By Tad Edwards, Chairman, CEO and President
We had a great annual meeting last week and it served as an affirmation to me that we have accomplished a lot since we met last fall and we have a bright future in this industry. Some of what was reported included:
- Marty Altenberger, senior vice president and branch services director, reported on our financial consultant growth. Since our last shareholders’ meeting, we’ve grown measurably and we continue to connect with quality financial consultants. FCs transferring to Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. continue to do a great job of transferring in their assets and accounts, and are seeing their production levels return to pre-transfer levels after just 18 months.
- Al Tylka, senior vice president and director of operations, reinforced that one of his team’s top priorities is giving our FCs the products and services they need. We continue to expand based on requests from clients and FCs while supporting account and asset transfers. Recent examples of additions to our advisory platform are the dividend strategy offered by Carol Lippman at Dearborn Partners and the Balanced Accounts Model offered by Confluence Investment Management.
- Chris Keller, senior vice president and chief information officer, reported several enhancements to our technology platform including a new performance reporting tool, as well as extremely positive survey results from our employees about our technology. In addition he revealed our new social media efforts on widely used platforms such as Twitter.
- Cindy Becker, senior vice president and chief administrative officer, reviewed our continuing maturity as a firm since our first branch opened in August 2009, and revealed some new initiatives underway in St. Louis to maintain our culture and high-level of service.
As I indicated to our shareholders, our FCs find the entrepreneurial environment, the ability to remain independent and our lack of bureaucracy refreshing and appealing. They are constantly letting the management team and me know how impressed they are with the level of knowledge, experience and service they receive from our Home Office team. Like we heard from the FCs who made presentations at the meeting – they appreciate the fact that we are accessible, that we listen, and we give them the tools they need to help their clients.
We have built a firm based on trust and mutual respect. By putting the client first in everything we do, I believe Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. is filling a void in the industry and I’m excited about our future.