Category: Business

Andrew Altfest: AI and the Evolution of the Advisor Value Proposition

Andrew Altfest: AI and the Evolution of the Advisor Value Proposition

In this episode of Focused on the Future, industry veteran Suzanne Siracuse sits down with Andrew Altfest, president of Altfest Personal Wealth Management and founder of FP Alpha, to explore the transformative power of AI in financial advising and how it’s reshaping the advisor’s value proposition.

Specifically, Andrew discusses:

  • His early exposure to the world of wealth management
  • Why what has worked for advisors in the past more than likely won’t work for advisors in the future.
  • Redefining your value proposition to answer client demands
  • The catalyst that drove him to create wealth tech solution, FP Alpha
  • How technology and AI are supporting holistic planning
  • The lessons learned from his mother on the importance of EQ

Connect With Suzanne Siracuse:

Connect With Andrew Altfest, CFP®:

About Our Guest:

Andrew Altfest, CFP®, MBA is President and Principal Advisor at Altfest Personal Wealth Management, a $1.7B RIA based in New York City. There he advises clients about their personal finances and drives financial planning strategies across the firm.

Andrew is also the founder and CEO of FP Alpha, the first AI-driven advanced planning solution that covers more than 16 areas of financial planning. The software enables financial advisors to save time in the planning process through automation, showcase their value beyond investments, and deliver a personalized, comprehensive experience that clients require. FP Alpha provides financial advisors the scale and depth of knowledge necessary to enhance their planning practices by providing key offerings such as tax, estate, and insurance to their entire client base, usually just reserved for top-tier clients. 

Focused on the Future: Brian Seymour on the Power of Coaching

Focused on the Future: Brian Seymour on the Power of Coaching

In this episode of Focused on the Future, Suzanne Siracuse talks with Brian Seymour, principal and founder of Prosperitage Wealth on why his unique social media videos are really resonating with clients, the lessons he learned since launching his own RIA and the significant impact his coaches have had on his career. 

Specifically, Brian discusses:

  • His journey into the industry and the factors that affected him in starting his own RIA
  • The crucial role coaching played in shaping his career, helping him identify his unique strengths and develop his “super power.”
  • Why investing in continuing education programs and accreditations has been vital to his growth as a next-gen advisor.
  • The important lesson he learned from the Jamaican Bobsled team.
  • Why leaning into his true self on social media has been a significant marketing driver
  • His recommendations for advisors about to launch their own firm 

Connect With Suzanne Siracuse:

Connect with Brian Seymour:

About Our Guest: 

Brian K. Seymour, II is the Principal and Founder of Prosperitage Wealth, , a fee-only RIA dedicated to closing the racial wealth gap by helping Black professionals make smart money decisions through unbiased financial advice. He has been a financial planner for over a decade earning the Series 6, 7, 63 and 66 certifications. He holds the Chartered Financial Consultant®(ChFC), Retirement Income Certified Professional®(RICP®), Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®) designations and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Brian is a member of The American College of Financial Services 2024 NextGen Advisory Task Force,  Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), Association of African American Financial Advisors (AAAA), the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

In his spare time, he moonlights as a youth chauffeur, sports coach and proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. just south of the Wakandan capital of Atlanta with his wife and three kids.



Focused on the Future: Will Trout on the Impact From Emerging Trends on the Wealth Management Industry

Focused on the Future: Will Trout on the Impact From Emerging Trends on the Wealth Management Industry

In this episode of Focused on the Future, Suzanne Siracuse, talks with Will Trout, Director of the Securities and Investments practice at Datos Insights, on the how technology advancements are impacting our industry, why the major resurgence of alternative investments and that the client of the future will require personalization of advice.

Specifically, Will discusses:

  • The evolution of Generative AI tools 
  • The importance of data hygiene in how firms implement tech effectively.
  • Why Portfolio personalization is the future.
  • The increased adoption of alternatives by financial advisors 
  • How M&A activity is impacting the advisor’s business model and their offerings to clients

Connect with Suzanne Siracuse:

 

Connect with Will Trout:

About our Guest:

William Trout serves as Director of the Securities and Investments practice at Datos Insights, focusing on technology strategy and innovation in the capital markets. He has particular expertise in platform automation; data capture, storage and analytics; and portfolio management and optimization. Within the wealth and asset management arena, his interests include investment advisory and wholesaling and distribution services, as well as private banking and trust.

