Confluence Financial Partners is committed to building a firm that endures – respecting our roots and striving to live our mission today and in the future: Maximizing Lives and Legacies.
In this episode, Greg Weimer, CEO, and Katie Montagazzi, CFP®, Director of Marketing, discuss the practice of envisioning what Confluence needs to look like in the future to serve clients and the steps we are taking today to get there.
Greg: Hello and welcome to the Imagine That Podcast. I’m your host Greg Weimer, founder, partner, and wealth manager at Confluence Financial Partners. Each month, we’ll explore new ways to help you maximize your life and your legacy and meet some extraordinary people along the way. So if you’re looking to get more out of your life today and legacy tomorrow, let’s get started.
Katie: Welcome everybody. Welcome Greg. I want to take this time to just introduce who we are. I’m Katie Montagazzi, director of marketing here at Confluence and Greg Weimer, CEO. So we just want to welcome everybody. We have taken a little time off from the podcast and we wanted to share what we’re talking about internally here and what we’re thinking about at Confluence. So that being said, we have taken a lot of time to say our mission is maximizing lives and legacies of our clients, associates, community, and what does Confluence need to look like in the future to accomplish that. So if we reverse and say what are we doing today so that in the future we are that firm. So I just wanted to pose that question.
Greg: Yeah, so a lot of that question. So I’d say two things that I think about in that question is, one, there’s a lot going on in the world. So when you say maximize people’s lives and legacies, the responsibility with everything going on in the world is incredible. I mean, you have AI, you have things changing, right? And so there’s a lot going on. So we just need to embrace that. We need to embrace it and we need to prepare.
So one, there’s a lot going on in the world and we need to think about that. State true to our core values. There’s no question, but be ready to change and embrace technology and new resources that are available that help our clients. So that’s certainly something we’ve been doing. And then when you say maximize people’s lives and legacies, we’re saying, okay, and we have groups getting together saying, okay, prove it. So if we say maximize lives and legacies, how will we know in some period of time, five or 10 years that we’re actually living that mission? So as you know, with goals, you have to make them quantifiable, measurable, and they have to be time specific. So in different parts of the company, we’re spending time saying, okay, yep, we’re maximizing lives and legacies. That’s what it’s all about. But then we say prove it. And we’re all talking about what those proof points could look like.
Katie: Yeah. So to that point, as far as the next generation of leaders at Confluence, we get together once a month, the directors, and we work through Confluence’s 10, five year plan and then drill that down into what we need to do this quarter, what projects do we need to do? And those are some of the meetings that are happening internally. Yeah. Do you want to talk a little bit about Project Uber?
Greg: Oh, yeah. Yeah, so we, yeah, yeah, Project Uber. So the reason we’re calling it Project Uber, and I don’t know if you or if the listeners are aware of most probably are, what a medallion is.
A medallion. I was not. You were not. Okay, so we should say what it is. So a medallion is what you have to own to be able to drive a taxi cab in New York City. And I remember when I traveled back forth to New York City a lot, I just remember being amazed by the price of a, the price that’s around probably around 2013, something like that, they got to like a million dollars. So to get to, to drive a taxi, million dollars.
Katie: So it was And this is sort of, I, I use the analogy of after I learned about what this was, it’s sort of like a liquor license for a ride. 100%. It’s a liquor license for a taxi to be a tax.
Greg: 100%. So, so a million dollars, right? And that was like, you take out a loan and that would be your, that would be your franchise. That would be your McDonald’s. That’s a, that’s, of them went up for sale.
And I think the highest one went for like $136,000 and most of them didn’t even get a bit. And so you look at that and you go, Okay, wait a minute. What happened? Like, like having a taxi in New York City was like an awesome thing. And then the world changes, right? And then someone says, hey, there’s this thing called Uber. We have an idea.
Instead of standing in the rain, you can text us that sounds better than a taxi. They’re gone. No more need for a medallion. So, and you could do blockbuster and Netflix, you could do that with a whole bunch. So, we put together this group called Project Uber, which I think is like seven of our associates. And we’re saying, okay, what does the next 10 years look like?
What does great look like in the next 10 years? How do we for our clients make sure that we’re Uber and not taxi? And how do we continue to add services and make sure that we’re really doing a great job on money management? So, and so then we think, you know, Project Uber will lead the way in that discussion.
So, that’s one of the organizations. We also have, but we also have like AI, like AI, artificial intelligence. Okay, so we can embrace that. We can use that. We use it for our clients.
