Hank Multala, President of Adviser First Partners, Derek Bruton
Hank Multala 00:00
I'm here with Derek Bruton. thanks for your time today and taking some time out to chat.
Derek Bruton 00:07
It's good to be on the show, Hank. Thank you.
Hank Multala 00:10
Well, I'm really excited to chat with you. I know, we've been trying to connect with you for some time, I almost felt like I was stalking you. I know you've been quite busy to say the least and I think I want to tell the listeners what kind of transpired to move this forward. I think it posted a picture of a stationary bike or a or a bike on a trainer and LinkedIn and stated you wanted to spend a little bit more time with it. So I figured I got an exceedingly small window to grab your attention before you've ventured into another path. So thanks again. And simply curious how the bike treating you?
Derek Bruton 00:45
yeah, it's a peloton. And it was a way it was less about the bike and more about time to take this opportunity after I left Kingswood, to get into shape. And so, what I found with the peloton it's like a bulkhead seat on a on a flight. Neither a good for 6'10' guys. And while I've gotten in better shape with a peloton, it's also created some sort of problem with my back. So my chiropractor's spending as much time as with me as I'm spending on the peloton, unfortunately, but, but it's a great, great bike, and I'm really enjoying it.
Hank Multala 01:28
Yeah, well, what wonderful, I just want to tell our audience, neither one of us are sponsored by peloton. So let's simply good. You know, selfishly, I'm glad you slowed for a moment and are open to a discussion and we'll touch on some of your experiences through the podcast. Obviously, I could spend a lot of time discussing your background, but I know, listeners are not here, listen to me, you know, they'd like to hear from you. Can you just take us back, as far as you'd like to know, to kind of like build a roadmap of where you began to where you are now, or perhaps just a summary of your background?
Derek Bruton 02:02
Well, I'll give you a summary because it's, it's, you know, 30 plus years’ worth of background, and that's only that's only to college. But essentially, you know, I came out of college, and I played college basketball. And the basketball part of me wasn't out of my system, I still had a few more years left in me. And fortunately for me, I was recruited to play professionally and overseas in Japan. I've never been to Japan before. I didn't speak Japanese didn't even like Japanese food but found myself right after graduating from school in the Far East and having a great time. In Japan at the time, maybe it's still the case, the professional basketball players play for their, their own companies, of which they work for as well. so I got my start in finance in in Japan, working for a Japanese insurance company heading up their Latin American equities desk, so you can take all that in another and comprehend that you're doing better than I did when I was there. It was it was a super interesting experience. But that's how I got into this business. And when I came back to the states, after playing there three years, I landed with an RIA. in Menlo Park, California, realized it was a billion-dollar RIA realized at the time that I didn't enjoy the investment side of the business as much as I enjoyed the sales and relationship side and so I left that firm, after a few years and went to Charles Schwab. And that started basically the rest of my career working with financial advisors, but from the custodian, and later broker dealer point of view. So I've been working with advisors and 1000's of them throughout my career and helping them grow businesses organically or inorganically with stops along the way with Charles Schwab, LPL Financial, and then I led a few RIAs over the last eight years or so and help the advisors within those firms grow. So it's been an interesting experience. But really all I've done it really is work with advisors throughout that time, and I'm super passionate about it.
Hank Multala 04:33
Right, I kind of was wondering what brought you from I saw your experience in Japan and me, you and I met one we were both at LPL. And I was wondering, he must have played ball somewhere. So was there anything specific that inspired you to venture with that firm or into this career? Or was it just a progression of responsibility, was a happenstance?
Derek Bruton 04:58
It really was just happenstance, I mean, I remember to this day when I got to Japan, and my boss, my Japanese boss for this insurance company said, Hey, you know, would you like to be on the insurance side of the business or the finance side of the business and at the time, and I didn't really have an interest in insurance, and I said, I'll try out the finance side. And realizing that I wasn't going to be my long-term career in Japan, they realize that too. But one of my majors in college was Latin American history, at the time, Mexican stocks, telemedicine., they were all taking off, they wanted me to head up this desk. I said, Sure, why not? And, and I headed up a desk of myself. And over time, we started picking the stocks and they started going to the moon, I felt pretty, brilliant. And then realized I probably how to get out of town before these things corrected but anyway, that's how I got into this business. It wasn't because I planned to go to law school coming out of college, never made it there. And my, my career took an interesting turn at that point.