Will’s research and consulting work is informed by more than more than two decades of industry experience. Prior to joining Datos Insights, Will led wealth and asset management in the U.S. and the U.K. at Celent, a division of Oliver Wyman, before launching separate advisor- and investor-focused research practices at Javelin Strategy & Research. Prior to those roles, Will spent many years in product and segment management at BBVA Compass, where he helped guide the introduction of a pioneering managed-accounts platform and the expansion of banking and investments services targeting high-net-worth and institutional investors.

An authority on digital advice delivery, Will has been widely quoted in the trade press as well as in publications such as the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. He is also a frequent speaker at industry conferences and gatherings



Focused on the Future: Anna N’Jie Konte on AI, BeFi and Reframing the Money Discussion

Focused on the Future: Anna N’Jie Konte on AI, BeFi and Reframing the Money Discussion

In this episode of Focused on the Future, veteran industry leader Suzanne Siracuse talks with Anna N’Jie Konte, president of Re-Envision Wealth, on the importance of taking a human first approach with clients, how every advisor can incorporate AI into their practices and why she is reframing the way first generation wealth builders think about money.

Specifically, Anna discusses:

  • Speaking on a “human” level to clients, especially the next generation of investors.
  • How her background influenced her decision to focus on serving women of color.
  • Why clients’ money behaviors and experiences affect her overall planning recommendations.
  • How she uses AI tools to provide advanced planning, automate manual tasks and elevate her marketing efforts
  • Her advice for firms considering merging or selling their practice
  • How she uses the DISK assessment in managing and developing her team.
  • Why underrepresented groups are leaving our industry at a higher rate and how we can combat it.

Connect With Suzanne Siracuse:

Connect With Anna N’Jie Konte:

Anna N’Jie Konte BIO  

Anna N’Jie-Konte, MBA, CFP® is the President and Director of Financial Planning for Re-Envision Wealth. As President, Anna manages the firm’s financial planning, advisory, and operations strategies. She is a proud Puerto Rican, Gambian-American who is committed to building a firm where access to excellent, values-aligned financial advice is the norm, not the exception. Having spent her childhood watching the strong women around her live lives dictated by their bank balances, she’s on a mission to rewrite the money stories of women of color. 

 She is a 3x winner of Investopedia’s “Top 100 Influential Financial Advisors” and has been named “10 Young Advisors to Watch” by Financial Advisor Magazine. She serves as a CFP Board Brand Ambassador; an advisory board member to Wealth.com; and a board member of the FInserv Foundation.



Focused on the Future: Carina Diamond on Staying in a Beginner’s Mindset and the Power of Reinvention

Focused on the Future: Carina Diamond on Staying in a Beginner’s Mindset and the Power of Reinvention

In the first episode of Season Two of the Focused on the Future podcast, veteran industry leader Suzanne Siracuse talks with Carina Diamond, CEO of Stella Secunda and Director of Diversitas, Expanding Diversity in Wealth Management. They discuss the importance of adopting a personal approach with every client and how that leads to more business. Carina also describes why talent development and retention is everybody’s job and how having a beginner’s mindset attributes to growth both personally and professionally. 

Specifically, Carina details:

  • The critical areas firms and advisors need to consider for success now and in the future, as we navigate changing investor demographics
  • How programs such as Diversitas and the Externship play a role in attracting nextgen talent into our profession
  • Her top recommendations for firms on growing their client base; it starts with getting personal

Resources:

Connect With Suzanne Siracuse:

Connect With Carina Diamond:

About Our Guest:

An award-winning financial advisor, entrepreneur and executive, Carina Diamond is the founder and CEO of Stella Secunda, Latin for “Next Star,” which provides consultative organic growth strategies to a variety of companies in the financial services industry. Carina is the Director of Diversitas, Expanding Diversity in Wealth Management, a national initiative founded at The University of Akron. She also consults with a major insurance company on a financial wellness app, and is a sought-after speaker at industry conferences. 

