When Penn Mutual CEO Eileen McDonnell reached out to former colleague Jim Meehan in 2011 and asked if he’d be interested in taking on the challenge of turning around the company’s worst-performing financial services firm, he said he would—with one caveat.
“I wanted to do it my way,” says the now managing partner of Philadelphia’s 1847Financial. “I wanted to pursue a nontraditional and advisor-centric structure in which team members partner together to help clients achieve their goals. I wanted advisors empowered to make decisions without having to wade through multiple levels of management, and I wanted everyone to feel like an integral part of our success.”
Meehan did it his way, and the gamble paid off. Today, 1847Financial is No. 1 among 26 Penn Mutual financial services offices, a full-service firm with more than 100 advisors who provide estate, investment, and retirement planning services; lifestyle, money, and tax advising; and insurance strategies.
Emphasis on Company Culture
The advisor-centric structure contributes to a healthy company culture, one that has landed 1847Financial on the Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania* list several times. But there’s more to it than that.
“This is a complex industry,” says Lisa Davis, Managing Director. “Advisors in other firms are expected to know it all— insurance, planning, investing. But our infrastructure allows advisors to utilize business and planning specialists across departments, which, in turn, allows our advisors to play to their strengths. This results in improved client relationships and satisfaction and decidedly more satisfied advisors.”
Diversity of thought is also essential to 1847Financial’s leadership. “I’m a 54-yearold white male. I fully understand that I need to surround myself with people who think differently and have had different life experiences,” Meehan acknowledges. “I’m proud that we’ve assembled a team that resembles our community, and I’m committed to ensuring the same moving forward.”