Wells Fargo Advisors President Mary Mack does not seek the spotlight nor share her views regularly with the media.
But the head of the bank’s brokerage group — which includes some 15,000 registered reps — has made some highly personal remarks about her own work with an advisor and what such relationships mean in the context of the new Department of Labor fiduciary standard.
In an online column for Wells Fargo customers, Mack acknowledges that the new fiduciary rules “are complex,” and that the bank is “taking a thoughtful and deliberate approach as we assess the impact on our clients and on our business.”
But she then digs into the heart of advisor-client relationships: “In reality, though, clients typically don’t have just a retirement account or just a brokerage account with us. Our financial advisors have relationships with people, not accounts,” Mack explained.
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“Yes, I, too, need a financial advisor,” she said.
For Mack and her family, the relationship with an advisor became much more significant in 2014.
“Nearly two years ago, our family faced one of the hardest, most heartbreaking events in our lives — the death of my daughter, Mary Warner, who died suddenly after a brief illness,” she said. “We are a close-knit family, but a loss like that sends even the most functional family reeling. We didn’t know how we would cope.”
The family’s financial advisor filled the gap.
“The one person who wasn’t afraid to gather us together, sit down with us, and help us get our heads on straight was our financial advisor,” Mack said.
“As we sat there in our living room, in a total state of shock, she helped us think about the things we had not thought of. It took a lot of courage on her part and took a tremendous burden off me and my husband,” she added.