When Bedrock Shifts
Roundtable Discussion: Strategy Development and C-Level Decision-Making in Post-Pandemic Reality
In the spring of 2022, Matt Lynch, the Managing Partner of Strategy & Resources, LLC, invited hand-selected chief executives of several technology companies to join a discussion board. The goal was to jointly outline the strategy that would be viable and worthy in terms of post-pandemic reality.
These distinguished senior executives joined Mr. Lynch for the roundtable discussion:
- Kellan Brown – Vice President at Retirement Strategies division of Finance of America Reverse, LLC.
- Mark Goldberg - Senior Advisor at Apollo Global Management (Former CEO, Griffin Capital Securities).
- Marty Miller – Partner at Strategy & Resources, LLC.
- Michael Richardson – Founder & Managing Director at Tech-Azur, LLC.
- Marie Swift – President CEO at Impact Communications, Inc.
3-C Drivers Framework
As a roundtable chairman, Mr. Lynch provided a helpful discussion framework with 3-C Drivers, which stand for:
- Changing expectations among clients and advisors who serve them.
- Compliance and regulatory uncertainty.
- Competitor behavior in reaction to the two factors above.
After the introductory remarks from each participant, the roundtable discussion went to hot subjects that affect C-level decision-making.
5 Factors Affecting C-Level Decision-Making
1. Making Informed Decisions Without Reliable Data
Matt Lynch started with one of the executives' most common complaints – a lack of reliable benchmarks to guide them in decision-making.
Eventually, the roundtable members agreed that besides relevant data, CEOs and senior advisors have to trust their experience. Recognizing the current trends and seizing the opportunity means winning the race.
2. Considering Advisor Preferences When Everything is Evolving Rapidly
Fast-evolving advisors' preferences complicate the launch of new products. In Kellan Brown’s opinion, advisors might advance in customer satisfaction by working out next-day needs, like providing their clients with a hedge protecting their investment. As an example, she mentions the reverse mortgage and hybrid mortgage types that are traditional and reverse mortgages at once. Such might come in handy for retired people as it strengthens their portfolio.
Michael Richardson followed up Kellan’s speech by noting that since relevant data is in flux, advisors need a new methodology to win consumer's trust:
'...it boils down to finding ways to leverage the immediacy of technology, the availability of emerging methods, and connecting that together with the missing link, which is trust.’
3. Finding the ‘Why’ Before You Determine the ‘How’
‘The greatest hedge we have against this level of change is to be more genuine in our purpose than we've ever been,’ Marty Miller responded to Mark Goldberg’s words about the ‘bedrock shift’ in industry. Genuineness of purpose (the ‘Why’) will attract new great people to the team and connect businesses with clients.
Miller stressed the role of purposeful talent recruiting in advancing the business. Those who recognize who they're hiring and ‘Why' are likely to prosper. So firms should onboard an upskilled staff today to succeed within months, not years.
The ‘How,’ the sustainable growth plan, might emerge from new talent’s dedication and shrewdness but not necessarily be defined by the CEO. That’s why Miller said: ‘I might never figure out the ‘How’ like they know the ‘How’ right now.’
4. Rethinking Key Messages to Align with Today’s Talent and Marketplace
Intentional and appealing messages enable the company's success in recruiting up-and-coming and proactive talents. Marie Swift shared her vision of best practices for in-house trainers & recruiters:
- Expanding celebrity status. Everyone would want to work with the outstanding and slightly famous team.
- Getting across a company's value proposition. It’s great to inspire talents to serve clients on a consistently high level.
Another challenge firms should step up to is the transition to the 'next business development engine.' With a scalable and growth-oriented model, fresh talents are more interested in embarking on leadership. Michael Richardson's take on that was:
‘There are so many avenues grabbing attention and informing the market. This is where, again, technology, the social media space, and the mobile space can completely unwind that threat because there become so many other avenues to contact, to question what value I'm getting?’
5. Bridging the Great Divide
The roundtable members finalized the meeting by discussing ways to offset the Barbell Effect. There's a dilemma in advisors' work whether to operate independently or as a firm representative.
Matt Lynch admitted that most professionals go back to the associated model these days. Therefore, they don't have to figure out some entrepreneurial decision in a vacuum. It takes little freedom away from them and provides the desirable team spirit.
Miller voiced another concern: compliance requirements that might conflict with the advisory firm's need to be relevant and entrepreneurial.
However, the attendees broadly agreed that industry players must pay greater attention to the following:
- Building strong teams through endorsing diversity and trusted relationships.
- Encouraging people's passion both among teammates and partners.
- Transposing such principles into an agile digital operating environment.
Read the full article in Executive Roundtable, pp. 19–31, and contact Tech-Azur’s team for a tailored consultation on what your Fintech or Wealth management company can do now to plan for digital growth and strong competitive advantage.