One of the highlights of our discussion with our Broker-Dealer of the Year winners came not from on-the-record comments, but from a casual aside. Looking to make small talk with Woodbury Chief Pat McEvoy while waiting to snap cover photos, I inquired about his background. After the perfunctory experience-building explanation, he noted he served on a counter-terrorism team and trained with Special Forces in the 1980s (once in, never out, as they say).
He also noted his son was active military, and had completed his third tour of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. McEvoy hardly wore his pride on his sleeve, but it was fully palpable nonetheless.
So it was with trepidation later that day that Jamie Green, our group editor-in-chief, broached the subject of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. We’d be remiss in not raising the topic, as our October 2001 issue was dedicated almost exclusively to that horrific day and its aftermath.
We sought to relate those events, and what’s since been learned, specifically to advisors; how it’s affected their investing and financial planning philosophies and how they develop business continuity plans.
As much as we tried to keep it about business, emotion won the day. The discussion was professional, of course, but a noticeable change came over the participants, darkening what was until then a relaxed, even jovial, atmosphere.
“The very thing that brought us together is now being used as a political tool to divide us,” McEvoy said with a smile on his face, but with anger in his voice. “I find that very disappointing; not upsetting, but disappointing.”