Members of Envestnet’s senior management kicked off the firm’s advisor summit in Chicago on Wednesday with an inspirational session on the characteristics of pioneers, both in business and otherwise.
This year’s conference theme, “A new perspective,” is meant to encourage visionaries, with Chairman and CEO Jud Bergman noting that Envestnet wants to “be the advisor’s outfitter, porter or guide as you blaze your own path.”
Bergman framed his comments with six attributes common to all pioneers:
- Pursue a new path
- See a different horizon
- Perceive a new world or opportunity (“a new perspective”)
- Adapt to this new world or opportunity
- Overcome adversity, sometimes not fully
- Share their achievements with the broader community
“The pioneers path is at times thrilling, at times terrifying and often both,” he added, noting “pioneers work in three stages: See, perceive and adapt.”
Bergman punctuated his comments with quotes and thoughts of well-known pioneers like Lewis and Clark, Steve Jobs (he claimed his firing from Apple in 1985 was the best thing that ever happened to him) and Jackie Robinson.
“Jobs said that after he was let go he could go from being a tech titan to having the freedom that comes with starting over,” Bergman said. “Jackie Robinson believed the right of every American to be a first-class citizen was the most defining issue of his time.” He said, “A life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives.”
Stuart DePina then took over to move the discussion from the philosophical to the practical. DePina, group president of Envestnet | Tamarac, discussed changes to the practice management environment, beginning with threats to the advisory business, among them:
- The emergence of new models that provide online advisory services
- Increasing regulations resulting in broader compliance
- The “New Normal:” Economic uncertainty resulting in constant market volatility.
But he also pointed to what he called the “incredible opportunity” that exists for advisors today.