Ever wondered whatever happened to the past winners of Advisor Today’s Four Under Forty Award? Well, here is your chance to find out.
Not surprisingly, they are all highly successful advisors and working hard to make a positive difference in the lives of their clients. Take one of the 2008 winners, Brion Collins, CFP, CLU, ChFC. This past president of NAIFA-Southeast Wisconsin is still doing what he does best—providing financial solutions to his clients. This is what he shared with us when we caught up with him.
Advisor Today: How has your practice changed since you won the Four Under Forty Award?
Brion Collins: In 2009 I went independent, which was a great experience (I had worked for MassMutual for 10 years). We did a re-branding and formed Lake Country Wealth Management. We continue to serve clients and have an open architecture strategy for clients. We continue to do financial consulting and manage portfolios. Our team has a combination of competence, independence, and innovation. We currently have seven employees.
AT: What else have you been working on? Do you have any plans to pursue other areas this year?
Collins: We’ve been on a growth trajectory for years, and in 2012, we continue to stick with the core client while refining our service and strategy. We work with over 100 client families and spend 20-40 hours working with new families. Many of these clients operate small to mid-size businesses and have strong partnerships.
AT: What do you do to take care of your clients?
Collins: I’m not certain there is a “right” answer to this question. However, two things do have a unique value:
- The ability to help create an overall financial strategy that embraces all aspects.
- Truly being an expert on how to review and design insurance programs is a lost art. Many advisors who are starting out have a strong altruistic notion to help people, but someone who enters this business has to create a particular value for the client. If people view themselves as business managers first and financial-services professionals second, they would stay in business longer.
AT: Would you advise new advisors to join NAIFA?
Collins: Yes. I think NAIFA is a fabulous association. I helped merge two local branches (in Southeast Wisconsin) a few years ago, and I attend meetings. I think NAIFA is important for developing contacts and networking. It helps with tactical aspects such as how we can do things better, as well as with the art of selling, which is part skillset and part motivation. NAIFA does an extraordinary job in those areas.
Nominate a rising star now
If you know a NAIFA member like Brion who is making a difference in his or her profession and community, nominate him or her for the Four Under Forty Award today. Click here to download the nomination form (PDF) or find it in the March/April issue of Advisor Today.
Don’t hesitate. Send in your nomination form today–your candidate might be just the one who has what it takes to join the ranks of the Four Under Forty!