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Creating a Better Balanced Team

March 2019 
by Julie L. Genjac

Think about a place you frequent—for example, a cafe, a convenience store, a car repair shop, etc. You may visit this place regularly, order or purchase the same item, and wait for the same amount of time as always.

However, what can make the experience more memorable is when you connect with the employee with whom you interact. It’s not to say that other employees have done something wrong or that you’ve had a bad experience in the past, but it makes all the difference when you click with the person who is helping you.

We all connect with people differently and for different reasons, and that’s why there is tremendous power in a diverse financial advisory team. When building a team, it’s common to focus on education, industry experience, and professional designations as the key hiring drivers. Although those aspects are critically important, a more diverse team, comprised of different individuals, personalities, capabilities, and skill sets, could help advisors build and maintain longstanding relationships with their clients and help them connect with a wider range of investors.

When assessing the diversity of your team, consider these questions:

How many years span between the ages of the oldest team member and the youngest?

In order for your team to connect with clients of all ages, you should try to ensure that each decade is represented. A multi-generational approach can be useful when trying to find ways to relate to clients in different stages of life, as well as with their family members who may be involved and present in meetings.

What is the composition of your team in terms of gender? 

Take a look not just at whether your team is female- or male-centric, but also reflect on the gender diversity within the different roles. For example, if you find that all of the advisors are men, while the support staff is all women, you might consider switching it up. While there is no one right way to assemble a team, each gender brings different viewpoints and passions to the table, and building out this gender diversity can bring an entire new dimension to your team.

What are the backgrounds of your team members?

Where and how we grow up, what experiences we have, our educational path, our job history, and even our hobbies make us who we are, and these collective stories are what create the mosaic of your team. As different backgrounds and pasts are woven into the mix, a team can truly come to life and begin to build a competitive advantage. The more colorful your collective team is, the more compelling you’ll become to any potential client.

In 2019, strive to make your team a little more diverse by taking inventory of the current makeup of your team and, when the opportunity presents itself, bringing on new team members at different stages of life, with different backgrounds. By doing so, not only will you learn something new about your existing team members (and yourself!), but chances are that your clients will notice, and your business may just grow.

Julie L. Genjac
Managing Director, Strategic Markets

Julie L. Genjac is a Managing Director, Strategic Markets for Hartford Funds. She works with Financial Advisors in a practice management capacity, including engaging and educating advisors and their clients about current and emerging opportunities in the financial services marketplace. These range from areas such as retirement-income planning, investment planning, and charitable giving, to anticipating and preparing for long-term demographic and lifestyle changes.

Julie joined the organization in 2018. Prior to joining the company, she was senior vice president, director of practice management & professional development at D.A. Davidson & Co. Julie’s many responsibilities included the creation and implementation of all advisor coaching and training programs to enhance productivity and the client experience. She began her career at UBS PaineWebber and transitioned to become a wealth management financial planner at Wells Fargo. She is a registered representative of Hartford Funds Distributors and is FINRA Series 7 and 66 registered. She holds her WA state insurance license and is a Certified Wealth Strategist, Accredited Asset Management Specialist, and Registered Corporate Coach.

Originally from Bellevue, Washington, Julie attended the University of Washington where she received a bachelor’s degree in economics. She currently lives in Kirkland, WA, with her husband, Nedim.

Check the background of this firm/individual on FINRA's BrokerCheck.

Julie Genjac is a registered representative of Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC.

Check the background of this firm/individual on FINRA's BrokerCheck.