Katie: I think, I just want to say, I think AI to a lot of people, it’s a scary thing. Yeah. It’s been marketed on this as a scary thing. Instead of being scared of it, we’re embracing it. 100%.
Greg: Now, it can be frightening, right? I mean, if it’s out of control, but, you know, there’s a lot of information there. We want to harness it. We want to use it. So we have a group that that’s what they’re thinking about. You know, AI, how do we use it and where do we go from there?
Katie: And I do on a small scale. I know a lot of associates here use it to just kind of like brainstorm. Yeah. Think about things and work through ideas
Greg: and things like that matter. Yeah. And I would say to the listeners, get on chat, GPT, play with it and like say, okay, you know, what could what could the topic be? Give me a topic. What should I for breakfast? What you have for breakfast? And then you say, okay. And then it says, then you could say like, okay, give me something a little more tasty. Could you give me that? Could you take out car? Well, like whatever that is, it’s sort of amazing how you can keep manipulating it. Yeah.
Katie: It’s like a friend that’s not really a person. Yeah. Yeah. So kind of coming back a little bit, the next generation of leaders, when we say leaders, we are hope is that everybody at Convloads is a leader. It’s not just the CEO, the COO and that. So what are we doing internally to build associates? Yeah.
Greg: So we owe it to our clients to build a firm that endorse. And we have to respect the roots of where we come from. We have to make sure we’re performing on a daily basis on behalf of our clients at the best of our ability. But then we also need to make sure that we’re here for the children and grandchildren of our current clients. And so we are spending time thinking about how do we make sure in 20, 30, 40 and 50 years, and I think that’s so much fun to think like that. How do we prepare for that? One of the skills that’s difficult, the most difficult I think to teach is to teach people how to think strategically.
So right, how do you think about five or 10 years from now and make it happen? So we have a group of people, we call them the next generation of leaders. I’m not in that group.
But in that group, and none of us are going anywhere. But this is like, we’re thinking about 20 years from now for our next generation, saying, okay, how should we prepare for the next 10 and 20 years? And so they’re putting together plans and they’re thinking about that and they’re meeting regularly. So that’s our next gen group.
Katie: I think it’s important to know just because, again, maybe you’re not in the next gen group, but you’re part of the process. Thinking strategically. We have the more seasoned associates that have perspective. They’ve been in the industry for 30 plus years and then we have fresh people right out of college. We have Sophia, she just grew up a few years ago and she’s spunky and she’s smart and we want to make sure that she grows
Katie: So, I guess to wrap things up a little bit. Our goal for this podcast really is to give everybody insights as to what is happening inside of Confluence. Yeah. So, we’ll be continuing the conversation. I guess if listeners have any interesting thoughts about the future or what they think maybe we should consider, we’d be happy to hear that. We’re always wanting to hear from people.
Greg: 100% and I would love to have a conversation on what we’re doing in our business in more detail if it helps other businesses. Or I mean, we would love to do that. Or I will tell you, if you’re thinking about this type of stuff in your own personal life, I would say, I just read a book. I just listened to a book. Here’s a hack for you. If you listen to a book, it’s become your future self now by, remember that one? Who wrote that?
Katie: Dr. Benjamin Hardy. Dr.
Greg: Benjamin Hardy, become your future self now. So it’ll be out, it’s out. But what I do, I read the books, but then sometimes what I’ll do if I’m running around traveling, I’ll listen to the book on tape and then I put it on one and a half times. So the amount of information you consume goes up. So I’d encourage you to get this book. It really helps you think about the future and really challenges you to become your future self as quickly as possible. So I find it to be valuable if this is the kind of stuff you like to think about.
Katie: That’s great takeaway. That’s sort of what we’re doing with Confluence. Who’s our future self and how are we doing that?
Greg: And how do we accelerate it? Like how do we, one of the things the book says, here’s another thing just for the listeners. It encourages you to say, OK, who’s your future self in 10 years? And you almost have to like separate from who you are today and really think creatively about what it could be in 10 years. Then I did this. And then that person that is 10 years older, wiser, whatever, writes a letter back to your current self. And so my 68 year old Greg wrote a letter to my 58 year old Greg. And I found it incredibly valuable. So there’s another exercise that you do, the kind of things you want to think about that I’d encourage people to do.
Katie: Awesome. Well, thank you, Greg. Thanks. This was enjoyable. Enjoy it. Thanks everybody for listening. We will, we’ll be back soon. Appreciate it.