Time to Celebrate! The Network Anniversaries – September 2021

This month at The Network, we’re celebrating two colleagues, Lauren Abais from Compliance and Patrick Leiker from our Business Transitions team. Patrick celebrated his first anniversary, and Lauren just hit her fifth!

Lauren is the Compliance team’s Administrative Associate. Before she joined TFSN, she worked in Advertising Review at LPL Financial. “I had heard a lot about The Network, and I even recognized a lot of the names.”

Living in Los Angeles, Lauren says “it was so surreal not having to commute to work. I was extremely excited to start my new job, and I joined in on team calls right away. I’m the type to get nervous on first days, but at The Network, I felt comfortable since a lot of the systems were familiar to me!”

How does she spend her free time since she doesn’t have to sit in L.A. traffic? She plays competitive doubles beach volleyball!

As our Sales Development Representative, Patrick told us what his favorite part about his job is: “I speak with advisors each week who often feel like small fish in a large pond when it comes to services and support at their current firms. When we get into the details of how we support our advisors, the conversation changes. It makes me very proud of the dedication and services The Network provides, and the community we create.”

In the past year, Patrick says, “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is how to ask the right questions. It is so important to narrow down the specific needs of an advisor to build a relationship and know how we can best support them. If you don’t ask the right questions in your first conversation, you may not get a chance for a second.”

When we asked about his go-to karaoke song, he answered right away: “Journey’s Faithfully – and yes, I can hit every note!”

Preparation is The Key

You can’t listen to the news today without being struck by the important of preparation, both personally and professionally.

Here’s the top five insights our Business Consulting team has shared with Advisors this month:

Disasters are Likely; Planning is Essential

Natural and man-made disasters are infrequent but always potentially devastating. Wildfires, pandemics, earthquakes, floods, or even solar flares can cripple an advisor’s ability to communicate with clients or access vital client records. Business continuity requires planning for worst-case scenarios.

Client Service is Our Top Priority

Business continuity isn’t just about major catastrophes. Even a one-hour disruption caused by a power or phone outage can severely negatively impact a client’s portfolio or their ability to access assets. Ensuring that an advisor’s office can seamlessly keep running in the event of an unforeseen mishap is essential.

Two Sets of Eyes on The Plan

The same person may be responsible for reviewing and approving the business continuity plan but, for the sake of accuracy, it’s better to have at least two separate people involved in the process.

Recovery Location

With office situations in flux due to the pandemic, many advisors work from home, at least a few days per week. If you’ve already set up a robust home office, you’re probably in good shape. That said, you’ll need to consider alternative locations for different kinds of disruptions, including forced evacuations, wildfires, or cell tower outages that cut communications for extended periods. Consider and plan backup locations. 

Make a Video

At least once a year, walk around your office and your home, and take a video of everything you have. A visual record can be extremely helpful in reconstructing a work space that is disrupted or destroyed for one reason or another.  

Like what you read? These topics were also discussed during our recent webinar, Business Continuity with Steven Charley, Sr. Analyst, LPL Financial. You can catch the recording along with others here. Still have questions? Reach out to our Business Consulting team to learn more!

Time to Celebrate! The Network Anniversaries

This month, we’ve got an extra exciting anniversary to acknowledge: Tammie Barsocchini, our Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Business Transitions, is celebrating her 30th year with The Network! Starting with us as an administrative assistant, she’s grown from admin to VP, and remains an integral part of each element of our company.

We asked, what has been your biggest “lesson learned”?  “Everything changes, and you have to be prepared to adapt,“ she said. “We should always be curious and willing to learn.”

“I really enjoy the entrepreneurial spirit that The Network promotes and the opportunities they provide to independent financial advisors.

With TFSN, advisors can take advantage of networking, education, technology, business consulting, and succession planning. It’s satisfying to see an advisor grow their practice and have the opportunity to give it a value, sell it, and enjoy their retirement.”

Tammie’s favorite part of working for The Network

With 30 years under her belt, Tammie gave us advice for new hires: “This is a great place to work and have a career – not just a job. There are many opportunities with the various teams and great industry-related education available for personal development.”

When she’s not working, Tammie likes to spend time outdoors hiking, kayaking, walking and running. She loves reading mystery novels and can’t wait to plan her next vacation – Hawaii’s a favorite!

