Marcello DePascale is the type of financial advisor that dispels every negative industry stereotype. His commitment to serving individuals and small businesses, his deep product knowledge and his own personal story make him both immensely trustworthy and likeable.
These same qualities have brought him early success. Just a few years into his career, he has a booming book of business and co-leads a wealth management team at Barnum Financial Group. We sat down with Marcello to find out more about his day-to-day work, the opportunities and challenges he sees ahead and the No. 1 piece of advice he would share with new agents. (Spoiler alert: It’s pretty good.)
LHP: Why did you choose a career in insurance or financial services?
MD: The seeds were planted early. My father passed away when I was 10, and the life insurance product he was guided to purchase required a lot more time to build up a significant death benefit versus term insurance. The entire family had to struggle to make ends meet. I did not know all the financial facts at the time, of course, but I did absorb them as I grew older.
Growing up, I worked in my uncle’s small business right through my college years, when I decided to study business and finance. I became very interested in helping an old-fashioned family company streamline and modernize its operations, especially its financial operations.
I liked the challenge of making the business more successful, and helping the people involved. I interned at Merrill Lynch during college, too, and then chose Barnum. One of the firm’s big pluses for me was the resources provided to advisors, such as product and estate planning experts.
LHP: Describe what you do.
MD: Along with my associate, I lead a seven-person wealth management team that serves individuals, families and businesses. I work closely with the clients I serve, and I like doing that and finding solutions for them. One of my first tasks when I joined the firm was to design an entire small business financial plan for my uncle’s business, including key person insurance, a fully funded buy-sell agreement, and a shareholder agreement.
I take a lot of pride in building and expanding relationships with new clients, too. For example, a cold call with a nurse-anesthesiologist a few years ago has blossomed into serving some 130 of these professionals around the U.S.
LHP: Share an achievement you are especially proud of.
MD: For a client who was a widow at an early age and had two young children, I arranged for Social Security survivor’s benefits. We then used some of the proceeds from the husband’s life insurance on an insurance product that would ultimately fund the children’s college education. The wife was risk averse to the financial markets and this was a perfect solution.