Maverick musings

Wall Street 2.0 is the creation of Maverick Partners Wealth Management co-founders, John Gallagher and Mark Levin. After a combined 65 years serving clients on Old Wall Street with traditional wirehouses, John and Mark departed Morgan Stanley to launch Maverick, an independent firm. The driving force behind their decision to become an independent wealth management firm was the belief that clients are better served receiving advice from advisors who are free of the inherent and explicit conflicts of interest that abound at Old Wall Street wirehouses. 

John and Mark also credit becoming independent for a monumental positive shift in their lives. They are enjoying work so much that they cannot wait for Sunday evening to roll around as that signals a Monday return to the office is upon them. More importantly, John and Mark are happier and more at peace as people than ever before. They both find going independent has improved every aspect of their lives from how they show-up for their spouses and children to improved health and wellness practices. Simply put, they are better people as owners of an independent firm. 

The Old Wall Street problem is systemic and irrevocably broken, it cannot be fixed from the inside. The role of a financial advisor is to offer guidance to clients that is driven 100 percent by what best suits their own personal situation with the client’s goals and dreams leading the way. Often, a client’s needs intersects with a call for products that aren’t equity investments. For example, when a client seeks a mortgage, identifying the product with the lowest rate and best terms should be the only consideration. Unfortunately, many Wall Street wirehouses require their advisors to recommend only in-house options. The same is true when clients seek credit, loans, and other borrowing options. Old Wall Street wirehouse advisors are often restricted from directing clients to outside lenders who might have more attractive rates and repayment terms. 

Part of the foundation for Wall Street 2.0 is anchored in the teachings of a famous African proverb that reads…if you want to go fast, go alone…if you want to go far, go together. Guiding clients to make dreams a reality is a complex and ever-evolving process. When clients are in need of additional tools or services to make their dreams a reality, having a network of trusted professionals to partner with is essential. On Wall Street 2.0, we say teamwork makes the dream work. These teammates are friends and professionals who we trust and use for our own personal planning. On Wall Street 2.0, the only incentive to an advisor for referring clients to a trusted partner is the deep satisfaction of knowing that the client is in good hands. There is never a charge, free share, or referral. This ensures that the clients come first, always.

On Wall Street 2.0. we recognize that wealth management does not stop with healthy returns and a smartly constructed portfolio tailored for each individual client’s needs. An advisor’s network should include tax experts, estate planning lawyers, and insurance professionals. When clients request it, collaboration with these professionals at no added cost should be the norm. On Old Wall Street, wirehouses often restrict their advisors from engaging in such activities.. 

Shouldn’t clients know as much about their financial advisors as the advisors know about them? Managing someone’s money gives an advisor an extremely personal window into that human being’s life. Doesn’t it follow that clients should be able to really know what their advisor is about and thet type of person they are? Old Wall Street firms restrict and often prohibit the use of social media by their advisors. Old Wall Street does not want their advisors to be individuals. Rather, they are merely an extension of the corporate entity. Old Wall Street would prefer that clients focus upon the corporate name rather than get to know the individual who is truly responsible for protecting and growing their assets. This runs against all good common sense in the day and age of social media.

Common sense rules the day on Wall Street 2.0. It is our obligation and pleasure to ensure that we are transparent for our clients. We want our clients to know us and trust us because of how we live our lives, not merely because we tell them we are trustworthy. Rather than seeing social media as something to be feared as Old Wall Street firms seem to believe, on Wall Street 2.0 we utilize social media as an opportunity to express ourselves. And express ourselves. From musical tastes to hobbies and family, viewers of our social media accounts will learn all about us as human beings. They will meet our families, share in our victories, and learn of our challenges. Clients are part of the family on Wall Street 2.0. 

On Old Wall Street, the institutions too often prioritize themselves over those who entrust them with their assets. Regulatory fines have become so commonplace that they seem to be considered the cost of doing business. These fines and sanctions grow from making business decisions rather than embracing the fundamental truth that it is our business to always do what is best for each individual client. This distinction is why independence is the path forward for advisors and investors. 

The future is now and it lives on Wall Street 2.0. No matter the question, the answer is simple: what is best for the client. When always placing the client’s interests first, creating an atmosphere for advisors to thrive as human beings becomes simple. Our motto for advisors on Wall Street 2.0 is strive to be the best version of yourself, everyday. Not simply the best advisor you can be, but be the best person you can be. Live life to the fullest and share that energy with clients and other advisors, it’s contagious. 

In short, this means embracing a growth mindset. Never allow yourself to become stagnant. Challenge those around you to do the same. Greatness is not a part time gig. 

So what does this look like for advisors who change their address to Wall Street 2.0?

A brand that represents who you are and invites clients to truly know you. A lifestyle that is enriching and challenges you. Self-care is a priority. Health and wellness matter. Personal growth is a way of life. 

Building a brand on Wall Street 2.0 is fun. At Maverick, we lead by example. Our brand is who we are. As soon as you land on our website, the message is clear. We are transparent. We are real. We are human.

Workouts, hot yoga classes, and family time are built into our schedule with the same intention as client meetings. We believe that a healthy body and mind are inextricably interwoven. 

Like in sports, great coaches get the most out of their players. On Wall Street 2.0, we believe in the power of coaching. Being challenged to remain uncomfortable is the genesis of sustainable greatness. Having a coach is a requirement for residence on Wall Street 2.0. 

Next month, we will explore how coaching created the vision for Wall Street 2.0.