Mary Mack knows she has some big shoes to fill.
On October 1, Mack assumed a post held by Dwight Moody, who's been president of Wachovia Securities' investment services group since 1999. That puts her in charge of some 1,200 financial advisors and 2,500 licensed financial specialists working in about 2,000 bank branches nationwide.
"Dwight's absolutely put his mark on the investment services group and its success," says Mack. Moody has been with Wachovia and its predecessor organizations for 34 years.
Mack, who's worked for Wachovia for 22 years, was appointed to her new job on August 21. Recently, she's led Wachovia's effort to promote business referrals among the larger corporation's business lines. Over the past five years or so, she's helped advisors bring in more than $600 million in cumulative revenue through the cross-selling of multiple products like mortgages.
"I am very excited about retiring and looking forward to enjoying all the things retirement can bring," says Moody. "I am equally excited about the selection of Mary to be my successor heading the in-bank brokerage channel at Wachovia Securities. She is an outstanding leader and manager with strong relationships within our Wachovia organization."
Within the brokerage firm itself, the investment services group is one of three main business lines; the others are the private client group with some 6,000 FAs working in full-service offices, and the independent brokerage group, with about 700 advisors.
"She is a leader with a crucial understanding of both the brokerage and banking businesses as well as experience at building and strengthening the types of collaborative relationships that have made our in-bank brokerage model arguably the most successful in the financial services industry," says Daniel Ludeman, president and CEO of Wachovia Securities.
Across Wachovia Securities, financial advisors have an average trailing-12 months production level of $600,000. The bank channel is in line with this average, Moody says. It's also ahead of the curve a bit when it comes to margins at about 30 percent vs. 25 percent as the company average.
Mack has about 90 days to work hand-in-hand with Moody before he retires in early 2007. Then, she'll take over on her own -- and further help Wachovia digest Atlas Securities, as part of parent firm Wachovia Corporation's October 2 merger with Golden West Financial Corporation, which includes 285 savings branches. In mid-October, she spent a weekend in New York helping Wachovia recognize more than 20 top-performing advisors with Atlas Securities, which includes about 120 FAs.
"We will be integrating and training them," explains Mack. "It's just the beginning of the process.
The merged company does business with some 15 million households and businesses through a total of some 3,400 branches.
It's also expanding -- in places like San Rafael, part of affluent Marin County, north of San Francisco. The new office is expected to have a dozen financial advisers and 18 total employees.
"The opportunity for continued growth of the investment business within Wachovia is tremendous," explains Moody. "We (at Wachovia Securities ISG) have still only penetrated approximately 20 percent of the affluent clients of Wachovia bank. This means the opportunity to open brokerage relationships is still there for 80 percent of Wachovia's affluent clients. Coupled with the knowledge that 64 percent of an affluent client's wallet share is in investments, this represents a tremendous opportunity for our bank channel, and a great opportunity for us to help deepen the wallet share of the bank's affluent clients."
As a woman in a predominately male field, Mack sees her new role as a good chance to exploit her strengths. "The financial advisory world is a relationship-based business, and women are particularly good at it," she says. "But diversity starts at the top."
Retiring president, Wachovia Securities investment-services group
Resident of: Charlotte, N.C.
College: U. of South Carolina; Columbia, S.C.
Years in the business: 34
Family: Three children; two boys, one girl
Hobbies: Fishing, boating
New president, Wachovia Securities investment-services group
Resident of: Fort Mill, S.C.
College: Davidson College; Davidson, N.C.
Years in the business: 22
Family: Three daughters
Hobbies: Photography, community volunteerism, exercise, spending time with family