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Envestnet CEO: What Advisors Can Learn From Churchill

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The Envestnet Advisor Summit 2019 in Austin, Texas, opened Wednesday with a keynote from CEO Jud Bergman, who used the qualities of Winston Churchill to show how investment advisors can be transformative leaders, especially when using Envestnet technology.

Bergman, who addressed a crowd of 3,000, noted the key term for the meeting: financial wellness.

“You in this room are part of a transformative industry … to help investors move forward you need a forward-thinking tech company,” he said.

He discussed the qualities that made Churchill a transformative leader, and how they applied to the advisor audience:

  • Being a visionary: Churchill proved this with his unrelenting push for Britain to fight Hitler and the Nazis.

“For us it’s to support client financial wellness: planning, budgeting, protecting capital and legacy,” he said.

  • Embracing technology: Churchill was an early adopter of a modernized navy in World War I and brought in submarines, which were instrumental in defending Britain in World War II, Bergman said.

Churchill also was instrumental in implementing code-breaking, including the Enigma code that, once broken, helped end the war.

Embracing technology helps advisors move from commissions to fee-based platforms and “unify all facets of their clients’ financial lives,” he said.

Envestnet’s recent partnerships with Apprise Labs and MoneyGuide are key to this unification, Bergman explained. Further, Envestnet and its family of products transforms raw data into actionable intelligence, he said.

  • Courage: Churchill was renowned for his courage, continuing to sound the warning of Hitler even after he had fallen out of favor. “Courage is not fearlessness, but overcoming fear and doubt,” he said.
  • Being a unifier: Churchill unified a nation, and Envestnet provides the “power to unify advice” to help clients for their entire lives, he said.
  • Exceptional communication: Bergman noted that Churchill was “a great orator and writer, but also listened to the British people.”

Through the Envestnet portal, clients are able to get updated on their finances and get an overall financial wellness report, which allows advisors to spend more time diving deeper for customer solutions.

Bergman added that Churchill was a good and kind leader: “Kindness is telling hard truths and not sugar-coating it to service clients better.”

He also pointed out some of Churchill’s flaws, including drinking too much whiskey. “I’m not sure why that’s a bad thing,” he joked.

— Check out Who Are the Top Active Managers of 2019? on ThinkAdvisor.


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