a conservative approach with investments seeking to provide solid cash flow. And he acts as advisor to families to ensure their wealth may last for generations.
30. Darrell Smith, Citizens Bank
Darrell Smith takes his clients through an in-depth analysis of their needs, goals, and overall financial picture, and is then able to make appropriate recommendations. This allows him to build credibility and trust. He also has a knack to help clients understand why his recommendations address their specific needs.
31. Steven Goldberg, SunTrust Investment Services
Steven Goldberg continues to grow his business through centers of influence. As one example, he has established a relationship with an estate attorney with whom he conducts quarterly seminars. He has also established relationships with people in other lines of business within his branches.
32. Peter Knittle, ESL Investment Services
Pete Knittle began his career as a teller, then moved into the role of licensed banker, assistant branch manager, and ultimately credit union branch manager. He began advisory work in 2010 and has built over $15 million in advisory assets into his book.
33. Gabe DeFeo, Citizens Bank
Gabe DeFeo at Citizens Bank maintains a sales process and passion for his profession that helps him in his relationships with clients. He embraces new products and financial strategies, and works to make the best use of the firm's technology. This allows DeFeo to be first to market with new concepts for his clients.
34. Shawn Gentle, Wells Fargo
Shawn Gentle partners with his wealth team utilizes the planning and credit capabilities of the company in his drive to serve his high-net-worth and ultra high-net-worth clients. His preparation before and after client meetings is a hallmark of his thoroughness and dedication to handling every client issue.
36. Nicholas Toy, Huntington Bank
Nicholas Toy, a certified financial planner who is described as high-energy, approaches his business proactively and manages his team of three associate team leaders in the same way. He has mastered the challenging skill of holding team members and partners accountable in a positive manner.
37. Gregory Barkauskas, Fifth Third Bank
Greg Barkauskas of Fifth Third Bank has worked to transition his practice into more of an advisory platform. He has a passion for helping his clients define and achieve their goals. He checks in with them regularly to help make sure they are still on track.
38. Jayme Lemaire, Citizens Bank
Jayme Lemaire covers four branches in southeastern Connecticut. Her success comes from internal drive and outstanding partnering. She sets aggressive personal production goals each month and shares this goal with her team. While keeping her on track, this also challenges her branches to try to match her work and effort.
39. Kimberly Hunter, Wells Fargo
Kimberly Hunter specializes in wealth transfer. She has developed strong relationships with her aging senior clients and their children. Kim plans a client event every six weeks, whether it's a wine tasting and lunch, an education event or a larger meeting with portfolio managers and economists.
40. James Stottlemyre, Baker Boyer Bank
James Stottlemyre has a straightforward way of connecting with clients through his presentation style. He lays out the facts and presents solutions with conviction. He has recently begun to use Curian Asset Management to actively manage client portfolios and clients seem to be responding favorably.
41. Paul Stetter Jr., Fulton Bank
Paul Stetter Jr.'s primary area of concentration is fee-based financial planning, which involves individual retirement solutions and asset allocation. He adds value for his clients by educating them on the concepts and strategies that go into the development of their financial plan.
42. Timothy Lynch, Bank of Whitman
Timothy Lynch believes that the key to survival is maintaining discipline, and not reacting emotionally. He invests in high-dividend payers in troubled times. If the market drops, he uses the dividends either to fund retirement income or buy more securities while prices are down. Either way, clients win.
43. Donna Li, Wells Fargo
Donna Li cares about her clients and works hard to develops trusting relationships with them that won't be easily broken. These relationship enable her to truly advise rather than sell. And that, in turn, leads to qualified referrals of clients who are a pleasure to work with, making her job enjoyable.
44. Dave Volpe, Wells Fargo
Dave Volpe has had a strong relationship with the bankers in his branches. He also previously had a bank management position, which gave him the context and the insights to know how to coach and motivate his bank personnel.
45. Michael Pellerito, Wells Fargo
Since joining Wells Fargo two years ago, Michael Pellerito has been growing his business by 20% per year. He says constant communication is the key to success. Every client receives a call at least once a month, even if it's just to check in. And once a plan is implemented, the work has just begun, he says.
46. Gregory Malin, Fulton Bank
Greg Malin says that holistic planning is the best way to run a practice, as opposed to reacting to market conditions. It helps clients understand why recommendations are made. And a systematic process of gathering information helps grow outside client assets.
47. Terry Benson, Wells Fargo
Terry Benson is among those FAs who have been appointed the Private Investment Manager designation at Wells Fargo. As such, he can be hired by clients to manage money on a discretionary basis. He takes time to understand their needs for optimal asset allocation.
48. Gonzalo Echevarria, AmTrust Bank (division of NY Community Bank)
John Echevarria left a book of about $60 million in assets in New York to move to Florida. With no specific plan, he accepted the job of turning around a cluster of underperforming branches. He was an immediate success His branches were at 142% of goal at the end of the third quarter.
49. Garrett Stringer, Wells Fargo
Even among financial advisors, Garrett Stringer is known for working the phones aggressively. The phone hardly touches the receiver all day, say those who work with him. He also focuses on giving his clients high-touch service.
50. Chris Nornberg, Wells Fargo
Chris Nornberg has steadily built a large fee-based business, largely of executives and attorneys in southern Calif. His intensive market knowledge and ability with wealthy, career-focused clients has resulted in big growth of his managed assets, AUM's and revenue in 2011.