by David Wisner
Proactive Advisor Magazine: Frank, talk about the evolution of your career as a financial advisor.
My father was a successful general agent for Connecticut Mutual. While I did not intentionally follow in his footsteps after college, after evaluating many financial-services options, I felt that firm offered the type of training and opportunity that was right for me. The recruiting manager emphasized how hard I would have to work to make it in the industry, and I appreciated his candor and the opportunity they offered for a new agent willing to put in the effort. This theme continued with my mentor at Connecticut Mutual, who emphasized two key principles for success: working hard and doing the right thing by clients.
My mentor, who has become a lifelong friend, left to take a management position in Roanoke, Virginia, and asked if I would join him as his associate manager. While I fell in love with this area, that ended up not being a long-term situation. I returned to Indianapolis to work for a couple of companies, including a larger Connecticut Mutual agency. I spent most of that time in middle management. That was a very valuable experience, as I grew as a professional and learned a lot from training and managing other advisors, in addition to serving my own clients.
In 1990, I decided to go independent and founded Frank A. Leyes & Associates. We have experienced steady growth throughout the years, but I prefer to manage the number of new clients carefully. I want to work with clients who truly want to build and sustain a long-term relationship, and will put in the time and effort to help make that happen.
One important aspect of my professional life is the satisfaction and personal growth I find in being an author, keynote speaker, and developer of a coaching program for other advisors. I’ve been blessed with a gift to engage not only with clients but with my peers as well. Each resource I create for our practice is designed to also be used by other advisors.
I invested a year interviewing advisors for my second book, “Shaping the Future: 6 Ways Exceptional Advisors Transform Financial Futures.” When I give keynote addresses, I think advisors listen to me differently because I am a peer living in their world. This led to the formation of “Advisor Mastery,” a unique “mastermind” program where advisors share ideas and best practices, and solve problems. My clients benefit from this work as I integrate what I learn from my peers to better serve them. Contributing to the industry that has been so good to me over the years is a great privilege.