Job Title: Regional Vice President
Type of Company: Insurance and investments
Education: BS, Business, Boston College MBA, Hartford University (Hartford, CT)
Previous Experience: I started as a wholesaler for a soda company, moved to a bank (as a manager) for two years and then went on to an insurance company. I have been where I am for four years.
Job Tasks: My key responsibility is to help financial planners decide which investments to put their clients' money in: I entertain, educate and advise the advisors.
My typical day on the job depends on the day. I work out of my home office and visit reps in Connecticut or on Long Island. I may do one-on-one meetings with the reps or make a presentation to a group of them at a seminar. I also help them put business plans and goals together. We analyze their clients' portfolios and assess what their needs are. In addition, I meet with mutual fund wholesalers and other investment companies to get ideas that I then pass on to the reps.
Another of my responsibilities is to listen to the reps' complaints, problems and concerns and help them navigate our back office to get their issues resolved. It is very important for me to keep abreast of what is going on in politics and the financial markets which both affect the recommendations I make. I frequently take reps out to lunch, coffee or dinner to develop a relationship with them. This relationship is vital if I want the rep to trust the recommendations that I make.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the scheduling flexibility I enjoy and the relationships I get to make in my community. I enjoy talking to people and getting to know them better. I also enjoy learning about what is going on in the financial markets and being able to articulate the relevance of this information to others.
The worst part is the discipline I must have since I work from home. My boss lives in New Jersey so it is up to me to make sure I am doing my job.
1. Start reading the Wall Street Journal. Just the front page is enough, but make sure you are aware of what is going on.
2. Challenge yourself to start conversations with strangers and not just talk to people you know. The ability to schmooze is very important and will help you determine if this job is what you want. It truly is impossible to do my job without enjoying meeting new people.
3. Take as many economics classes as you can so that you have a working knowledge of the stock markets and investments.
Additional Thoughts: I absolutely love the career and industry that I am in. It is constantly changing and I do feel that I am making a difference in peoples lives and their quality of life if I can help them retire, pay for college, etc. One of the things that is most interesting about my job is that I do not sell anything tangible. I am selling the promise, or at worst the possibility, that the financial plan I put together will be a success. It is more about selling myself than a product. This was very different from when I was selling soda, which you can touch, smell and taste.
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