Throughout her 30-year career, Carina has built and scaled successful wealth management teams, including her own. Five years after launching her RIA, she sold the business to Dakota Wealth Management, where she joined the firm first as Chief Experience Officer and was later promoted to Chief Growth Officer. 

 





Focused on the Future: Teri Shepard on the Key to Advancing Women in Wealth Management

Focused on the Future: Teri Shepard on the Key to Advancing Women in Wealth Management

In the latest episode of the Focused on the Future podcast, veteran industry leader Suzanne Siracuse talks with Teri Shepard, president of Carson Group, on the evolution of the role that a financial advisor plays, how she and her firm are investing in women and why constantly challenging oneself is the only way to evolve and grow.

Specifically, Teri discusses:

  • The key areas Carson Group is focused on to best serve current and future clients.
  • The evolving role of financial advisors; now more like coaches and therapists.
  • Why she and her firm are taking an active role in advancing women in our profession.
  • The top takeaways from her firms recently released Women in Wealth Management survey.
  • Her advice for men on how to be better allies and advocates for women.

Connect With Suzanne Siracuse: 

Connect With Teri Shepherd:

About Our Guest:

Teri Shepherd currently serves as the President of Carson Group, where she plays a pivotal role in enhancing operational efficiency and advancing the company’s long-term vision. As the first female executive at the firm, Teri has become a prominent role model for women within Carson and the broader financial services industry.

Teri’s commitment to advancing gender diversity within the organization and the financial services sector has garnered widespread recognition. She has been acknowledged by organizations such as InvestmentNews’ Women to Watch, Financial Planning Magazine’s Top Women in Asset Management, the Stevie Awards for Female Executive of the Year and WatersTechnology’s Women in Technology & Data Awards Gender Equality Professional of the Year.

Before joining Carson, Teri held the position of Executive VP, CFO, and COO at an independent broker-dealer, RIA and insurance company for a decade. Additionally, she served as the corporate controller of a publicly traded biotech firm for two years. Teri is an alumna of the University of Nebraska–Kearney, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Teri finds joy in spending quality time with her husband and three sons. She and her family enjoy camping, water skiing, and playing sports.



Focused on the Future: Mike LaMena on Optimizing Your Offering to Create Clients for Life

Focused on the Future: Mike LaMena on Optimizing Your Offering to Create Clients for Life

In the latest episode of Focused on the Future, veteran industry leader Suzanne Siracuse talks with Mike LaMena, CEO of Wealthspire, on how he is ensuring his clients never outgrow his firm’s offering and advice, creating a DEIB strategy that works and why the future of advice is “human.”

Specifically, Mike and Suzanne discuss:

  • His unique journey from a volunteer teacher in the Bronx, to working for a top advisor at Morgan Stanley to CEO at an RIA
  • Why going from a front office to a back-office role shaped who he is as a leader
  • His firm’s focus on offering specialized services and specific areas of expertise 
  • Why family office services, especially trust and estate areas, are key to his growth strategy
  • How he is addressing mutli-generational planning with a “matching” program
  • His three-pillar DEIB strategy and why he’s made this a priority
  • Why a giving back mindset will attract and retain both team members and clients.

Connect With Suzanne Siracuse:

Connect With MIKE LAMENA:

About our Guest:

Mike LaMena is the Chief Executive Officer of Wealthspire Advisors, having joined the firm in September 2017. He has 27+ years of experience building, operating and leading global wealth management organizations. His commitment to service excellence and his fundamental belief in the power of the firm’s independent, conflict-free model of financial advice inspires his enthusiasm to serve clients and expand the business. Throughout his time at Wealthspire, Mike has helped grow the organization to over $20 billion in AUM with 22 offices across the country and more than 300 employees.

