Top 40 advisor added 60 new clients last year. What’s his secret?
Geoffrey Lee’s team contracted last year after a handful of team members left for other opportunities — yet his practice still grew with the addition of 60 new clients.
The Ameriprise advisor credits hard work, a clear-eyed focus and a strategy focused on developing strong referral sources.
“We truly believe that if you service clients extremely well, they will always refer you to others in their networks,” he says.
Lee, who is based in Henderson, Nevada, says his team is also careful about which clients they take on. “We understand not everyone is the right fit, and we are OK with that.”
Lee ranked No. 5 in On Wall Street's most recent Top 40 Under 40 list. In 2018, he came in at No. 13.
Read on to learn about his practice, charity work and approach to teaming.
To see who else made this year’s Top 40 ranking, please click here.
What type of clients do you serve — and how do you meet new ones?
My practice serves about half retirees and half strong accumulators. Our practice is built on referrals and has been for many years. We truly believe that if you service clients extremely well, they will always refer you to others in their networks. We have been very blessed to have our existing clients refer their closest family and friends to us. We have also developed strong relationships with CPAs and estate planning attorneys over the years who feel comfortable referring clients to us.
Have you ever turned away a client for being a bad fit for your practice?
We turn only a few people away every year. These are usually people who are simply unwilling to make changes to further help their own financial situations. We understand not everyone is the right fit, and we are OK with that. We want to be the right fit for the client and vice versa.
What was your biggest work accomplishment in 2019, and was there something that nearly kept you from achieving it?
My biggest work accomplishment in 2019 was still being able to grow our practice by over 10%, despite the fact that one of our advisors and a few members of our administrative team left to pursue other opportunities. So even while being very lean, we focused on our clients, worked tremendous hours, and still managed to pick up 60 new planning clients.
What was your biggest personal accomplishment in 2019?
My biggest personal accomplishment in 2019 was getting more involved with a non-profit organization called Spread the Word Nevada. The organization is dedicated to advancing childhood literacy within low-income communities throughout the state. Renee Langlois — a fellow financial advisor in our practice — and I both became sponsors and many other team members have gotten involved as well. It allows us to give back to the community with our time, energy and finances to support a great cause.
How do you keep abreast of changes in wealth management?
I constantly read financial market news, research and consult with other top advisors in the industry as well as our wholesale partners. We believe successful people and teams do consistently what unsuccessful people do occasionally. We think it’s important to stay abreast on news in the wealth management industry because things change constantly, and they change quickly.
What trends are you watching in 2020?
Here are a few trends I’m watching: Baby boomers continue to retire at a fast pace; the experience of transitioning into retirement life is evolving and more millennials are replacing the workforce; the job market and environment are changing rapidly.
What qualities do you admire in your team members?
All of our team members are hard-working. They don’t cut corners and always go the extra mile to ensure proper client service. We also have a great culture of team unity with people who genuinely care about one another.
What was the last good book you read?
“The Infinite Game” by Simon Sinek.
What TV show are you currently streaming?
“Jack Ryan” on Amazon Prime.
What goal, professional or personal, do you want to achieve in 2020?
My professional goal for 2020 is to help the more junior members on our team prosper and grow, both personally and professionally. I see so much talent and potential in each one of them, and I want to leverage their strengths to help serve our clients even better.
My personal goal for 2020 is to better balance an intense work schedule and family life.