Upward mobility in the investment world is an extremely positive thing. You don’t realize the environment you are in until someone shows you the other side of the fence. The grass can be greener on the other side.
With change comes risk. Risk that your former company finds out your intentions. Risk that your team doesn’t come with you. Risk that clients are too afraid to step on the other side with you.
All of these fears and more were factors affecting my sleep for months prior to transitioning to Commonwealth.
After 13.8 years at Northwestern Mutual and 29 years for Alan we decided that change was needed. The stodgy old Milwaukee Based 1857 company built on an insurance chassis and way behind the times on investment management, wealth management, financial planning, and technology it was obvious we needed a better home.
So the search process started, almost a year to the day prior to transitioning. As I sit in my beautifully furnished office writing this I can vividly remember 2/21/2018. I was in the same office that I am now on that day except we didn’t have furniture. Alan and I and the rest of the team had foldable tables and chairs. We had WiFi and computer access and phones. That’s all we really needed for the first few weeks of our existence at Spiegelman Wealth Management.
As the initial minutes and hours turned into days and weeks and months I look back to reflect on this transition and a large smile comes to my face. We are happier, freer and on our own. Of course we have this large stable institution behind us. But we have been given the freedom and flexibility to call this our own.
From a client stand point we might be able to offer different products, manage money a little tighter, plan a little better, give better service, support and technology features but behind the scenes we are able to run a more efficient practice. We can now organize client information, set up systems for getting in touch, have the freedom to post blogs, appear on the radio or tv and guide our clients with more sophisticated comprehensive planning and investment advice. It truly is a whole new world for us.
Change was hard. Our transition was extremely successful and we brought over 95% of our clients with us. We now manage over $300M for 138 clients. We’ve shed ourselves the burden of being tied to an insurance company and can now act and serve our clients in a way that is a better fit for both of us.
As we approach Thanksgiving I can think of many things that I am grateful for but one in particular that stands out are my team and my clients. Everyone has been extremely supportive of our move to a better place and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We have an incredible team in our office (Julie, Arabelle and Joanna) and now that we have connected with Commonwealth I am grateful for their support and welcome them to our team.
I wish you and yours the very best on this Thanksgiving Holiday.