Slideshow Top 20 Program Managers

Published
  • May 01 2014, 12:05am EDT
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Top 20 Program Managers

Welcome to Bank Investment Consultant’s annual Top 20 Program Managers. It is designed to recognize the most successful bank and credit union program managers on several criteria, including: percentage growth in team AUM, percentage increase in team production; number of advisors under manager’s direct supervision; number of licensed-branch employees under manager’s direct supervision; and production per advisor. Read all about the secrets to their success.

To see the story of our Top 20 winners, click here.


<b>20. Michael Zito</b>

Bank: Trustmark National Bank
TPM: LPL Financial
Location: Jackson, Miss.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 22
Team production 2013: $9.7 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $1.5 billion
Avg. production per rep: $441,000


Mike Zito’s team spends a lot of time networking internally to help foster a favorable environment to work with the retail side of the bank. He’s always on the lookout for cross-referral opportunities to the retail side as well as the mortgage and commercial units, and the trust department. In turn, the bank has a large cross-selling initiative that helps his team.

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<b>19. Jack Nelson</b>

Bank: Johnson Bank
TPM: Invest Financial
Location: Racine, Wis.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 12
Team production 2013: $7.2 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $1.1 billion
Avg. production per rep: $599,000


As senior vice president and sales manager with Johnson Bank, Jack Nelson is focused on building an integrated team. He requires his reps to attend ongoing sales training and sets goals for referrals to other areas in the bank. Plus, as part of a succession plan, his advisors are responsible for nominating five possible replacements they are willing to train.

<b>18. Steve Kruchten</b>

Bank: Bremer Bank
TPM: Raymond James
Location: St. Paul, Minn.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 27
Team production 2013: $10.5 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $1.5 billion
Avg. production per rep: $391,000


Under Steve Kruchten’s leadership, Bremer’s advisors created over 1,000 financial plans for clients and prospects, generating many opportunities to capture new assets and relationships. His passion for financial planning led Bremer Bank to launch its first-ever social media marketing campaign last November with a financial planning video introduced by Steve.

<b>17. Vance Richard</b>

Bank: Iberia Bank
TPM: Essex National Securities
Location: Lafayette, La.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 24
Team production 2013: $8.5 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $1.1 billion
Avg. production per rep: $590,000


Vance Richard, the program manager for Iberia Bank, was previously an advisor and has a thorough understanding of what it takes to “sit in the chair.” Vance likes to hand pick reps for the different territories, which helps him match the clientele within a specific market to an advisor’s personality.

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<b>16. Melanie Weischwill</b>

Bank: Prosperity Bank
TPM: Cetera Financial Institutions
Location: Victoria, Texas
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 7
Team production 2013: $5.8 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $747 million
Avg. production per rep: $721,000


Melanie Weischwill’s energetic personality catapulted her own production to a personal best over $1.8 million in 2013. Her ‘can do’ positive attitude inspired her team to increase revenues over 29% from 2012. And through it all, her devotion to her clients has never faltered. She continues to conduct her popular client events to ensure her clients always come first.

<b>15. Melissa Ekeberg</b>

Bank: United Community Bank
TPM: Invest Financial
Location: Blairsville, Ga.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 15
Team production 2013: $5.5 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $685 million
Avg. production per rep: $368,000


Melissa Ekeberg was promoted to a producing manager at the end of 2012. In her first year in the new role, she grew gross revenue by 39%, and her personal production by 41%, all while having her fourth child. Melissa is a ‘no excuses’ manager who expects underperforming advisors grow their production to acceptable standards, or move on.

<b>14. Dan Anderson</b>

Bank: MainSource Bank
TPM: Raymond James
Location: Greensburg, Ind.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 10
Team production 2013: $4.3 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $549 million
Avg. production per rep: $546,000


Dan Anderson hosts weekly conference calls with his team to share ideas and success stories. He also brings in industry experts to their quarterly sales meetings to help hone their skills and bring new ideas to the group. He empowers his advisors to think like entrepreneurs and work closely with their bank counterparts to increase referrals.

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<b>13. John Marx</b>

Bank: Elevations Credit Union
TPM: CUSO Financial
Location: Boulder, Colo.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 5
Team production 2013: $2.4 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $244 million
Avg. production per rep: $475,000


John Marx believes in man-agement by communication. He believes in sharing ideas and discussing challenges and successes with both FAs and branch managers. He created a monthly newsletter and quarterly e-blasts to clients and prospects and oversees a seminar series to educate members on investments.

<b>12. John Olerio</b>

Bank: Webster Bank
TPM: LPL Financial
Location: Wallingford, Conn.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 52
Team production 2013: $24 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $2.5 billion
Avg. production per rep: $463,000


John Olerio’s leadership and guidance led Webster Investment Services to a record year in 2013. He has made sure to provide customized coaching to all members of his team in order to help them grow their business in a meaningful way. Olerio is driving toward another record year in 2014, and has armed his team well with the resources to make that happen.

<b>11. James Badge</b>

Bank: DFCU Financial
TPM: CUSO Financial
Location: Dearborn, Mich.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 8
Team production 2013: $6.3 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $1.1 billion
Avg. production per rep: $786,000


James Badge achieves success by delivering consistency. He believes in hiring accomplished advisors and then providing them with a great career path and supporting them with plenty of prospecting opportunities (and also by staying out of their way). Consistency remains his greatest tool, and he is proud of his program’s track record of success.

