Meeting with those who lead the Broker-Dealers of the Year is both an awesome and daunting experience. It’s a chance to really dig into today’s industry trends. But it also reveals a host of topics that warrant lots of further exploration and more space than we can provide in a single issue.
Where to begin? That was the main challenge the editorial team faced as we went through the transcription of a full-day session of interviews and exchanges.
Thankfully, the four executives who joined us in Chicago recently engaged in lots of back and forth, which made for a very lively and educational conversation throughout our day together. They also were good sports about responding to our trial “lightning round” of questions.
Best of all, the four BD leaders didn’t shy away from the tough questions, such as how to attract younger clients and young talent. Like the broader wealth industry, the search is on for ways to innovate and demonstrate that the business is fresh — and isn’t just made up of those who resemble “your parents’ advisor.”
As Cambridge Investment Research CEO Amy Webber explained: “We need to listen. It’s about listening. The answers are out there, or at least the beginnings of them.”
Webber shared that she spoke with an intern after they had listened to an advisor panel; most of the panel members were around 60 years old. “The young lady crossed her arms, looked at me and said, ‘I will never do business with any of those people, because they don’t understand us.’”
The executive then related this “wow” moment back to the question of how to respond. “We have to listen to the market. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos always listened to what he was being told by the market,” she said.