The financial advisory business is said to be a relationship business. As we know, in life as in business, there are all kinds of relationships: peaceful ones, rocky ones, intense ones, deep ones, weak ones and rock-solid ones. It would stand to reason that the financial advisors chosen by our distinguished panel of judges for our annual Advisor Hall of Fame owe their stand-out success to exemplary client relationships.
That at least was the overriding impression given by our five honorees. Here is a group of people whose commitment to their clients and passion for their work just leap from the pages.
Take New York-based Wachovia advisor James Cotto, whose mission statement opens: “We want to add value to our clients. We want to provide for all of our families.”
Get the imagery here? Someone who provides for his family feels a tremendous sense of responsibility for them.
Fellow Wachovia advisor Howard Lorch, of Houston, says: “This isn’t a job, this is a passion.” And LPL’s Eric Park, of Washington, Mo., echoes this sentiment: “I almost feel like I’ve never worked yet because every day I get up and I go to a place I still feel passionate about. People joke that if I die and go to heaven, I’ll wake up at my desk.”
Clearly, Lorch and Park are people whose pleasure derives from pleasing others.
New York-based Smith Barney advisor Carol Glazer touches on this point very viscerally: “I like to be needed. We become very involved with clients. We become part of their lives. It’s a real personal thing.” And Raymond James’ Van Pearcy, of Midland, Texas, sums up what it’s all about: “When your clients say you’ve made a world of difference in their life — to say something like that, that gets you up in the morning.”