Hank Multala 06:10
Well, you know, if you look back, and I know, we all had the luxury of hindsight, is there a thing or two over your it's been over 30 years? Is it a thing or two you wish you knew, on the onset of your career, and perhaps, for the listeners, kind of enlighten those young men and women who may be at the start of, of their careers?
Derek Bruton 06:29
Well, I, you know, I think, judging by the fact that I've got the young children, not young that they're out of college now, still younger than me, but you know, some of the things I see that my daughters are going through as they're starting their careers. And one of the things that I wished I had done 30 years ago, or at least thought about 30 years ago, and then and had it sort of resonate throughout my career, it's just taken more time to enjoy life. I happen to be in a few positions over time where, you know, it really felt 24 -7, like you were always on. And some of these jobs were before things like cell phones and social media and the internet. And I still felt like I was always on, and I regret not taking more time for myself and my family during those periods of time. Especially my extended family, like my mother and father and others. But so I would, I would recommend that although I think that's well taught in colleges these days, to millennials to enjoy their life. So I don't know if I could add much wisdom there. But the other thing I would say is, is it kind of this hard reality and real of a realization that the person who cares about you the most now, and always is you. It's not your boss, it's not your favorite client. It's not your closest contacts in the industry. Those people like you, they care for you. But always know that your company and your clients, they'll always do what's best for them, there's nothing wrong with that. I don't blame them. But just have your eyes wide open and realize that you need to stand by your own principles, what you believe is right for you, your family, and your health. You're the one that's always going to care most about that and just keep that in mind throughout your career.
Hank Multala 08:27
Yeah, I've always told my kids I said, Listen, this is the time my kids are college age. And while they're both done now, but I told him, I said, this is a time in your life, you need to be selfish, you need to be thinking about yourself, obviously and focus on your education of path you want to go. And you talk about taking time out. And nobody ever sits on your deathbed and says I wish I spent more time at work. So let's hope that never happens. I think a lot of people have had, you know, influences in their life, both positive and negative. Were there perhaps two or three people looking back who have been or presently who have been most influential to you, either from a personal perspective or even in business itself?
Derek Bruton 09:08
Yeah, you know, I I'd have to throw my father in there. My father was a Vietnam vet or is a Vietnam vet. He was a was a California highway patrolman, a CHIP is if people remember that show for many, many years. And he was just he was a hardened he was he was a tough parent. And at times growing up, my dad used to have the same and, you know, being tall and growing up amazingly fast. I think I broke just about every bone in my body. You know, you'd slip off your bike Hank and get up and right away I fall off and break my leg. It's just that right? It was but my father is one of these guys that you know always said after you fell off something a tree, a bike, whatever was he come up to you and say, okay, move your fingers. And if you can move your fingers regardless of where the pain was on your bike, then you refine and you know, basically that the old adage, no surgery, no foul. And so, you know, it was it, he made it in certain situations that was tough growing up, but he also hardened you to become a much tougher person and to deal with things in a different way. And so, in some ways, I feel like I got some patients from them. I learned a lot from my high school coach, when I when I had high school basketball coach, and when I first got there, I hated basketball as a freshman, but my coach said, hey, Derek, you're six, eight, not for nothing, but maybe you should try out for this thing called basketball. And, and he said,
Hank Multala 10:42
That the first time you play basketball was in high school?