We don’t know what we’d do without Tammie. Here’s to many more wonderful years with you as part of our team!

It’s All About the Experience

Christopher Mercado, Managing Partner at The Financial Services Network

In early spring, our team sent out a survey asking about Advisor interest in attending live events in the coming year. Overwhelmingly, the response was loud and clear: let’s get together in person. After a year crammed in home offices, Advisors were eager to connect face-to-face. I personally received several invitations for experience-focused getaways that look extremely inviting after spending months trapped in a 10-mile radius.

Over the summer, we tentatively held in-person meetings and had big plans for the fall and winter months. But as Covid numbers rise again and mask mandates return, plans shift—or are canceled entirely.

The good news is that industry surveys also revealed that our clients enjoy the convenience of virtual meetings. We’re able to create magic through the internet, bringing together family members from across the country, or finally connecting with client that no longer feel as mobile as they had in their younger years.

But content fatigue and isolation create a new set of challenges the second time around: knowing the desire for in-person connection, how do we operate within the economy of convenience, yet continue to communicate to clients, prospects, and centers of influence in ways that create lasting impacts?

The only solution lies in an à la carte approach focused solely on the audience’s preferred experience. Keep offering those virtual meetings but recognize their desire for in-person experiences as well. Reduce the digital communication to at-need only and find solutions like masked walks around the park, outdoor activities, or Grub Hub lunches to reach outside of the fourth wall and connect.

Whether the numbers grow or reduce this fall, we need to entice our audience with meaningful opportunities for live connection, at the same replicate that emotion in a physically disconnected virtual world. It is our role to find, cultivate, and create the balance as we all navigate the new normal once more.

Time to Celebrate! The Network Anniversaries

At The Network, we couldn’t do what we do without the dedication and support from our talented team. While we celebrate their commitment to our organization every day, this month we want to focus on several team members who are celebrating their work anniversaries.

Vlad Avdeyuk is a Portfolio Administrator for the Portfolio Consulting team, and celebrated his two year anniversary on July 16th. Recently he received his Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designation and has the hope of becoming a financial advisor some day.

At The Network, he says that his biggest lesson learned has been that, “Making progress is better than being perfect, and making mistakes is vital to growth.”

Eric Hewitt is our Chief Compliance Officer and has been an integral part of the team for 9 years. Eric said that he still remembers his first day of training in San Mateo as an exciting time with a lot of learning to do.

When asked what kinds of hobbies and interests he has outside of work, Eric said, “I love to travel. My wife is a wildlife photographer, so I get to tag along to some exotic places like Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador, the Galapagos.”

“Don’t leave! Seriously, this is a great company to work for. Get your work done and you will be rewarded.”

Eric’s advice to new hires

Judy Miller is an Administrative Associate for our Compliance team, and has been with us since 2010. We asked Judy what she considers her major accomplishment during her time at The Network. “Learning all that I have operationally,” she stated. “I surprise myself sometimes with my computer knowledge, especially of Excel.”

Outside of work, Judy enjoys volunteering and performs annually in the infamous ‘Chickens’ Ball’ in San Carlos, California. According to Judy, “It’s the oldest running PTA fundraiser in the United States. They raise over $50,000 a year for the San Carlos School District. I am looking forward to getting back onstage next year with the other 100 volunteers.”

Jennifer Scaglione is our Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. She’s been with the team since 2007 and one of her many accomplishments is the creation of the Virtual Admin team.

“Hope is not a strategy!”

Jennifer’s personal motto

When we asked Jennifer what her favorite part of her job is, she said: “I am passionate about continuous improvement. In my role, I am consistently seeking opportunities to refine and enhance operations, offerings and service, both internally and within our Advisor practices.  When I see a ‘good idea’ implemented, few things make me happier.”

While we all admire Jennifer for her can-do attitude, would we find her singing at the company party? “I have a staunch ‘no karaoke’ policy,” she insisted. “But I make one heck of a back-up dancer.”

Zach Catterlin is the Portfolio Consulting team’s Research Coordinator and joined the team last year.

“Being able to assist advisors with helping their clients achieve their financial goals. I am always learning something new.”

Zach on why he likes working at The Network

His personal motto? “I have always believed in working hard at a young age so I can enjoy life in the future,” he says. “Work hard now, so you can retire early.”