Tash Elwyn, the head of Raymond James’ employee channel, has been an advisor with the firm since 1993.
He’s also a longtime resident of St. Petersburg, Florida, where he lives in a house built in 1923.
Though busy working from home, and leading a series of charitable cooking events, Elwyn took the time to speak about his life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
THINKADVISOR: What are your clients, and advisors, asking you most about right now?
TASH ELWYN: It’s very inspiring, refreshing and humbling to say that clients of mine, and of our advisors, are … asking about our own well being — along with that of our family members and colleagues.
In this service-leading profession that’s so focused on adding value to clients lives, I find this really heartwarming. It shows the strength of human compassion today.
In terms of financial concerns, clients are asking for shared intellectual capital. In other words, how does the pandemic [impact] … the economy, the markets and, personally, their ability to achieve their financial goals in the long term.
How are you responding to these concerns?
We are doing all we can to lead through this crisis within our Private Client Group and its support of how financial advisors can lead with their clients.
One takeaway right now is that it’s almost impossible to over-communicate.
There should be a consistent cadence of communications with your advisors by providing them with intellectual capital for them to share with their clients. Again, you just cannot overdo this at the moment.
Our proactiveness, for instance, includes hosting a weekly webinar for [investor] clients led by Larry Adam, our [PCG] chief investment officer, and some other folks on the team. It’s tremendously popular.
Paul Reilly, as always, has been an incredibly compassionate leader in this crisis. He’s very consistent in his focus and in the firm’s focus on the well-being of everyone in the Raymond James family.
Having that steady, caring, compassionate tone from the top provides … some incredible comfort during these very uncertain times.
How are you working from home? Any best practices?
As creatures of habit, it’s remarkable how we build and perpetuate comfort zones. So, we are several weeks into the successful transition to working from home, and our financial advisors and I have developed new comfort zones with the firm’s technology.
Voice calls now feel like they’re from the Fred Flintstone era, since I’m now used to video — with my own [investor] clients and for financial advisors with their clients.
This will be a permanent change in how we communicate with each other. It’s a real silver lining.
Video is a game changer for advisors to engage with clients. In the spirit of not letting ourselves be overwhelmed right now, they’ve frequently stepped up — not just in terms of the quantity but in the mode of their communications — with video.
What’s most challenging with working from home?
It does take some time … to develop new comfort zones. I see the ability to remain connected to our teams being aided and supported by remote-work technologies.