When I decided that my former employer could no longer provide the tools my clients needed as they approached retirement in an ever more complex economy, I knew I would need an independent broker-dealer. Yet where would I find the impossible combination of a full-service brokerage and a staff who would understand and value my clients as much as I did? Wall Street firms had tools, but not necessarily the staff. Small boutique firms had the staff, but not a complete set of tools.
I’d heard good things about Cambridge from former colleagues but had no idea how to approach them. I didn’t even know how to make serious inquiries without the news getting back to my employer, so I did nothing.
Then, on one particularly frustrating day, Cambridge found me.
I’d spent the morning wrestling with bureaucratic alligators. While I was hardly in the mood to be sociable at a lunch ‘n’ learn, I’d made an obligation and I didn’t want to disappoint my host. I arrived just in time and took the last seat available. The nice-looking, youngish fellow next to me offered me his hand and introduced himself, “Hello, I’m Jason and this is my wife Dawn.”
The presentation began and Jason and I took turns answering the presenter’s questions. We each liked what the other had to contribute. This was rather momentous because advisors tend to be wary of one another, rather like kitty cats meeting each other for the first time.
Our meals arrived and the waiter tried to give me Dawn’s meal. “I think that goes on the other side of this gentleman,” I told him.
Jason leaned over and murmured, “They were trying to give you what they thought you should have instead of what you really wanted.”
If I had not spent the morning arguing with a particularly annoying individual in our brokerage unit, I would have let the comment pass. But, as it was, I quipped: “Hmm, kind of like my employer.”
Jason startled and nearly choked. “Did I mention that I’m actively recruiting advisors for Cambridge Investment Research, perhaps we might discuss this further sometime soon?”
Recently, Dawn recalled “. . . and for the rest of the meal, all I saw was Jason’s back. He focused on Martha like a radio telescope.”