Managing director/financial advisor
Northwestern Mutual, the Schwertfeger Group
500 W. Silver Spring Dr., Glendale
Industry: Insurance and financial services
Number of employees/representatives: 24
Family: Wife, Michele, and daughter, Grace, age 5
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“We worked hard. We set up thousands of meetings and listened closely to clients and prospects who really wanted to discuss their financial security with trusted professionals. Every person’s situation is unique, so we worked to create customized financial strategies to meet their specific needs.”
What’s new at your company?
“In the last couple of years we have been very fortunate to add top quality financial representative and advisors. Our culture fosters energetic, focused and friendly financial experts to help people achieve financial security. We have never had a more synergistic work environment. Our veteran experts are joining forces with our new superstars to provide the world class products and expert guidance our clients require. We have also added an offensive marketing expert, Kate Inglish, to really help our advisors expand their opportunities. These opportunities continually build excitement and have lead to many successes for our office.”
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“We plan to recruit additional financial representatives and staff in 2011. As our group continues to grow – and people’s financial security needs continue to grow – we need sharp partners to help provide guidance to current and future clients.”
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“Our biggest challenge is our continuous commitment to growth. People are facing enormous challenges and they’re looking for guidance. Financial professionals who can help families develop long-term strategies have never been more valuable. The ability to offer financial security to families and businesses when times are uncertain is an important reason people are attracted to this career. We’re committed to growing the organization by recruiting representatives, advisors and staff, so we can help more clients.”
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
“The hottest trend in our industry comes from what our clients and prospects are screaming for: safe, long term, predictable and tax-efficient financial assets. Also, more people are looking to work with a financial professional who is backed by a strong company, like Northwestern Mutual. Clients want to trust the company, the representative and their financial strategy, so working with an exceptionally-strong company like Northwestern Mutual gives us a real advantage.”
Do you have a business mantra?
“Helping create financial security for our communities, one person at a time.”
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“I look up to the representatives and leaders that came before me within our industry. They were the ones that paved the path that made it more efficient for me to get to where I am and where I am going. Legends like Ron Krizek, Mark Schueller, Marty Matsoff, Dennis Lauden, Ed Zore and Jim Schwertfeger to name a few. Outside of our industry, I look up to John Crichton of Shoreline Real Estate Co. and Patrick Ferry, president of Concordia University.”
What was the best advice you ever received?
“The Common Denominator of Success… ‘Successful people form the habits of doing things that unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do. They are motivated by pleasing results not pleasing methods.’ In our business, pleasing results is helping a client towards their financial security planning with the results of them becoming a long term client.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“I like to participate in tennis, golf, curling, skiing. I enjoy Badger, Brewer, Bucks and Packer games, and live music. I am involved with Concordia University, UW-Madison and Our Savior Lutheran Church. I really love swimming and hanging out with my daughter, Grace, and wife, Michele.”