Derek Bruton 10:45
Yeah, yeah. hated the sport until high school, absolutely hated it. But you know, like I said, coming to freshmen is six, eight. You know, I was playing baseball and football but really didn't like basketball. And so, you know, the coach said at the time, because, you know, he mentioned this, this thing called a full ride for full scholarship. And then I didn't even know what that meant at the time. And I saw a couple of players in our league, get full rides at Villanova and other places. And I thought, well, it'd be cool to get something like that. And he basically the coach said, look, give me four years, work as hard as possible. And you'll have that. And, and I did, and, you know, I wasn't the most talented, I certainly wasn't the most skilled. You know, my, I think my high school coach said, I come in third in a race with a pregnant woman, he once said, and so, but, you know, I worked hard, I think I worked a lot of my teammates, a lot of people in the league, and then I, you know, went to, went to Stanford on a full scholarship, and so that that felt awesome. So the coach had a lot to do. And I had a particular manager also in my career, who, who, at the time was exceedingly difficult to work for, I will say that he was exceedingly difficult. And only after I stopped working for him, did I realize how much I learned from him, all the little things that had to do with professionalism, and details and things, I thought, geez, you know, he's being sort of anal about these things. And why is he spending so much time on this, and he's focusing on a little thing, and I didn't realize it till after I left that I really learned a lot from this person. And, and, you know, and now I do that with my employee. So yeah, I think it's, you know, those three people I think, had the most kind of the biggest impression on me, on my career in my life.
Hank Multala 12:41
Yeah, I could imagine the dad from Vietnam, my dad was a POW during World War Two, but Vietnam and CHIPS and, and then you have somebody who focuses on, you know, if you can't do the smaller things, right, you're not gonna be able to do the bigger things, right. So I could understand, you know, the manager, the boss that you had, at one time, since we're both in the same industry, what do you think's a kind of a common, you know, a myth about a profession that you want to debunk or give us some insights on?
Derek Bruton 13:09
Well, I would say that, you know, in our industry gets a bad rap. We don't have enough youth coming into our business today, because they see, they see about all the bad things that happen on Wall Street, they hear about clients getting screwed out of their money and having bad relationships with people. But you know, being in this business for 30 years, and working with over 20,000 advisors, I can name on one hand, the ones I've worked with, that have been bad people that have gone on to not really have their client’s best interest. And you know, one thing in particular is you know, what you what you learn this, I've learned throughout my career, mostly working on the fee based side of the business is that commission based advisors, and those that that advise on using transactional based investments, what have you that they don't care for their clients, and I think that's one of the biggest myths in the industry, they absolutely care, they just get paid differently. And while I'm still a fan of fee based, and I believe in aligning yourself with your clients, and fee basis is really the direction to go. And at the same time, that doesn't make the broker that your parents have been working with for years or anybody else, a bad person they needed, they provided advice, they helped out your parents, they helped other clients are on commission basis. And they needed to get paid for that. They just got paid in a different way. So I just I just don't believe this blanket that people throw over the commission-based profession that they're just in it for themselves. They don't care about their clients. I don't think that's true at all.
Hank Multala 14:56
Yeah, I think there's a place for everything. So I know you've demonstrated I just want to talk now go into a little bit about business. I know you've demonstrated a lot of success and in driving growth in small to large financial firms, wealth management and FinTech companies and demonstrated a lot of what I would call results driven leadership, really to visualize a company's potential, tackle their challenges head on and deliver real results. Share with us what, what habits have you established that have helped you succeed in those capacities?
Derek Bruton 15:33
Well, first, first and foremost, hard work. I'm just a major believer, and maybe this comes from sports or just from my back background with, you know, growing up, but I believe hard work always wins out over everything else. And I'll take a harder worker than the most talented person on the team any day of the week. And it certainly plays out in our business. And you know, you got I think what I've learned over time is that you must work hard and smart, you must be smart at what you do. Because you can waste a lot of time thinking you're working hard, but at the end of the day, I think those out there, whether you're an advisor, whether you're somebody serve as serving advisors, in our business, that hard work always wins out. The other thing I would say is, we start with the end game in mind, sort of the Simon Sinek. You know, why are we doing this? What is the why behind what we're doing. And I always, I've always thought throughout my career, it's not the advisor, it's the person who the advisor serving. And if you think backwards from that, that you're serving the American investor, you're helping them achieve their dreams, their financial dreams, helping them achieve financial independence. If you if you have that in mind, with everything you do, whether you're developing technology, you're trying to perfect your service, you're trying to become more efficient, if you have all those things. If you have that American investor in mind, you work your way back, you're going to naturally take care of the adviser, you're going to naturally take care of your staff, if that investor happy and growing. And so too often, we forget why we're doing what we're doing. And that's to help people's dreams come true. And so those two things, I think, are, you know, what I've learned? And I've always kept in mind,
Hank Multala 17:29
Okay, great. So as I mentioned, in the introduction, you have this knack of understanding where the where the puck is going. You've written that yourself was kind of surprised it wasn't a basketball analogy in there. And for myself, as a hockey player in Canada prior to joining the Navy, as a, you know, as a 19-year-old, you know, I appreciate the analogy to the, you know, to the great one number 99. But where or perhaps, how did this ability to recognize the direction of the industry and where do you think that maybe those that came from?