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<b>10. Gary Collier</b>

Bank: Pinnacle Bank
TPM: Raymond James
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 17
Team production 2013: $9.8 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $1.6 billion
Avg. production per rep: $578,000


Gary Collier, a mainstay on our list, is an advisor’s dream boss. He’s as hands-on or hands-off as you need him to be. Since Gary is a producing manager, he keeps the bureaucracy meter fairly low. His encourages his advisors to market themselves in areas they enjoy (rotary, church, etc.) Part of Gary’s management philosophy is “the more one gives, the more one gets.”

<b>9. Britt Borders</b>

Bank: Capital Bank
TPM: LPL Financial
Location: Raleigh, N.C.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 25
Team production 2013: $2.7 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $398 million
Avg. production per rep: $107,000


Britt Borders was hired in 2013 to grow Capital Bank’s program, which he quickly returned to an in-house, dual employee model. He holds weekly advisor calls, working closely with advisors and branch managers. He has a strong team approach to sales, encouraging his advisors to help one other with sales ideas, branch trainings, marketing and referrals.

<b>8. Tim Bush</b>

Bank: Bell State Bank & Trust
TPM: Cetera Financial Institution
Location: Fargo, N.D.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 11
Team production 2013: $3.3 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $413 million
Avg. production per rep: $296,000

Tim Bush has a diverse background that has led him to his current role as SVP of wealth management at Bell State Bank & Trust, serving as program manager. What separates Bush from most program managers is that he ‘stays in the game’ by remaining a producer. He meets regularly with his team and believes in continually providing opportunities for education.

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<b>7. Lawrence Orsini</b>

Bank: First Niagara Bank
TPM: LPL Financial
Location: Buffalo, N.Y.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 113
Team production 2013: $49 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $6.3 billion
Avg. production per rep: $437,000


Larry Orsini’s success is no accident. He came to First Niagara in early 2012 to align programs from four different FIs and create a single team and strategy. Of the roughly 50% year-over-year growth rate, 32% is organic growth. His combination of industry savvy, broad experience and down-to-earth leadership have gained the respect of FAs, program leaders and bank execs.

<b>6. Ed Cwalina</b>

Bank: National Penn Bank
TPM: Cetera Financial Institutions
Location: Allentown, Penn.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 16
Team production 2013: $8.8 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $229 million
Avg. production per rep: $550,000


Ed Cwalina is a mentor and an educator. As a producing manager with his own book, Cwalina’s open-door policy allows reps to call on him for guidance in the sales process and branch relationships. With 25-plus years of experience, Cwalina is the ultimate team player and a client-focused problem solver. He loves to golf and hunt in his free time.

<b>5. Beverly Gaines</b>

Bank: Happy State Bank
TPM: LPL Financial
Location: Amarillo, Texas
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 6
Team production 2013: $3.8 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $218 million
Avg. production per rep: $626,000


You’d have to say Beverly Gaines’ team is happy. It’s not just that they live in a town in West Texas called Happy, and that they all work at Happy State Bank’s Happy Investment Service. It’s also a state of mind. She cites as proof the zero turnover among the advisors who have signed on with her over the seven years since she started the bank’s program. “The only person who left is someone who retired,” she says. In fact, one challenge is the growing pains of the group. “We’re growing fast, which means we have to make sure we have enough advisors so clients don’t have to wait. But they also have to be the right advisors.”

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<b>4. Chad Waddoups</b>

Bank: Mountain America Credit Union
TPM: LPL Financial
Location: West Jordan, Utah
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 20
Team production 2013: $6.5 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $488 million
Avg. production per rep: $324,000


Chad Waddoups’ first impression of financial services came from his Uncle Chris who served up stock market updates on the radio every afternoon in the Idaho hometown where he grew up. “I thought it was neat to hear him doing his thing,” says the vice president of investment and insurance services at Mountain America Credit Union in West Jordan, Utah. “That was my first inclination I could do something in this business.” Today, Waddoups is looking to make his own impact on the team of advisors he’s managed for the last six years at the credit union. As he sees it, his job is to motivate his team, removing obstacles so they can “do what they’re good at,” he says.

<b>3. Mike Haggerty</b>

Bank: Community America Credit Union
TPM: CUSO Financial Services
Location: Lenexa, Kan.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 11
Team production 2013: $5.4 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $490 million
Avg. production per rep: $490,000

Mike Haggerty says the key to his success has been steady growth. While there have been some inevitable bumps—notably the financial crash that struck shortly after he was made program manager in 2006— he says, “we’ve had seven consecutive years of growth.” His program has grown by 500%, to a point where his team now covers 30 branches and handles nearly $500 million in AUM for about 6,000 clients.

<b>2. Scott Jenner</b>

Bank: First Tech Federal Credit Union
TPM: Raymond James
Location: Rocklin, Calif.
FAs manager oversees (12/31/13): 30
Team production 2013: $16.5 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $2.7 billion
Avg. production per rep: $484,000


Having coached most of his sons’ sports teams from elementary school to junior high, Scott Jenner is skilled in guiding people to a deciding moment and then hoping they take the best step forward. “You’re going to break down someone’s life picture and advise them based on your expertise,” he says. “But then it’s really up to them to make the educated and informed decision.”

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<b>1. Agnes Lew</b>

Bank: East West Bank
TPM: Cetera Financial Institutions
Location: Pasadena, Calif.
FAs manager oversees (as of 12/31/13): 28
Team production 2013: $11.4 million
Team AUM (12/2013): $606 million
Avg. production per rep: $408,000


Agnes Lew has enjoyed a star career. After running the wealth management department at Cathay Bank and serving as a manager of business development at media firm Gemstar, her current role at East West Bank seems to suit her best. East West Bank pulls about 70% of its clients from the Chinese-American population. Not only are most members of her team bilingual—if not trilingual—they are also fluent in the customs and culture of their Chinese clients.