Talk about trial by fire; Jeff Auld left Berthel Fisher Financial Services to head what was then AIG Financial Advisors in July 2008. We all know what happened roughly two months later, and any affiliation with AIG was an affiliation with the ills of capitalism itself.
Not that he really likes to talk about it, but manage through it he did, and he is now looking to the future of the rebranded and revitalized SagePoint Financial.
Q: You took over at AIG Financial Advisors and almost immediately entered crisis mode. What was the atmosphere like at the time?
A: I remember in June when I was preparing to meet [AIG Advisor Group CEO] Larry Roth to interview for this position. I told my wife AIG was the sixth largest company in the world. Two months later I had to tell her AIG needed only a mere $30 billion.
Q: What are you taking from the crisis?
A: Almost immediately I began weekly webcasts with advisors. I answered questions, addressed concerns and responded to rumors, because they were flying all over the place. In hindsight, the frequent communication with my customers got us through that as well as it did.