Cleveland native Kevin Buzek has no problem speaking up, and it's a good thing his advisor and father, Ken Buzek, listens.
Kevin started working as an office assistant for his father in 2001, just as the market was hitting the skids. He had no formal training, and he felt a little bit at sea in the job. After all, he was the only assistant at the Strongsville, Ohio-based firm.
But with guidance from his father and their b/d, Securities America, Kevin says he was able to overhaul the office's management, systematizing processes, implementing new business and marketing plans, creating a new client relationship management system from scratch and purchasing new software — all in the first couple of years. “My strength was helping my father systemize his business,” Kevin says. “I know that he found it very helpful when I was holding him accountable by putting together agendas and task lists.”
But Kevin made another invaluable contribution to his father's firm, Buzek Kiplinger & Associates, as well. In 2005, he noticed that the industry seemed to be migrating towards fee-based compensation and business as opposed to commissions, and he felt it would be a good move for his father's business too. So he spoke up. Eventually his father agreed. Five months later, Kevin had managed the conversion of $20 million in assets to fee-based accounts. That same year, his father won the “Shooting Star Award,” bestowed on Securities America reps who achieve the greatest percent increases in assets under management.
Certainly, the practice hasn't suffered: Since Kevin joined, assets under management have doubled to the present $40 million, and clients total 200 households.
Kevin has his Series 6, plans to get a Series 7 and 24, and says he would ultimately like to become an advisor. Over the years, Buzek has consistently taken advantage of professional development and training opportunities offered by Securities America, such as the Sales Assistant University and the b/d's national conference. In 2006, he was Securities America's “Assistant of the Year,” and he currently serves on Securities America's Sales Assistant Advisory Board.