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  • Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Family, Passion, Success - A Spotlight with Chris Andrews

A Conversation with Chris Andrews, Business Development Director at 1847Financial New York


We had the privilege to sit down with Chris Andrews, the Business Development Director at 1847Financial New York. Chris brings a unique blend of dedication to both his family and his career, where his passion finds its perfect match. With a focus on fostering success among top financial professionals, Chris balances the demands of his professional life while embracing the joys of becoming a new dad.

 

Chris's journey is nothing short of inspiring. His commitment to excellence has earned him well-deserved recognition, notably as the 2023 Business Development Director of the Year. Let’s delve into Chris's insights, experiences, and how he’s helped financial professionals along the way.

 

What prompted you to join the financial industry?

In college, I was aiming for a career in radio broadcasting, but my path changed when my grandfather's health declined. He was a Greek immigrant who, after surviving post-WWII Greece, came to the U.S. with nothing but sheer determination. Coming through Ellis Island and changing our last name from Andriotis to Andrews symbolized a new beginning. His journey from working in restaurants to owning them and investing in real estate inspired me. His hard work secured our family's future and highlighted the values of perseverance, integrity and the importance of community. Witnessing the strain his health issues placed on my father made me realize the fragility of financial security and the importance of planning. This shifted my perspective towards the crucial role of financial planning in protecting families’ futures and giving back time to families and alleviating stress to focus on what matters most. This led me to choose a career in financial planning, to help provide security for my network, family and community, fueling my passion for my work today.

How does your firm differentiate itself from others in the industry? What sets your firm apart?
Our firm distinguishes itself through our exceptional team and unwavering dedication to service. We prioritize our partnerships with financial professionals and adhere to a mindset of "New York efficiency." That means we approach business support, development, and scalability with a sense of urgency. Instead of asking, "Why do today what you can do tomorrow?" We challenge ourselves with, "Why couldn’t this have been done yesterday?" This progressive mindset and proactive approach contrasts sharply with the typical reactive support often found in firms and allows us to consistently evaluate how we can get better and deliver results ahead of competitors.

How does your firm work with financial professionals? What does "white glove support" entail?
Our "white glove support" prioritizes the financial professional by ensuring direct access to decision-makers and a commitment to exceptional service. We emphasize fulfilling promised tasks efficiently and maintaining transparent communication. Our goal is to provide premier support that includes straightforward communication, easy access, and robust collaboration, ensuring financial professionals are well-informed, supported and feel valued for their efforts at every stage.

Can you give an example of how you've helped a FP grow their business?
It's something we do every day. First, we get to know them personally and learn to understand what they want to achieve, short and long term. Once we see a clear picture of what they’re striving to accomplish, it's all hands on deck to make their vision comes to life. Whether it's launching a private label brand, streamlining operations or bringing on new team members, we're there to provide support, best practices and ideas. We're good listeners, and help them navigate the rapidly evolving industry and find the best way to reach their goals. Our job is to bring value and solutions to the table to ease their roadblocks and help them succeed.

Who is an ideal fit for your firm?
Our ideal candidate thrives on continuous growth and insatiable curiosity. They see each achievement as a stepping stone to the next challenge, not an end goal. We want to accelerate their journey by providing the necessary support to reach their goals faster. We focus on experienced advisors who target specific market segments. These achievers already stand out in their fields, and we act as the catalyst to propel them to new heights. Instead of spreading resources on novices, we focus on enhancing the skills of established professionals. This selective approach has been key to our success, and allows us to offer targeted support that makes a real difference in careers. Our ideal candidate is a high achiever who, despite a growth mindset, might lack the resources and opportunities to advance further. We seek partners ready for exceptional success but need the right support to unlock their full potential.

What mistakes do financial professionals make when evaluating or joining a new firm?
Many times, financial professionals are focused in immediate details and neglect to step back and look at the big picture in our industry. For instance, AI for lead generation is revolutionizing how leads are acquired, yet some are slow to adopt these new technologies due to a focus on day-to-day activities. A critical oversight is not investing time in learning about these advancements or engaging with peers through study groups for shared insights. This narrow focus can be risky, as opportunities for growth or improvement might be overlooked until it's too late.

At our firm, we adopt a proactive and partnership-based approach to break down these common barriers. Unlike others that react slowly and are entangled in bureaucracy, we encourage direct communication and swift action to address our partners' challenges. Our lean team can efficiently connect financial professionals with the resources and networks they need. Our hands-on experience as former advisors informs our approach, emphasizing problem-solving over micromanagement.

What has been the greatest achievement in your career?
The most significant milestone for me has been becoming a father. While it may not be directly related to my career, the realization that my career choice allows me to be actively present for my family has been incredibly rewarding. To me, this represents a profound success.

In addition to embracing fatherhood, witnessing the success of the individuals we onboard has been immensely gratifying, culminating in my recognition as the Business Development Director of the Year. Observing our financial professionals achieve their most successful years and expand and flourish their brands has been exciting to watch. This acknowledgment, earning the title, marked a significant achievement. Without our partners, I often jest that I'd merely be a traveling insurance salesperson.



Is there a particular quote or philosophy that guides your life?
I'm known as the Buffalo, a moniker that inspired the buffalo painting in my office. This nickname traces back to a powerful lesson from a mentor during my early career days. He told me a story that profoundly impacted me, highlighting the stark contrast between cattle and bison's responses to storms on the prairie, which serves as a metaphor for handling life's challenges.

When a storm looms over the prairie, cattle and bison react oppositely. Cattle, upon spotting an approaching storm, tend to run away, attempting to escape. However, this only prolongs their suffering as the storm inevitably overtakes them, extending their time spent in the storm. Bison, conversely, embody a more heroic spirit. Their instinct drives them to charge directly at the storm, facing it head-on. This approach allows them to emerge from the storm more quickly, minimizing their discomfort and more quickly enjoying the fresh fields on the storm's other side.

The lesson here guides my life philosophy: "Run towards the storm." This reminds me to face challenges directly, understanding that confronting difficulties is often the quickest path to resolution and growth.

How do you enjoy spending your free time?
We embrace the outdoors and find joy in walking, hiking, running and beach activities. Additionally, we like to explore museums and enjoy music and art. Really, just celebrating the richness of the human experience!

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