RISE OF THE FLEXGEN POWER HOUR
Day two began with seven inspiring examples of real-life FlexGen advisors taking the stage to spend a mere eight minutes each to tell their stories. They spoke about their business models, their tech stacks, and more, explaining how, through evolving each of these aspects of their businesses, they were able to embrace the FlexGen mindset and succeed because of it.
First were Pete Bush and Rachel Stewart of Horizon Financial Group. They stressed the need to flex the internal structure of your business so as to help cultivate and grow your emerging talent and provide your firm with an effective succession plan.
Then came Lucas Winthrop, who stressed the need to reexamine one’s business model with a focus on the three T’s: time, talent, and technology. Following him was Pamala Capalad of Brunch and Budget. Pam focused on how advisors can flex to serve the traditionally underserved markets and detailed how she has created a unique business model that focuses on the plan, not the assets.
Eric Roberge from Beyond Your Hammock then came up and showed how he found a way to redefine his entire business model and serve high income thirty to forty year-olds with both a monthly subscription model and an AUM based fee structure.
Jody Padar of New Vision Wealth Management or as she is also known – the Radical CPA, came on next and enjoined the crowd to embrace tech, collaborate with those in the industry, and get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
And finally, James Werner, the co-founder of Silicon Hills Wealth, gave a rousing end to the entire session with a passionate reminder that we in the industry are not competitors – we’re partners. And we must work together to build the FlexGen.
INDUSTRY LEADERS PANEL: Hosted by Stephen Langlois
To keep the morning going, there was the Industry Leaders Panel hosted by Stephen Langlois, our Head of Business Development. He was joined on stage by Kunal Kapoor, the CEO of Morningstar, Ilan Davidivici, the Global Head, Wealth and Asset Management at Salesforce and Marty Bicknell the CEO of Mariner Wealth Advisors.
With his long experience of redefining and improving client experiences, Kunal spoke about the shifting expectations of not just the next generation of clients, but also of today’s current clients. He went to explain that while even though what we thought could not be automated is now being automated, this actually provides an opportunity for advisors to focus on value driving tasks that better demonstrate their worth to the client.
Mark Bicknell meanwhile, talked about the need to allow the next generation of advisors to try new things and experiment and even fail (gasp!). In doing so, we allow innovation to flourish and for the new team members to grow into essential players.
With Ilan, we were treated to insights from the global footprint of Salesforce. He invoked the example of Cacao, a South Korean social media company that is essentially their version of Facebook. Unlike Facebook however, Cacao has gotten into finance and will soon offer wealth management. To counter such disruptions, he argued, we will need to be both convenient and trustworthy.
The rest of the morning and well into the afternoon, attendees headed out to round table discussions where they spoke with each other and traded best practices.
THE NEW MEANINGFUL MEASURE: PROVING THE VALUE OF RELATIONSHIP with Ron Carson
Ron took the audience through the story of Altamura Vineyards and showed how it was the experience around their wine that was so crucial to its taste.
We are now in the age of the client experience.
Applying the Napa Valley (not Silicon Valley!) experience to our industry, he explained that what differentiates you is your ability to make the complex simple. When you take something that is difficult for clients and distill it down so that it is meaningful and easy to understand, you provide tremendous value.
He finished with the all-too-important injunction to not depend on what you know and what you are comfortable with, but rather to break out into the unknown and therefore, into the future.
THE SCIENTIFIC SECRETS OF PERFECT TIMING Daniel Pink
Many of us believe timing is an art. But according to Daniel Pink, timing is really a science. After all, would you want an advisor that made decisions based on their feelings rather than data?
In his keynote, he argued that an understanding of the science behind timing can lead to more success, both in work and beyond.
He focused his time in particular on the science of how the end of something has an extremely significant impact on the whole. He described 4 ways endings shape our behavior.
- Endings help us energize: Research shows we are most likely to run our first marathon at age 29 because, when the end of something is coming we work harder.
- Endings help us Encode: They help us evaluate situations and commit them to memory.
- Endings help us edit: He exlpained how, at the end of our lives, we actively eliminate friends and physical belongings to make our lives simpler.
- Endings help us elevate: 4 out 5 people prefer to begin with a loss and end with a positive rather than the reverse.
To end his talk, he left the audience with six key takeaways:
- Shine a light on endings to energize yourself and others. Have serious conversations with clients when they are reaching the end of a birthday decade (29, 39, 49, etc.).
- Consider short fuses rather than long fuses. Give them less time than more time because the end is the most important part regardless of time.
- Remember how situations unfold at the end to shape how the client remembers them.
- Always give the bad news first.
- Use endings as meaning makers.
- Make the last thing you offer clients something that elevates.