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Essential Advisor Award Winners of 2019

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Envestnet covers a lot of ground at its yearly Advisor Summit. Beyond asset management, it also presents several advisors with honors for their business acumen — via the Essential Advisor Awards — and with grants for their communities — through its Invest in Others partnership.

The Essential Advisor program recognizes professionals who embody values detailed in “The Essential Advisor,” a book co-authored by Envestnet co-founder Bill Crager, who is now chief executive of Envestnet Wealth Solutions.

This year’s winners are Christopher G. Frank of FTB Advisors in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Traci Garnett-Froscheiser of Garnett Investment Strategies in Beatrice, Nebraska; and Matthew B. Schechner of Essential Advisory Services in Westbury, New York.

“We’re thrilled with the group this year. They’ve really made an impact in their clients’ lives, and they’re putting the Essential Advisor principles into practice,” said John Harris, managing director and national sales manager for the independent broker-dealer and bank division of Envestnet.

According to Frank, “If you come into our office, the first thing you see is a tagline that says ‘being essential,’ and our whole focus with our clients is to be essential. That could mean helping them refinance their home, helping them through an automobile transaction or with retirement income. It’s a … dynamic practice and one that we are passionate about.”

Garnett-Froscheiser, who participated in Envestnet’s Essential Advisor Certification program, explains that she “loved the theme this year of financial wellness, because that’s that’s really what we’re trying to provide for our clients. We take a holistic look at a client’s family and their full financial picture.”

After that work is done, she adds, “We try to be the quarterback, making sure that they have the right will, estate plan and a trust if needed, and that they’ve got those beneficiaries listed.”

For Schechner, it’s also about the master plan: “We want to make sure that the solution we offer works within the entire strategy that’s getting this family across the finish line.”

Thanks to this approach, “The relationship that we have with our clients is stronger than ever, despite some of the turmoil we might see in the marketplace,” he said. “We really feel that our approach … fortifies the relationship.”

What does winning the award mean to them? “It’s a reflection of the pride that we take in dealing with our clients. To be recognized … for the work that we provide is … very meaningful,” Frank explained.

For Schechner, the award is both satisfying and inspiring: “There is a side of me that looks to people that win awards like this, and I find that I want to strive to be one of those people. To all of a sudden be on the other side of that is really humbling.”

It’s also a tremendous honor for Garnett-Froscheiser, as it shows “others … are seeing and recognizing that we’re running a good practice and that we’re doing the right thing for our clients.”

Looking ahead, Frank says, there’s still much to be done: “We use data aggregation constantly with our clients to empower them to understand their money, and there are so many opportunities out there. That will be the difference over the next 10 to 15 years in our industry — how an adviser utilizes technology to connect better with their clients.”

In early May, Envestnet also named its Invest in Others grant program recipients.

The IIO grant partnership, according to Envestnet Executive Managing Director Andrew Stavaridis, aims to support and bring visibility to advisors working diligently in their communities but who “a lot of times, aren’t getting the funding and support that they need.”

This year’s grant winners are Beau Bryant of Resolute Wealth Advisor in Findlay, Ohio, supporting Findlay Hope House; Nadine Burns of A New Path Financial in Ann Arbor Michigan, supporting Safe House Center; and Bryan Lester of Alpha Capital Management in Austin, Texas, supporting Helping Hand Home for Children.


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