Joel N. Burstein Jr.

Joel N. Burstein Jr.age 35

Branch manager, vice president of investments, Raymond James & Associates

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Managing a branch for a broker-dealer is growing more complex by the day.

“It really is a lot of functions — from the salesman to the friend to the confidant to the psychologist, the business planner to the hiring and firing, all of it,” said Joel N. Burstein Jr., the Miami branch manager at Raymond James & Associates. “We really do need to know a lot about everything, and the solutions are so much more complicated.”

But at its heart, retail wealth management is a people business. And that’s one thing Mr. Burstein — elevated to management as a my-way-or-the-highway 24-year-old — had to learn the hard way.

“I had to learn how to talk to people,” he said. “Now I listen and ask questions before I share my opinion.”

He’s built trust — and respect — by earning credentials, such as the certified financial planner mark, and becoming an expert on the firm’s constantly changing technology. He is also a founding board member of Raymond James’ Black Financial Advisors Network.

And he has delivered results in terms of branch productivity. He manages three branches with 36 advisers and $3.36 billion in assets, and one of his branches (in Miami) is the sixth largest for RJA.

But business isn’t everything. Mr. Burstein has led branch employees to feed residents of homeless shelters and works with an organization that supports elderly and disabled low-income homeowners.

— Trevor Hunnicut

Fast Facts

  • First job was teaching people how to wear contact lenses in an optometrist’s office
  • Guilty pleasure is watching “My 600-lb. Life” on TLC
  • Graduated from a military high school
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