Derek Bruton 18:02
Well, you know, the basketball analogy, part of it is rebounding, but I don't think people understand it, as well as Wayne Gretzky and there's certainly no great quote, from any player out there like Wayne Gretzky, it's but rebounding is the art of a good rebounder is anticipating where the ball is going to go. And one of my coaches , said to me once that I was under the basket, and he called a chicken, you know what alley, which means you don't want to be under the basket, you don't. And you nobody gets a rebound right under the basket; you must anticipate where the balls going from the shot. And the best rebounders are not the fastest, they're not the strongest, they're the ones that anticipate well, and that's not to say that I was a great rebounder in college, I wish I did better. But, you know, that is I think that's where I learned where it kind of transpired over to business a little bit, is in preparation, preparing yourself for things and then anticipating. And whether that's a job interview, whether it's working with a client, whether it's preparing for a board meeting, whatever it is, its super preparation, you're spending time understanding and what what's important to the people you're talking to, and then anticipating what their reactions, what their questions are going to be. You just focus on those two things preparation and anticipation and you're going to become a more successful person in this business.
Hank Multala 19:36
So, you know, looking back, you know, kind of a two-part question you had served as a CEO of both the Kingswood group and Lucia Capital Group. What did you learn as a CEO and recognizing that nobody's perfect? What would you have done differently at those two firms?
Derek Bruton 19:58
First, I would say Focus. There's, you know, there's as CEO, one of the one of the, I think that the greatest qualities you can have is to be a listener, listen to the ideas of your management team, listen to the ideas of your staff, soak it in, understand it. But recognize, too, that at the end of the day, you've got goals that you've got to surpass. And some of those ideas, you just can't, you can't employ all of them. So you want to be open, but at the same time, have focus on what the goals are, and implement the ideas that you believe will get you to those goals. And so you got to stay focused, it's so easy to be distracted in this business, from the phone calls that are coming in the last three LinkedIn posts that you saw, I mean, there's so many distractions in this business, you have to stay focused, but at the same time, you need to, as I said, you need to listen to the people around you, and make sure they understand that you are listening to them. And you're considering their ideas and their thoughts. Because that gets you engaged team and engage management team staff, what have you, that helps you reach those same goals that we were just talking about. So that's one thing I'd say. Maybe another thing is, I think loyalty is only run so deep in this business, you know, people can be friends to they can seem like they care about you in this business, but at the end of the day, you know, if there's something better cheaper, or what have you, if you don't have supreme loyalty from those clients, they will go on to something else. So you can't underestimate the power of the competition. And that loyalty is only run so deep if you got to continue to perform.
Hank Multala 21:51
Right so does that, you know, so you've made ultimate mistakes in those areas, and then just realize that I need to focus on listening and, you know, focus on, you know, deepening relationships and loyalty, correct?
Derek Bruton 22:04
Oh, absolutely. I mean, I think I've learned 10 times more from my mistakes. Then I asked this the other day on my podcast is somebody do you remember that wins or the losses? And, you know, she said, she remembered the losses? And so do I remember them? losses, mistakes, whatever you want to call them, I remember those much more vividly. And I've learned much more from those than I did during the rosy times where everything was just peachy. And sure. Anybody can manage a business.
Hank Multala 22:37
I know you've helped to transform, you know, organization, the cultures, you know, you've improved the employee engagement across business units. You've empowered teams to support company objectives, and you've connected with clients to rally around a firm's vision. What are some of the things you did to accomplish the points that I had just mentioned?