Prior to joining the firm, Mike spent seven years at HighTower, serving as president and chief operating officer, playing an instrumental leadership role in scaling the business from a start-up organization to a nationally recognized financial services firm. He began his career in financial services with a 14-year tenure at Morgan Stanley, where he served as executive director of Private Wealth Management Operations in New York, as well as executive director of Private Wealth Management for Asia in Hong Kong.

Before entering the financial services profession, Mike did a year of service as a volunteer high school teacher at Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx, NY.



Focused on the Future: Connecting Advisory Firms with Next-Gen Talent at HBCUs

Focused on the Future: Connecting Advisory Firms with Next-Gen Talent at HBCUs

In the latest episode of Focused on the Future, industry leader Suzanne Siracuse talks with Dr. Sylvia Rose, assistant dean, James T. George School of Business at Hampton University, and Dr. Curtis Kidd Telemaque, director, HBS Center for Financial Excellence and Adjunct Professor at the School of Business at Howard University. Their thoughtful insights into what their students are looking for in a career and in an employer should be a must listen for any firm seeking to hire for the future. They also provide advice to firms on how to best partner with a HBCU and what they can do differently to better engage with the growing diverse talent pool.

Specifically, Dr Rose and Dr Kidd discuss:

  • What their students are looking for in an internship program
  • How they advise their students on pursuing the best employer for them
  • What works and what doesn’t when seeking to partner with a HBCU
  • Key challenges in attracting HBCU students to a career in wealth management. 
  • How firms, both large and small, can attract and engage with a diverse talent base.

Connect With Suzanne Siracuse:

Connect With Dr. Sylvia Rose:

Connect With Dr Curtis Kidd Telemaque:

 

About Our Guests:

Dr Sylvia Rose

Dr Rose is the Interim Dean and Assistant Professor of Finance in the School of Business at Hampton University. Dean Rose received her B.S. in Finance from Hampton University and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law School. She is a member of the Virginia State Bar.

A few professional activities at Hampton University (HU) have included Faculty Representative to the HU Board of Trustees, Chairperson of Committee on the Financial and Physical Resources of SACS, Member of a University Grant team responsible for a $500K Financial Literacy Grant, Advisor to MBA Case Competition Teams and Primary Advisor to Undergraduate Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is published in The Journal of Business and Finance Research; and a recipient of the Hampton University E.L. Hamm Distinguished Teaching Award. Dean Rose annually participates as guest speaker for numerous student sponsored activities and panel discussions; Honors College Capstone faculty participant; and serves on various other university activities as requested.

Prior work experience includes being a licensed Financial Advisor/Broker at Merrill Lynch. Dean Rose was also the former General Counsel for Hampton University, wherein she handled legal affairs of the University. Dean Rose served as an Attorney for law firms in Washington, DC and in Newport News, VA. Dean Rose is a member of several professional and civic organizations.

Dr Curtis Kidd Telemaque

Dr. Kidd Telemaque embarked on his professional journey after graduating from the University of Michigan in May 2000, initiating his career as an Institutional Equity Trader with a boutique firm in June of the same year. His trajectory in the financial sector continued as he assumed the role of General Securities and Registered Options Principal at a mid-tier brokerage in 2004. Concurrently, Dr. Telemaque pursued higher education and obtained a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Howard University. Notably, during this period, he served as an adjunct instructor of Advanced Algebra at Prince George’s Community College.

In 2008, driven by a passion for research and a commitment to Africana Studies, Dr. Kidd Telemaque commenced his journey toward a research degree at Howard University. Drawing from his robust economic and financial background, his research interests converged on economic development and financial policy analysis in Africa.

Presently, Dr. Kidd Telemaque occupies several significant roles, reflecting his diverse expertise. He serves as a subject matter expert with several private and public clients, where his analytical skills contribute to informed decision-making. Additionally, he holds the position of Managing Partner at Visions Consulting Group, actively participating in strategic consultancy for higher education. As an Executive of Lwazi Transportation Services, LLC, Dr. Telemaque spearheads initiatives in the transportation sector, specifically electric vehicles. Furthermore, he imparts his knowledge as an adjunct professor in management consulting, applied economics, and global management.

