In the run-up to naming the winners of the inaugural RIA Intel Awards on September 14, 2022, RIA Intel will publish short features highlighting the accomplishments of this year’s nominees and Rising Stars.
Shannon Eusey, a nominee for CEO of the Year in the inaugural RIA Intel Awards, founded Beacon Pointe Advisors in 2002. Serving foundations, retirement plans and private clients, her company is now the largest female-led RIA firm in the U.S., with more than 275 employees across dozens of offices and an AUM of roughly $26 billion – all attributes that helped Beacon Pointe Advisors acquire nominations in two award categories (Growth Leader of the Year, and RIA of the Year – More Than $1 Billion AUM). We spoke to Eusey about the greatest challenges in her sector and what she’s learned along the way. Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
What motivated you to get into wealth management/coaching?
I was fortunate to have a father who loved his own financial career and helping others. After retiring from the Navy, he followed his passion by working with foundations and endowments, as well as with private wealth clients. Our dinner table conversations often centered around how clients were able to achieve their financial goals through proper planning and investing. I started my career on the investment management side of the business, and I actually wrote the business plan for Beacon Pointe during graduate school at UCLA, because I believed there was an opportunity to create a something different by focusing solely on the best interests of our clients.
What’s the greatest challenge facing your sector this year?
I think the industry will be challenged to retain assets as control of money moves either to the next generation or to more women, although I believe that both of those scenarios can also provide significant opportunities. I think the new advertising rule will be interesting. It might not be a challenge, but there is a lot of opportunity and excitement for the doors it opens, but also elements that will require additional clarity in the days, months, and years to come.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
There are so many things we can all spend our time doing, and with technology we could spend a full day falling into the e-mail and social media trap and get virtually nothing accomplished. A big mistake is thinking that activity results in positive business outcomes. As UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, “Never mistake activity for achievement.” My goal each day is to be disciplined with time so that I can help to achieve results. The other lesson I’ve learned, which is equally important, is that luck favors the prepared. You have to do your homework.
The inaugural RIA Intel Awards are a celebration of financial advisors, wealth management firms, and industry leaders. Winners will be announced on RIAIntel.com on September 14, 2022 and will be honored in-person at upcoming RIA Institute Forums.
Caitlin Keating (@Caitkeating) is a freelancer at RIA Intel and is based in New York City.