Derek Bruton 23:04
Well, one of the things, especially for me, I've had more times in my career, I've had people come up to me and say, Derek, you just intimidating. And so you know, at 6'10", I just when I'm standing in front of somebody, I don't think I'm intimidating. But I can see why people think that. So one of the things I learned early in my career is just sit down, you know, engage people sitting now because when I'm sitting down, I don't look like I'm 6'10" So that's, number one is I'm not only a believer of the open door policy for an office, I'm a believer in actually exiting the office and going out and engaging with people where they do business, whether that's a client at their office, whether it's an employee in their cubicle, or somebody else in their office, I'm a big believer in that proactive outreach to visit with people and then then just shut up and listen. I mean, so often, those people walk out of their office to tell somebody something, versus ask somebody something. And I'm a big believer in asking and listening, and not having preconceived notions of what I'm going to say or what I'm going to do. And so I think those things have really engaged clients over time and have engaged employees. And some of the other things are just you know; especially larger organizations are using the tools that you have around you and the people you have around you. To make a large organization look small at LPL. We I'm a most of the people that work with me over the years know I'm kind of a manic, Salesforce user, Salesforce .com and, and, and, you know, Salesforce allowed me with an adviser base of 12,000 at LPL to remember things like anniversaries and birthdays and who went to school where and things like that. And I reach out to advisors, and I know they sit there and goes, how does Derek know, it's my birthday today? versus, you know, the other 11,000, you know, advisors that he's that he's working with. And so it's, it's really, there's, I think you can get larger but not lose the personalization. In too many firms. I don't think you're doing it these days. And that's how smaller RIAs and smaller broker dealers and organizations can compete with the larger ones because they deliver that personalization.
Hank Multala 25:33
Right, right. Yeah, it's if you can't get the little things right, you know, the big things don't matter. And I also wanted to add to we're not sponsored by Salesforce either. You were a board member at FSI. And I'm sure that would that that's a that was a great experience. What would you do presently if you were still engaged in the direction of the organization?
Derek Bruton 25:56
Well, I think, in this industry, based on, you know, what lobbying group is being heard at the time, or what, what, what initiative, they're trying to put their shoulder behind, I think, again, we lose sight of why we're doing why we do what we do. And that's taken care of the American investor. And so I've always been, just like, advisors want independence, and they want flexibility to run the business the way they want, investors should have that same level of flexibility and should have the options to choose what they want to do. So I'm a big proponent, and continuing to fight for flexibility and, and options, investment options, service platform options, for the end investor and let them make choices, let them make educated choices. And make sure they have all the resources at their fingertips. At the end of the day. If somebody wants to ladder, a bond portfolio and hire a broker to do it on a commission basis, then as long as they understand how that advisor is compensated and, and there's full transparency there, I don't have a problem with that. If they want fee based, if they want to pay hourly, they want to pay on a retainer, whatever it is, continue to fight for the flexibility for the investor. That's especially important to me.
Hank Multala 27:24
Okay it's obvious that consolidation is ever increasing in our industry. And I don't think it's slowed, it's not going to slow at all, and private equity has become the largest owner of assets within the financial industry for quite some time. With the continuation of fee compression, though, I know new, numerous RIA's and fee-based advisors have raised their fees kind of offset. But you know, there's increase in compliance cost, cybersecurity expenses, everybody knows all the increases. So I know it's a broad question. But give us your take on what's, what's going on now. And how you see this play out perhaps? Well, I think, you know, you mentioned a couple things there. And if you can sum it up all under a category called complexity, a characteristic of what's going on, this business has gotten overly complex, I look at the just the amount of technology available to advisors today. And again, while I think it rings, that flexibility bell that I just talked about, that's great. But if I'm an advisor, particularly one that's just gone independent, and must choose between the 15 CRM options, and the 15, financial planning, and performance reporting options, it's enough to make my head spin it really what it's enough to do is to maybe not do anything. And so oftentimes advisors who believe they should go, they understand the independent model want to go independent, they just don't do it. Because there's it's so complex. But because of that complexity, even people that have been in the business, get to a point in their careers, where they feel like the technology and the service and the investment options, everything has passed by them. And they are at this inflection point