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                 Joe Duran: How Advisors Can Rise Above the ‘Sea of Sameness’

                 Advisors need to make sure what they’re
                 offering clients is different from the
                 services that rivals provide and learn to
                 get better at marketing themselves, Joe
                 Duran, head of Goldman Sachs Personal
                 Financial Management, said in June at
                 the Wealth Management EDGE confer-
                 ence in Hollywood, Florida.
                   Introducing Duran, Mark Bruno, man-
                 aging director of Wealth Management
                 at Informa Connect, recalled Duran
                 had asked a question awhile back that
                 “fundamentally changed the way people
                 thought about advice and changed   report that they know their clients don’t     audience, is “what they are right now but
                 the way I think about the role of the   understand, and they’ll deliver it anyway.”  a little happier,” he said. They don’t want
                 financial advisor.”                 That is a big mistake, according to   to be an 80-year-old person “walking
                   That question was: “What if [advisors]   Duran, who pointed out: “We’re not doc-  on the beach.” They want to be “more
                 focused on helping people live rich with-  tors. There are a lot of people who can do   dynamic,” he added. After all, “people’s
                 out regrets rather than dying rich with   what you can do.”         retirements don’t look anything like they
                 regrets?” That was a “very different way   What an advisor can do differently,   did 30 years ago but our industry still
                 of thinking about wealth management   however, is effectively communicate to   talks like that,” he added.
                 and financial advice,” Bruno noted.  clients “what I do to show you the value”
                   Asked by Bruno what advisors can do   of his or her services and how they can   Hightower Teams With Tifin Clout
                 to “truly differentiate themselves in this   make clients’ financial plans better and   Hightower partnered with Tifin Wealth’s
                 sea of sameness,” Duran replied, “The   “train my team to know that that’s what   Tifin Clout division to serve as its per-
                 first and most important thing for every-  we’re going to do.”      sonalized digital marketing platform, a
                 one here is to actually look at yourself   It is important that advisors under-  pact that will enable Hightower advi-
                 as if you were a client and ask yourself:   stand they’re “not here to outperform   sors to “drive more leads and referrals,
                 Would I hire me?”                 the market” or “deliver a financial plan   accelerate conversions and build trust
                   Advisors should then ask themselves:   that we know is wrong,” he said. Rather,   with both clients and prospects through
                 “Why would I hire me?” and “What is   “we’re here to help people feel better and   effective, measurable marketing cam-
                 it that I’m doing that’s so different from   make better decisions for their client.   paigns,” the companies said in a joint
                 everyone else?” according to Duran, who   And so we’re solving a different problem   announcement in May.
                 founded United Capital Financial Partners   than everyone else is.”   Tifin Clout uses artificial intelligence
                 in 2005 and sold it to Goldman Sachs for   However, advisors seem to have decid-  and human understanding to track
                 $750 million in 2019.             ed they’re “all going to use blue” and fea-  clients and prospects “through the
                   One problem is that “advisors in gen-  ture the “same smiling, retired people” in   buyer’s  journey and deliver meaningful
                 eral are very good technicians but awful   their advertising, he said. He let attend-  growth outcomes,” they said. The
                 marketers,” Duran argued. He explained:   ees in on what he called a “great secret,”   platform has two-way integration
                 “They don’t actually stare at things from   which is that “nobody wants to be those   with Salesforce, email and social
                 the lens of their client. So they’ll deliver a   retired people on a park bench.”  media  platforms that will enable
                 financial plan that they know they clients   What clients actually want to be,   Hightower to improve  collaboration
                 won’t understand and a Morningstar   he explained amid laughter from the   and  measurement. —Jeff Berman

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                                                                                      JULY/AUGUST 2022 INVESTMENT ADVISOR 1
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