I was lucky to have Ellwyn Olsen and Don Larkin as managers in the first firm I worked for. When Don recruited me, he said it was because of my background in Utah Economic Development activities. Helping clients build their wealth is the ‘MICRO’ version of Economic Development. He told me that, “If your client accounts grow, they will gladly refer people to you”… A true statement to this day. My first celebrity client was a referral from a happy client.
Ellwyn Olsen was a veteran in Utah’s investment circle too. He was a good manager in a time when managers really managed and firms grew due to their abilities to make their clients a better return than the competition. I do not see that now. I remember going into Ellwyn's office one day fresh out of training telling him that I needed to get some plaques on my wall like ‘so and so’. “So and So” had plaques from various mutual fund and insurance companies. Some said things like “Top Producer”, “Gold Level”, “Platinum Level”, “Million Dollar Circle”, and then there was the picture of “So and So” with Governor Norm Bangerter! WOW! I told Ellwyn, “how can I get clients when “So and So” was such a great stock broker (that’s what we were called at the time)”? Ellwyn looked at me and said, “I wouldn’t let ‘SO and SO’ within 100 feet of my dog’s account. He told me, and now I’m telling you; “plaques on a wall are trophies of sales, not of client account growth. You don’t work for mutual fund companies. You work for your clients…and Piper (Piper Jaffray)”. He went on, “ So and So has been selling those funds on his wall for years. Those plaques give ‘so and so’ a sense of importance so he will keep on selling them, AND as for the picture, so and so paid to attend a fund raiser to get a picture of him shaking hands with the Governor”. Hmmmm
Various advisors advertise statements like “Baron’s Top Advisor”, “Paradigm’s Top Advisor”, “Member of the MDRT” (MDRT stands for Million Dollar Round Table). What do these accolades really mean? What does it mean to you? Don’t you as the prospective client assume it relates to the performance of the accounts under their management? What if I told you it was based on how much that advisor sells, or how many clients they have, or how much money their clients have them manage? How does this pertain to what your account will do under their guidance? Does it matter “a hill of beans” to you if your ‘so and so’ sells a lot of the ‘such and such’ mutual fund or annuity? It's kind'a like a race car driver getting a trophy for using the most oil in a year.
Steve J. Casull, CEO & Founder