where they got to hire somebody to come in, to help them out consulting basis, maybe or maybe an executive to come in and help them out. Or they can depend on where, what their ages and what their inclinations are, that maybe it's time they've sold a portion or all their business. And that's what's in it's been enhanced by the demographics of our industry and aging advisor base. All of this is coming together in this perfect storm. Now you throw in the cap gains tax increases under the new administration. And you just you just look at the business model for advisors, I mean the free recurring cash flow is, is as good or better than most businesses out there, sticky client bases, you know, great opportunities to drive down costs, given the technology and everything out there ‘some great synergy opportunities. So it's no wonder this business is gone through so much consolidation and will continue to do so. Because these are great businesses to have. And especially when you can prove that you can buy something at 8x and grow it, improve the margins, and then turn around and sell it at 16x., three, four years later, I think that's happening right now. And I think that's, again, whether it doesn't matter what industry you look at, if they've got those valuation or that arbitrage, there's the valuation, you're going to invest in it. So it's a great time in our industry. But you know, for those firms out there that are kind of sitting on the sidelines, and are neither investing in their business, nor are they looking for partnerships out there looking to sell, it's going to get lonely, soon, where you're sitting there going, geez, how am I going to compete against the firm that just got an injection of all this capital? It's introducing all this new technology and everything? So you know, you’re kind of just don't want to be the last one on the ship. Yeah, becomes more difficult, incredibly challenging at that stage. So I know, you touch a bit on the next question. You know, one of the areas that can be a deterrent to joining, let's say, a larger firm is the issues around maybe service and maybe a feeling of isolation or feeling like a cog in a large piece of machinery. And I know, you mentioned the little things, you know, hey, how's Derek know, my birthday, or my alma mater, and, you know, I see advisors now that are looking to make a change, and there's been a great interest in making sure one's personal business cultural lines with the character of a new firm, they may be considering, or transitioning to, or changing their business model. How else do large firms address and meet, say, the quantitative or qualitative needs of those advisors?
Derek Bruton 32:12
Well, I think it's, it starts with just being available to people. You know whether you're, you're in senior management, or if you're, if you're the relationship manager, for your, for your advisors, it's been available to answer questions and to get on the phone and to talk to people, I have a little old school, when it comes to that, yeah, you can email you can text. But getting on the phone, and talking to people, I think often defines a culture, the way you handle things in the face of your clients. And I've always struggled with this whole thing, Hank, of culture, you know, what is culture? I mean, what is the culture of some of the large firms out there? And how do you even really know what it is until you go there? I mean, who's not going to tell you, you know, whether, yeah, great names, but you know, the bigger firms out there who's not gonna say, we have great service, who's not gonna say, we have good technology, you're gonna feel like part of our family, you're gonna have all these advisors. But you know, around you, but I think it's, it starts with the basic blocking and tackling, how do you execute on those things. And then the other stuff, like I mentioned, you know, calling somebody on their birthday, or things like that, or having other advisors within your organization who have been there a long time, do they do the selling for you, so to speak, you know, reach out to these advisors, I often see, you know, LinkedIn posts that, that advisors that have been with firms for a long time, are reaching out to these new recruits that have just come on board and welcome them. I mean, that, you know, that feels like that feels good. When you're sitting there wondering, did I just make I just made one of the biggest moves in my life? Did I make the right move? So I think there's the good thing is between technology and using, and I don't mean that in a bad way, but you know, utilizing the talent and the people around you, you can in a large organization still feel that still deliver that personal touch.
Hank Multala 34:17
yeah, I know, some people probably as they get higher up in an echelon of company, they may, they may just feel kind of odd asking for help and say, hey, I need your help with this, you know, because I think maybe perhaps some of them feel they should know all the answers when they're when they're sitting net position, which I think is a fallacy. But on the flip side, if you look at, you know, boutique and mid-tier firms, I know, I know, obviously, there's a lot of challenge to the cost as we have discussed and, you know, some address this by creating in house portfolio management processes. And I know if your CFP in a fiduciary rule gets implemented and all that, you know, there may be conflicts with those in house platforms. From your perspective Where's the place for these boutique and mid-tier firms? And how do you suggest that they stay or can remain relevant?
