But the huge positive of living in the middle
of nowhere, is that we don’t have to deal with
As for the listening, communication
and transparency, the feedback we’re
getting now is “Please don’t stop the
weekly meetings, even after all this is
over. It has been awesome to see the
executive team come to the table and
talk to us every week about what’s
going on. It’s actually been kind of fun.”
IA: What have advisors been
telling you about all these
challenges, and how have they
been responding to them?
Burmeister: I communicated with an advisor recently about this, and this makes yourealize how much of an impact our advisorshave on their clients’ lives. They are needed nowmore than ever. An hour-long financial review meeting is now more of a psychological evaluation of howeverything is going.
For instance, Grant Monson [of Alterra Advisors] in
Bellevue Washington, said they’ve challenged themselves to
do 25 random acts of kindness per quarter, like making quar-
antine kits for elderly clients who live alone — which they call
“boxes of sunshine.”
A firm in Newton, Massachusetts, Sapers & Wallack, has
been doing community outreach — making a certain number
of calls to check in and make sure [clients] are doing well.
This has really turned into counseling sessions and talking to
clients about the pandemic’s impact on their lives. CEO Aviva
Saper has put together care packages … and drops them off at
employees’ houses and clients’ homes. There are lots of really
cool stories like that coming out of our industry.
Diachok: We’re seeing the same types of things, as our advisors are very invested in their communities. Some are doingmask-making parties and getting them to elderly homes.Communities are coming together right now, and our advisorsare at the center of that.
In the last two weeks or so of March, we quickly created arepository where advisors could share the pieces they wereusing [to address] the extreme market volatility, for example.There were some really good materials.
A lot of our advisors took advantage of this — being able to
pick and choose communication pieces and styles they could
identify with and to use them with clients. We had asked advi-
sors if they were okay with us putting it into the repository, and
I think a big percentage of all
—LON T. DOLBER
of our end clients are business
owners who have struggled
tremendously. They call their
advisors and ask “What should I
do?” Their accountants call the
advisor and ask “What should I
do?” Educating advisors on the
process and some changes, like on
required minimum distributions,
was very important.