Dr. Kidd Telemaque’s multifaceted career showcases his commitment to continuous learning, expertise in finance and economics, and a dedication to making impactful contributions to students in various areas of finance.



Focused on the Future: Jimmy Lee: How AI and ESG will impact Financial Planning

Focused on the Future: Jimmy Lee: How AI and ESG will impact Financial Planning

In the latest episode of Focused on the Future, veteran industry leader, Suzanne Siracuse, talks with Jimmy Lee , Founder and CEO of Wealth Consulting Group, on focusing on “where the puck is going”, the debate around ESG and its future, and the many applications and use cases on AI in financial planning.

Specifically, Jimmy discusses:

  • The shift in the way clients want to be communicated with
  • Why and how his firm is attracting top female advisor talent
  • His important advice to firms looking to acquire other firms
  • The various ways AI will transform the wealth management industry
  • How his firm’s new ESG screened portfolios will help capture the investor of the future.
  • His philosophy on providing financial planning as an added value
  • Understanding what your “genius” is not just for yourself but also for your team

Connect With Suzanne Siracuse:

Connect With Jimmy Lee: 

About Our Guest:

Jimmy Lee is the Jimmy is the Founder and CEO of The Wealth Consulting Group (WCG). He began his career in 1995 and has been self-employed from the very beginning and has grown WCG as an entrepreneur into a wealth management firm with a national presence. After almost two decades of managing branch offices and supervising other financial advisors for two Fortune 100 financial companies, Jimmy founded WCG’s current business as a SEC Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) in Oct. 2014 and also became affiliated with LPL Financial for brokerage services. Financial Advisor Magazine recognized WCG as the 5th fastest growing RIA in 2016 and WCG was awarded the InvestmentNews for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion in 2018*

The financial media call on Jimmy for his knowledge in investing and the advisory industry. He appears regularly on CNBC, Fox Business, Yahoo Finance, and TD Ameritrade. He has been profiled and quoted in the Wall St. Journal, Marketwatch, Bloomberg, Financial Planning, Forbes, and many other financial publications.



Focused on the Future: Kay Lynn Mayhue: Why Investing in TALENT is key to a Firm’s Long-term Success

Focused on the Future: Kay Lynn Mayhue: Why Investing in TALENT is key to a Firm’s Long-term Success

In the latest episode of Focused on the Future, veteran industry leader, Suzanne Siracuse, talks with Kay Lynn Mayhue, President of Merit Financial Advisors, on the importance of cultivating top talent and creating a strong company culture, organic growth tactics that work, and the many ways to attract and support women in financial services.

Specifically, Kay Lynn discusses:

  • Why Merit’s Servant leadership style has been instrumental in creating a firm culture where team members thrive.
  • How to meet and exceed client expectations as they continue to evolve
  • Effective organic growth strategies including digital marketing initiatives and revenue share programs.
  • Why setting personal boundaries and being transparent are critical when it comes to attracting and supporting women in financial advice.
  • The significance of having an adaptable tech stack to meet future business needs

Connect With Suzanne Siracuse:

Connect With Kay Lynn Mayhue:

About Our Guest:

Kay Lynn Mayhue is the President of Merit Financial Advisors, a national wealth management firm that supports advisors affiliated with independent broker-dealers, as well as those who are registered investment advisors

Kay Lynn has played many roles in the financial advisory industry: as a successor, partner, seller, and buyer. This unique and diverse background allows her to be able to relate to advisors in all phases of their careers and mergers and acquisitions. With a background in financial planning and leadership, her career expands over several areas, including advising clients, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic growth.

She holds her CFP®, AEP®, and RFC® and has been a critical decision-maker for two firms over the past twenty years. Kay Lynn has overseen the majority of Merit’s mergers and acquisitions and has been recognized for that by winning the 2023 WealthManagment.com M&A Leader of the Year. 

She is passionate about helping people take their careers – and themselves – to exceptional levels. Kay Lynn’s influence in the industry and her drive for success is a driving factor in Merit’s ongoing growth and appeal to growth-oriented advisors.