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Sales Assistant Profile 2010:  Service That Gets Noticed

Sales Assistant Profile 2010: Service That Gets Noticed

Patti Kennedy, Edmondson Huser & Castelli Wealth Management, Wells Fargo Advisors, Indianapolis, Ind.

Edmondson Huser & Castelli Wealth Management
Wells Fargo Advisors
Indianapolis, Ind.

Patti Kennedy is in high demand at Edmondson Huser & Castelli Wealth Management Group in Indianapolis, and for good reason. Stephen G. Edmondson says Kennedy's ability to provide meticulous service was cited by a CPA this past summer when he referred a client to the group, a move that boosted the practice's asset base by $5 million. “That's not the first time that's happened,” Edmondson says.

The ability of office staff to relate with investors is a critical part of the practice's business strategy, says Edmondson, who's worked in the field for 24 years. One key reason “we didn't lose a lot of clients during the downturn is because we communicated constantly with them, and kept them updated,” he says. “They've gotten to know Patti extremely well. … During the crisis they were calling in and talking with her quite a bit more.”

Kennedy, 50, got her start as a wire operator with Prudential in 1997, taking buy and sell orders from brokers and doing data entry. She later became an operations manager and went on to get her Series 7 and 66 licenses, then joined Edmondson three years ago. The practice has about $250 million in assets under management; Kennedy is one of two client associates, and she spends most of her time answering client requests, moving money to bank accounts, obtaining stock quotes, and doing some research. “I really depend on the FA to do the selling. That's their forte,” she says. “I just take care of the clients once they bring the client in.”

The work can require a high level of sensitivity; Edmondson said one elderly investor whose wife died unexpectedly came to depend on Kennedy to manage the paperwork involved in switching joint accounts. At other times, investors get letters from attorneys asking them to join in class-action shareholder lawsuits; the investors are unsure if they owned the shares during the time period cited in the lawsuit, so they call Kennedy to find out. “Sometimes you have to go back into the physical records to find the information that's necessary,” Edmondson says. “It's tedious. It's not anything that a lot of people like to do. But she knows that if that's what it takes to make the client happy, she's going to go ahead and do it.”

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