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'Advisors Must Build and Invest in Their Brand': Commonwealth’s Kloman

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As president and chief operating officer of Commonwealth Financial Network, Trap Kloman works to strengthen the success of the firm and its advisors by ensuring that all members of its community have the resources, tools and opportunities they need to remain competitive.

That starts by building relationships, lending an ear and keeping on top of future opportunities and industry trends, according to Kloman, who joined Commonwealth in 2015.

When not working, Kloman loves hiking, golfing, mountain biking, practicing yoga and gardening. But his favorite moments are those spent with his wife and three daughters. He also enjoys teaching, coaching and spending time on Cape Cod.

Via email, we asked a series of questions that touched on not only his professional knowledge but what he does off the clock as well.

1. What market indicator, industry statistic or advisor trend are you watching closely right now, and why?

Trap Kloman: As the ongoing shift to independence and choice continues, the importance of advisors promoting their brand identity is more critical than ever.

Satisfied clients rightfully recognize their advisor as the most valuable element of the wealth management experience, and successful advisors reinforce that with a great brand experience.

2. How has it been changing recently (2021), and how do you expect it to change (2022)?

There are an increasing number of ways clients can access investments. There is a lot of competition for their assets, and this will only grow.

But most options do not fully replicate the independent advisor experience or provide true comprehensive wealth management beyond investments.

3. What would you suggest advisors do now, or consider doing in the future, about it? 

Advisors must build and invest in their brand to educate their clients on all of the value they provide. An educated client is a great thing.

4. Who do you track or follow online to keep up with this and other trends? 

I connect with as many advisors as I can, and I listen. They are on the front lines and know best. Then, we can work together to help build solutions.

5. Are you changing any of your work habits at this stage of the pandemic? 

I am not necessarily changing any work habits. Early on in the pandemic, the health of our community and ensuring that our advisors had what they needed to support their clients was the main priority.

Since those early days, we have steadily dedicated more time and energy back to innovation, and I am excited for what’s in store for 2022.

6. What’s your favorite hobby, and what was the last activity you did related to it? 

I love being outside, and I do a lot of running and mountain biking. My daughter and I had fun running a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving and, fortunately, it wasn’t too cold.

7. How about your latest charitable activity? 

My wife and I support Spark Kindness and Reach Beyond Domestic Violence. Both of these amazing organizations have grassroots activities that support Massachusetts communities.

8. What book are you reading now, and why? 

Ironically, I have never enjoyed reading books on management or business. But I love and learn so much about leadership, good and bad, from biographies.

“Team of Rivals” about Lincoln might have been the best. And I’m just finishing a book, “October,” about the Russian Revolution, which has been eye-opening.

9. Any special holiday plan, activity, or focus you’d like to share? Or a New Year’s resolution you’ve decided on? 

For 2022, it’s pretty simple: Continue to reconnect and have fun with our employees and our advisors, in person as much as possible.

10. Is there any other piece of advice you’d like to share with our advisor audience?  

Always begin by assuming the best of intentions in others. It’s more collaborative, productive and fun.