Norman Schrott, A.G. Edwards, Alexandria, Va. Evidence of Norman Schrott's devotion to his hometown of Alexandria, Va., goes back a long way. In the same year that the A.G. Edwards seniorvice president of investments became a broker, he was also named Outstanding Young Man of 1958 by Alexandria's Jaycees organization. Since then, Schrott, now 73 years old, has consistently distinguished himself as a tireless civic leader.
Here are some highlights. Schrott has been on the board of directors for the Alexandria Boys Club, the Alexandria Unit of the American Red Cross, the Alexandria Hospital and the Alexandria Salvation Army.
He's been the president of the local American Cancer Society, the local Kiwanis organization, the Alexandria Community Welfare Council and the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, Schrott spent eight years on the Alexandria School Board, the final two years as chairman.
Schrott served well, earning accolades along the way. In 1969, he received the Torch Award from the local newspaper for best exemplifying the American way of life. In 1979, he was named Key Man of the Year by the chamber of commerce and Alexandrian of the Year by the local Jaycees. And the Outstanding Service Award from the Alexandria Hospital came in 1995.
With all that civic work, you'd think Schrott would have little time for anything else. However, not only has he been a broker for 44 years, he was a producing manager for 35 of those years before giving up management duties in 1995. He continues as a full-time broker today.
Year after year, Schrott has ranked among the top producers at A.G. Edwards. He currently manages assets totaling more than 450 million dollars and has more than 970 active accounts. His 1999 production was 1.3 million dollars.
Some people might wonder if Schrott's civic involvement was driven by a desire to expand his prospecting network and grow his production. No way, Schrott says.
"With all these organizations that I've joined, I never did it to build business," he says. "However, I worked hard for the community, gave it my full attention and people saw the kind of person I was."
Further, Schrott wouldn't even make conversation about his career. "I preferred not to talk about my work as a broker when I was involved in a community project," he says. "So whenever someone would ask how the market did today, my standard answer was, 'I'll call you tomorrow.'"
His business grew by building relationships with clients and gaining referrals, he says. While several of his clients are active traders, Schrott's investment philosophy is to "buy a good stock and hold it."
Schrott has also been a mentor to many brokers over the years, including the branch's current manager Frank Kay, who was Schrott's assistant manager. "It's tougher to be a producing manager these days," Schrott admits. "The legal and compliance issues facing managers are more complex, but I wouldn't have traded my time as a manager. I particularly like the fact that this firm allows you to be your own boss."
Does Schrott have any plans to retire in the near future? "No, I still enjoy it. I may be getting older, but I'm never going to get old."