Recently I spoke with Rich Babjak, president of World Equity Group, a mid-sized broker-dealer in Arlington Heights, Illinois, near Chicago.
, who holds the ChFC, CLU designations is also a $2 million-dollar producer, with $400 million in assets under management, and serves 300 families.
Babjak, who started World Equity Group in 1997, shared some strong thoughts on attracting clients, and helping the advisors at his firm break through production plateaus.
"The biggest difference between a $500,000 producer and a $2 million-producer is a consistent, repeatable marketing strategy," he
doesn't talk product or investments - but emphasizes the importance of financial planning, wealth management and working with a team.
"I help them think through decisions and offer them the opportunity to have a consultation if they provide us the necessary data.
We then put together the basic outline, plan and projection of retirement income.
With more information, we can put together a more detailed plan."
Weekly seminars at multiple locations continue attract between 30-50 people, or 15-25 household units.
conducts them throughout the year, and involves his
junior associates in the process.
He also has taught this repeatable approach to other advisors at World Equity Group.
"Of our top 50 financial advisors, half are doing seminars like that."
also conducts educational programs for centers of influence, including CPAs and estate attorneys, teaching CE credit courses for them.
This has led to a stream of referrals from strategic partners.
Key #2 Superior Service
Another big belief for Babjak
is the importance of consistent client service and communication plan.
"Advisors need to have a consistent deliverable strategy for all clients," he
To make all of this service happen, Babjak
relies on his
has two junior associates whom he
is grooming to be his
"I like having higher-quality assistants who are building their own book, and have a vested interest in the practice.
Over time, we're developing a natural succession plan."
says clients want to know that even though he
is in his
early 50s, if something happens to him, he
has a team in place for them - and not just a client associate, but someone who is doing the same type of business, a "build-in extension" of him.
Babjak started World Equity group after working for Cigna health insurance, and another independent firm where he gravitated toward wealth management.
believed running his
own firm would give him more control, and allow him to implement his
client-centered, cutting edge ideas.
also believes in community service: "I've never gone into community service looking for a client, but I encourage all my reps to be involved.