PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - 27

" Employee X is awesome-
she's just not happy where
she is, " we'll have a conversation
with that employee.
I think sometimes our
" ... what I'm really looking for is someone
who'll make everyone else better-
because I don't need one superstar. I
need a group of people performing well,
and there are those amazing people
who elevate everyone else. " JULIE RAGATZ
biggest issue and challenge
is explaining to novices what
we do on a day-in, day-out basis. We thought people understood
what we did, but we realized that's not true. We're
kind of famous for saying there's no manual we're aware of
that articulates, line by line, what we need to do and need
to know. There's some training but there's nothing like realworld
Sara Matlock: At SWBC Retirement Plan Services we work
hard to try to continuously build our adviser base. And Julie
really framed it up well. We are solely focused on retirement
plans, so we have a little different adviser market. It's
not quite so sales oriented as more of a typical RIA [registered
investment adviser], but that makes us a very niche
industry and harder to hire for.
The lowest-hanging fruit for us when picking up new
advisers is to pull from our research side, where we've had
young talent come in and learn the reporting and get a
really solid foundation of just how finance and retirement
plans work. We look to see if they have motivation, and
maybe the personality to build relationships as well.
Another thing we've done is look to our vendor partners,
especially recordkeepers. There have been so many
mergers, and there was so much discontent and fatigue
with the pandemic, that we've seen many people who
know our industry who want to transition to a new role. Or
maybe they're being forced [due to a takeover] to transition
to the next step in their career. That's where we've really
found success-in pulling people into our firm who have
a great knowledge base, want to connect with people and
like the idea of focusing on retirement plans.
Our third area is in a beta testing phase. We're looking
at people [outside the industry] who again may have
that pandemic fatigue but are highly motivated, great
at relationship building, and are also somewhat detail
oriented-such as people who've been in health care or
been teachers. Those people have these great skills that
advisers need for presenting to and working with committees.
So we've started talking with a lot of them to pull
them into this adviser space and then train them in the
ways our firm works.
PA: Financial services can get a bad reputation, particularly
with younger generations who-at least via
surveying-seem to value a work/life balance. What are
some challenges you face in regard to this?
Matlock: It's funny-the work/life balance is something you
have to explain to them. I've had younger people ask, " Do
you all have the market on all the time? " I do think there's
kind of a TV version of what an adviser does. And I tell them,
" We're not traders. You'll be scheduling as much as you'll
be looking at the market from day to day. " So I think that's
helping them get a real understanding of what skill set they
need and what work life really looks like.
But to show them that [retirement advisement] is a career
where you can control much of your schedule is a benefit [is
a great idea]. We all have meetings and presentations and
things that come up and everything seems to fall on the
same day sometimes. But [retirement advisement] can lend
itself to be a very healthy environment. That's something
that definitely speaks to the generations coming up, and it's
good that we can do that.
Ragatz: One thing our industry does well is to be purposeful
about flexibility for different segments of the workforce-
I've done a lot of research on women in financial services,
and I'd absolutely align with the fact that often that is absolutely
true. There are also many cases where it's not-for
instance having a job without maternity leave if you're in
a more sales-facing role, or having a job where you have
mandatory 7:30 a.m. check-ins.
We have a model of flexibility that's worked really well
for the financial advisers who have typically been in this
industry. This upcoming generation will really challenge
us to broaden that definition of flexibility to be less about
personal autonomy over scheduling and more about accommodating
the things I need to do in my life. I think the firms
that get flexibility right, like figuring out the maternity-leave
question, will be the ones that capture and retain new talent.
PA: The retirement plan industry, as well as the investment
adviser space, faces continued consolidation, in part from
aggregation. What does this mean for cultivating junior
staff members? What are the advantages or disadvantages
of having larger organizations vs. independent firms?
Ragatz: This question speaks to what Carson has done in
a really unique way. I'm a recovering academic-I was a
professor for 20 years, and I still teach. I have a Ph.D. in philosophy.
Who would think I'd be good at this? And one thing I
know the leadership team at Carson believes is that we have
Practice Management | Fall 2023 | 27


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANADVISER - Fall 2023

At the Core
A Need to Show Value
The Talent Pipeline
Inside the Deal
Demand Performance
Are They Legally Binding?
The SEC on Cybersecurity
From Managing to Leading
Can You Predict Client Stress?  
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - C1
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - FC1
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - FC2
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - C2
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PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - 12
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PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - 15
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - At the Core
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PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - 19
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - A Need to Show Value
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PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - The Talent Pipeline
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - 27
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PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - 29
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - Inside the Deal
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - 31
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - Demand Performance
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - 33
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - Are They Legally Binding?
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - 35
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - The SEC on Cybersecurity
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - 37
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - From Managing to Leading
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - Can You Predict Client Stress?  
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - 40
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - C3
PLANADVISER - Fall 2023 - C4