Raymond James Financial Services
It's not unusual for Craig Glueck, a registered client service manager, to find himself in the basement of his boss' office, rummaging through boxes of documents. One recent mission: tracking down a $19 accounting discrepancy for the CPA of an investor client. “If I had to say something positive about myself, I would say I'm tenacious in doing those types of things,” says Glueck, 42. “Service is everything. Anybody can sell stocks or bonds. The only way we can differentiate ourselves from the guy across the street is if we can provide better service.”
A former bank underwriter, Glueck joined the family practice of Nina J. Mendall at Raymond James Financial Services in Augusta, Me., nine years ago. Cold calling was part of the job in those days — Glueck got his Series 7 license in 2003; today, he is more focused on ways to make the lives of Mendall's clients easier. Every quarter he runs workshops for investors on how to read their financial statements, and how to distinguish which documents should be kept and which should be tossed.
Glueck says that keeping yourself in front of your client is a closely held value at the practice, and for good reason. With 630 clients and about $100 million in assets under management, Mandall faces a competitive problem that's common among many financial advisors who ply their business in the northern climes; many clients head south for the winter. In Florida and other retirement community states, clients can be lured away by the swan songs of competing advisors who make their pitches over free dinners at conference hall seminars.
By managing client requests for handling gifting requests and getting checks in the mail, Glueck frees up office advisors to spend more time managing client relationships. But these days, he also finds himself managing more compliance issues. “We're going to have to do more documentation,” he says. “The idea of a paperless society was beautiful and looked good — on paper. But it isn't going to be that way.” Glueck is the first person in the office each day, and “sometimes the last person out, too.”
When he first came on board, he was told it would take three to five years of training. “In a year or so, I'll have that down,” he thought at the time…ambitiously, it turned out. “I found out that there's a lot to this business,” he says. “Even today, I don't feel like there's nothing else I can learn. There's always something new coming down the line.”