Who am I? My name is Maureen Doyle. I recently graduated from Illinois State University with a major in finance and minor in financial planning. I was one of the fortunate who found a job post-graduation and started in June at Huber Financial Advisors LLC, a wealth management company in Lincolnshire, Ill., as a client service director.
What is a client service director? My primary role as a client service director is to be the liaison between the adviser and the client. Huber Financial has, within its corporate structure, three teams of two advisers and one client service director. I have the distinct honor of working with the owner, Dave Huber, and Pete Doyle. We form what we like to call a practice, comprising Dave and Pete's clients. Within Huber, we have three different teams, comprising different advisers, client sets and client service directors.
What is a day in the life of a client service director? My typical day at the office starts around 7:45 a.m. or 8:00 a.m., depending how fickle traffic is that day. The first order of business is to gain access to all of our databases and download new activities. We work with The Charles Schwab Corp. as our outside custodian for our clients' assets. We are a discretionary advisory firm, which means our clients delegate all investment decision-making authority to us. The first part of my morning is checking e-mails that came in during the evening and following up on client requests. If it is the beginning of the week, my team huddles to map out the week ahead. We discuss 1) What clients are coming in this week? 2) What materials do I need to prepare for this week's meetings? 3) What clients do I need to contact to schedule review meetings? and 4) What firmwide projects are the priority for the week? The weekly team meeting with my advisers in one of many teams that I am a part of at the office. Every Wednesday, the other client service directors and I meet to review upgrades in our platforms, discuss best practices and find ways to eliminate inefficiencies in our processes. I am also a member of our firm's Investment Planning Committee and Financial Planning Committee that meets on a biweekly to monthly basis.
In the blink of an eye, my morning morphs into the afternoon. My favorite aspect of my job is its variety. I answer all incoming calls on our team's line. With every call I answer, another adventure ensues. On any given day, I am opening new accounts for clients, moving funds from account to account, working with trusts and researching mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. Another aspect of my position is data input into our financial planning software and Morningstar Inc. I have the opportunity to assist in the financial planning process and participate in client meetings. What I love most about my industry is the service it provides to our clients. Our clients have worked extremely hard for their money their entire lives. With Huber's investment advice and tailored portfolio allocations, we allow their money to work hard for them. I love it when I input a client's goals into our financial planning software and see that a client has a financial life plan that works.
Once the workday is over, I head for home, where I squeeze in a run and dinner before I start studying. I am currently studying to take the certified financial planner exam this July. My undergraduate degree from Illinois State University allowed me to test out of four of the six modules required before sitting for the exam. I start taking classes at Northwestern University's continuing-education program in October. Once a week after work, I will be driving into the city to take a three-hour course on the fundamentals of financial planning. I have a long road ahead of me, but I am motivated to push ahead. My goal is to one day join Dave and Pete as a wealth manager and eventually hire my replacement.
What has surprised me most about my job/industry? What has been most surprising is the depth of knowledge and the attention to detail that is necessary in the financial planning industry. With every project I work on for a client, I have to take into consideration multiple areas of knowledge, such as taxes, estate planning and even insurance. It's daunting to me the volume of information I need to be well-versed-in when communicating with clients, and certainly come July. What truly amazes me is how fast a workday flies by. This may come from my naiveté, as this is my first full-time job or because I love the company I work for, but some days, I look at the clock and realize it's already 5 p.m. when I feel like the day has just started. Our office is always hard at work, which is what it takes to have a successful practice. I am grateful to be a part of this growing industry.