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The Healthy Advisor

The Healthy Advisor: Resiliency and Other Lessons Inside Lehman

Mike Wunderli thought he had it all—an impressive book of business and a successful cross-divisional business practice. Then, his firm went bankrupt.

When Mike Wunderli started his journey into wealth management, he was excited about a career that had a combination of sales and finance, interpersonal and analytical. He built up an impressive book of business, helping entrepreneurs and business owners engineer liquidity events for their companies.

But then, the 2008 financial crisis hit, causing the downfall of large financial institutions like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, where he worked at the time. Lehman became the largest bankruptcy ever, and that event would have a profound impact on Wunderli’s life—personally and professionally.

In this episode, Managing Editor Diana Britton is joined by Mike Wunderli, current managing director at ECHELON Partners, who opens up about that dark time in his life, his struggles with unfulfillment and the lessons learned watching Lehman and the economy collapse from inside the trenches.

Mike Band 1.jpg

Mike Wunderli performing as the lead singer in Sub(urban) Prime, which was named after the sub-prime crisis that brought Lehman down (and the rest of the economy). He was singing in the band the weekend of Lehman's bankruptcy.

Mike discusses:

  • How he entered the wealth management industry
  • Advisor satisfaction and culture at Lehman
  • His experience inside Lehman leading up to the bankruptcy
  • Why client assets were tied up after the bankruptcy
  • Rehypothecation and other risks that surfaced during the financial crisis
  • Why he felt unfulfilled professionally in the years following the collapse
  • How he came back from this tough time in his life

Mike Coach 7.jpg

Coaching his kids in sports helped Mike Wunderli get through that time in his life.


Connect With Mike Wunderli:

Connect With Wealth Management:

About Our Guest:

Mike Wunderli is a Managing Director at ECHELON Partners and is integrally involved in all aspects of the firm’s activities. Prior to joining ECHELON, Mr. Wunderli founded Connect Capital Group (CCG) where he advises private, middle-market companies on pre-transaction planning, growth financing options and the development and execution of exit strategies. He also works closely with the private-equity and venture-capital communities to evaluate acquisition and investment targets and source proprietary deal flow.


If you have a struggle and wish to share your experiences and help others in similar situations, please reach out to Diana at [email protected].

The Healthy Advisor podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever podcasts are found.

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