Derek Bruton 35:08
Well, they need to play up on their strengths. So I mentioned, we just talked about large firms. But let's face it, a lot of large firms don't execute on this, right, and the larger they get, even though they try, there's just going to be a large contingent of clients that just don't get that personal touch. And so if you're a smaller firm, if there's only a couple things that you can deploy weapons that you can deploy, one of them is that personal touch, you got to play that up. And you must have advisors, you know, kind of put themselves in positions of situations in the future where having that personal touch, and that reach is going to be important. And so those are, you know, those are the things they experience the ability to sit down and really help an advisor, grow their business. organic growth seems to be the long-lost art in our industry. Right now. I recall at LPL when we were doing 20 to 30%, same store sales growth, that's the best thing that could ever happen to a firm. So helping your advisors bring in more clients or gain higher share a wall from existing clients. That's great time spent. So the more you can do this as a small firm and truly show your clients that you're there to help them grow, and then eventually helped them sell. That's something that you know that nimble nature is something that larger firms just can't deliver at scale. So I would suggest they continue to focus on where they can be strong.
Hank Multala 36:47
Yeah, I think when you help advisors grow, you get a lot of loyalty there, you get a great deal of loyalty. So, you know, I'd like to end our time on a personal note if it's okay. You had served as chairman for big brothers and Big Sisters of San Diego County as I recall. What made you get involved in organization and what were some of the highlights of committing your personal time to such a, I know it's a fantastic organization?
Derek Bruton 37:12
Well, I got into this because I was a big brother, when I was in college, to a little brother that was in East Palo Alto, California, and East Palo Alto at the time, was the murder capital of the United States, more murders per capita, this is right near the Stanford campus. And so I would go over there. And I remember for a period of about a year, year, and a half, one of my teammates and I were big brothers to these to these kids from East Palo Alto. And so I think that's why I specifically have an affinity for Big Brothers Big Sisters. But once I got involved on the board, and then as board chair, there's, I think there's no greater satisfaction to me than seeing especially at our annual awards dinners and things like that seen these kids that were destined for the streets destined not to graduate destined for who knows what incarceration, doing things they shouldn't be doing. There's no grad greater satisfaction than seeing then graduate from high school. That was, it's so rewarding to see these kids battle through single parent households, and troubled neighborhoods and gangs, influences and all this to graduate from school. And sometimes you think, well, is that is that that big of achievement, and for these kids, absolutely, unequivocally. And to put themselves in a position to go to college, when 10% of their of their classmates are in that position? I think that's something that was extremely rewarding. And when I think back on my time on the board, that's what I recall the most.
Hank Multala 39:02
Yeah, well, some of those young adults, you were of a big brother to someday they'll be on a podcast and say, hey, who is your role models? And I remember the six-foot 10 guys from Stanford who was influential in my life. So I'm sure it'll show itself somewhere somehow. So, you know, I'll keep my last question short to you, you know, is there really kind of a final word for listeners or something that you'd like to share that? You know, we didn't we didn't discuss today?
Derek Bruton 39:33
Well we discussed it, I just, I just would underscore does that. Just remember why we're doing what we do in this business. And that's to help people realize their dreams and you stay focused on the prize there. Then all everything else takes care of itself. I really believe that and so, just always remember that and you're gonna have happy clients, happy staff, and happy life.
Hank Multala 39:58
Well, Derek I just you know, wanted to thank you again, you know, for your time today and really sharing your experiences, you know, your insights, your personal perspective and, you know, sharing personal experiences. You know, for our listeners, you can hear some great discussions with some very well-known guests on Derek's podcast. Can you hold my attention? And please don't forget to subscribe to our podcasts to chat with Hank, on Stitcher, Google podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you may listen to programs. So there thanks again for giving us your time and I really wish you the best with your next ventures as well as your peloton.
Derek Bruton 40:37
Thanks, Hank, it's been a pleasure being on your show and keep it going. Keep up the good work.
Hank Multala 40:43
Thank you very much. Take care Derek
By Hank Multala, Founder, Adviser First Partners L.L.C. on 07/13/2021 2:28 PM