In a series of blog posts, we’ll be highlighting the 2019 Essential Advisor award winners. Each interview is intended to provide insight into the award recipient’s career, their advice for their peers, and their thoughts on industry best practices and what the future may hold. Learn more about the Essential Advisor™ Certification program and read our first interview here.
The interview below features Christopher Frank, regional director and senior financial advisor at First Horizon Advisors, a firm that, as part of the First Horizon National Corporation family of companies, is focused on providing superior financial service every day through a network of locations in Tennessee and around the region.
How would you describe your firm’s value proposition?
As an elite wealth management firm, we operate a holistic practice to provide the most value for clients and to truly become essential in their lives.
What is your definition of “essential advisor?”
I believe that an essential advisor is the go-to resource for those who need financial advice. We know we’ve achieved that when our 20-year-old business card is taped to a client’s kitchen cabinet.
What does winning the Essential Advisor award mean to you?
This award reaffirms and recognizes the passion, care, and knowledge that we strive to deliver to all of our clients across all of our interactions.
What skills do you believe best position advisors for success?
I believe that successful advisors share the unique ability to clearly communicate and convey confidence to clients in a decisive manner.
How do you and your firm leverage technology to better serve your clients?
Technology is integral in helping to build, maintain, and solidify our client relationships, whether we’re leveraging tools to facilitate an interactive proposal presentation or to aggregate our clients’ financial information for a comprehensive view of their situation.
What role does Envestnet play in helping you to deliver better outcomes for your clients?
Envestnet helped to formalize what it means to be an essential advisor. Integrating the Envestnet platform into our practice helps us to better serve our clients, show our value, and become a valued resource.
What are the biggest challenges facing your clients as they seek to achieve financial wellness?
Simply put, clients need to find us. They need to recognize the value of expert advice and then seek out the right support for their situation. We believe that we can help almost anyone, but they need to come to us and accept our assistance.
What changes do you see taking place within the industry in the next three-to-five years?
The demographics of financial advisors are changing. Many existing advisors are aging and will soon retire. The transition could potentially lead to chaos, but it opens up opportunities for young advisors who want to join the industry and build a practice.
As the industry evolves – and investors along with it – how are you and your firm navigating the changing landscape?
Technology continues to evolve, and our firm is constantly adopting new tools and platforms to streamline our processes and drive more value for our clients. We have implemented data aggregation tools, electronic document storage, and electronic signatures. Beyond technology, we are shifting our focus to financial wellness. We desire to be the sole conduit in helping our clients to achieve financial wellness. In doing so, we’re offering advice on more than just a portion of an investor’s net worth, we’re evaluating their portfolio from a broader perspective.
If you could offer one piece of advice to your peers, what would it be?
Define your vision. Figure out who you are and what you want your practice to be and stay true to that. Surround yourself with a team that believes in that vision and that elevates your ability to provide a high standard of care for your clients.
If you could offer one piece of advice to investors, what would it be?
It can be hard to cut through the noise. Find a wealth management team whose voice you can hear.
Advisors are invited to apply to join the Essential Advisor Certification program each year at the Advisor Summit. To learn more about the program and access valuable resources, visit our website.
The information, analysis and opinions expressed herein are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views of Envestnet. These views reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of writing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing contained in this piece is intended to constitute legal, tax, accounting, securities, or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment, nor a solicitation of any type.