Forum Spotlight: Q&A with Senior Vice President and Market Leader at Lenox Advisors, Daniel Oh
As our September Forum approaches, we sat down with Daniel Oh from Lenox Advisors to discuss characteristics of those in traditional careers, job hunting as a student, and the future of the industry. Oh is a panelist for our September Forum, “Building Careers in Wealth Management — Traditional Careers?”
The upcoming Forum is taking place Tuesday, September 12 from 2-3 pm ET. The virtual event is free to attend and will dive into the traditional careers segment from the 12 Tribes of Financial Planning model. Register to attend here.
What’s your advice for those considering a career in this sector?
For aspiring new advisors:
- Look for an organization that invests in your comprehensive development. The industry does a relatively good job educating on subject matter expertise such as investment strategy, tax code, financial planning and investment/insurance offerings, but tends to ignore personal growth. Make sure you don’t ignore your inner game. If you ever speak or work with a successful advisor, you’ll quickly realize our business is largely psychological. Invest in learning emotional intelligence, psychological grit, understanding the marketplace and improving communication skills to better connect with your audience and provide more meaningful guidance to the clients we serve.
- Find an organization that gives you opportunities to grow and magnifies your strengths and know that some organizations are looking for a person to fit a specific mold. Understand yourself and find the organization that is aligned with your long term aspirations. Many advisors start in one aspect of the business and grow into other roles.
- Most importantly, surround yourself in an environment that gives you the best chance to succeed. Empirical research shows that advisors in formal teams are 120-135% more likely to be successful in the industry by working with other like-minded professionals. Find the right team, because “iron sharpens iron.”
What are the major opportunities you see for young professionals entering the industry seeking a traditional career?
Succession planning for senior advisors:
When the average advisor is in the twilight of their career, the industry has struggled to develop the next generation. It’s important to note that there are some great organizations developing the future advisor. Make sure you do your homework and find the right organization to help with a new advisor’s success.
Incorporation of new technologies:
Robotics and AI have significantly impacted how we operate. Clients’ expectations have risen and the only way to meet that expectation is to incorporate technology and tools to remain competitive.
Challenges include learning and understanding deferred gratification and finding “real answers:”
Robotics and AI also serve as competing interests in our industry that will automate simple tasks. Emotional intelligence and psychological strength will be the key to navigating the complex world we live in, yet emotional intelligence post pandemic is on the decline. Learning how people operate and think will be essential to growth in the wealth management space.
How did you get into the wealth management industry? What first attracted you to the space and why have you stayed?
After leaving an aspiring legal career to help loved ones who were struggling financially, I wanted to pursue an opportunity that would allow me to determine my own financial success — to help others avoid the pitfalls I witnessed while also determining my own professional future.
The first couple of years I had some ups and downs, but my company ultimately put me in a position where the great days significantly outweighed the bad. Around the same time, I noticed a lot of advisors entering their careers, but far more departing. I believed I could do a much better job of recruiting, training, and developing new advisors. My attention subsequently turned towards wanting to help others experience all the incredible things I had experienced along the way.
My mission has evolved from not only helping others to avoid the financial challenges I faced as I grew into a leader, but helping new advisors grow and develop in their careers so they can enjoy all the things our business has to offer without suffering through the 10+ year learning curve. Our industry has become my calling and purpose to serve, guide, and mentor clients and advisors.
What do you see for the future of the traditional career sector?
With the emergence of AI and robo-advisors, I believe that human advisors will have to become more emotionally intelligent. Creativity and humanizing the process will become ever more critical. Robotics and automation will undoubtedly simplify financial planning, asset management and risk management. But I believe that because you can’t build an algorithm to deal with unpredictable human emotions, that’s on us, as an industry, to become more compassionate, influential and effective in our communication skills.
The evolution begins with helping our Industry grow internally, so they can more effectively influence externally. The only way to protect our clients is to be able to understand their thoughts and manage their emotions in a way that gets them to the right decision. While AI and robo-advisors can build out and automate objective plans, subjectivity is the realm where human advisors will maintain their positive mark on society and make the bottom line difference.
Daniel Oh is a Senior Vice President and Market Leader at Lenox Advisors. He is currently responsible for the growth of Lenox’s West Coast offices through efforts in recruiting, training, and development. In addition to his management responsibilities, Daniel is committed to building long-term relationships with his clients while helping them reach their goals. Drawing on his knowledge, experience, and world-class tools, he helps build financial freedom for his clients. Daniel’s clients consist of trusted advisors, attorneys and CPAs, high-net-worth executives, and business owners.
Prior to joining Lenox, Daniel spent 15 years at AXA/Equitable Advisors. During his time there, Daniel helped co-manage one of the Firm’s largest operations across Southern California. He was consistently recognized as one of the Firm’s top leaders, earning recognition as an “Elite Leader, National Builders Trophy Winner and Management Leadership Award” recipient. Daniel has also given his time as a member of GAMA and its Foundation via the eBooks and Special Projects Committee. He continues to help build the next generation of advisors and leaders in our industry. Daniel attended the University of California, Irvine graduating Cum Laude and earning a bachelor’s degree in Criminology, Law, and Society. While at UCI, Daniel also graduated Phi Betta Kappa. Daniel holds his Series 7, 66, and 24 licenses.