What Wealth Managers Seek in New Hires

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What are the traits upper-tier wealth managers look for in new hires? Richard Franchella, senior managing director at RBC Dain Rauscher in New York, has some definite ideas.

Richard Franchella, senior managing director at RBC Dain Rauscher in New York, oversees four offices in the metropolitan New York area, including the region's flagship office in midtown Manhattan. His 70-person staff includes 50 financial advisors. RBC Dain has a total of 1,650 financial consultants and 5,000 employees.

What kind of people get your attention?

Someone who has demonstrated a true pattern of success in previous roles. I look for people with high energy and something I don't know that there's any measurement for: It's personal effectiveness. Some people are just naturally, personally effective. In our business that, to me, is somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of the determinant of success. It doesn't mean you don't have to have good, raw intelligence and other skills, but personal effectiveness, connecting with an individual, that's one of the things I really look for.

How do you judge that? How do you spot that?

You spot it through the interaction between the two of you. When I interview someone - and it's a technique I learned a long time ago - I peel the onion.

I say almost nothing in an interview. For almost 40 minutes. Nothing! Even if it's uncomfortable at times. Because at that point, I can really measure the personal effectiveness, the honesty, etc., of a candidate.

I'm looking for patterns of success. Someone with seven jobs in nine years is not a pattern of success. Unless, I could truly understand as I listened that each move was well-thought-through, was truly a promotion and truly helped the person get to the next level.

So many times, all you have to do is ask and shut up. They'll say, "Well, on this one job there were three of us and one of us had to go. And it was me. You know, my luck. And then the second job, there were like ten of us, and five of us had to go, and yup. There I was again, wrong place, wrong time."

No. That doesn't happen to winners. I don't mean to say this person's a loser. But this isn't someone I could bring on board. You know, they're going to have to look for something else.

So, I look for pattern of success and I look for personal effectiveness. And you might say, "Gee, Rich, don't you look for business acumen and finance and all that?" Yeah, that's all kind of woven in there. But to be honest with you, depending on the role, we could teach almost anyone in this business, because it's pretty simple. We could teach almost anything to anyone. If they don't have the basic personal effectiveness skills, it doesn't matter. It does not matter.

How would you demonstrate your personal effectiveness during an interview? Post your comment below.

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