Rising Star: Dan Wanous, Business Development Officer, Thrivent Advisor Network

A New Year’s Eve party with his parents helped Dan Wanous discover his passion for wealth management.

Dan Wanous (Courtesy Photo)

Dan Wanous

(Courtesy Photo)

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.

Ever since the nonprofit financial services organization Thrivent launched its new hybrid platform, the Thrivent Advisor Network, in 2019, business development officer Dan Wanous hasn’t had much time to slow down. In the wake of the pandemic, the now $6.5 billion AUM firm, which serves more than 12,000 households and has become a resource for independent financial advisors, has decided to get the Thrivent name out there again. Wanous spoke to us about the opportunities and challenges that have come his way over the years, edited for clarity and length.

What motivated you to get into wealth management?

During my junior year of college, I was at a New Year’s Eve party with my parents, and I spent most of the night talking to one of their friends, who happened to run an RIA. I ended up interning for him and absolutely loved it. It was certainly formative and a great introduction into our industry.

What are some of the challenges and opportunities in wealth management today?

It’s no secret that there’s a large demographic shift happening right now in wealth management. We’re seeing a lot of advisors leaving the industry. I think the firms that are going to be successful in the future are the ones that are effective at attracting and training new professionals to be great financial advisors. COVID fundamentally changed our plans, especially when it comes to building relationships with advisors. But industry events have begun to pop up again, so it’s kind of a new season for our business and a good time to reintroduce ourselves to advisors.

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What is one big lesson you have learned since you began your career?

I’ve been reading a lot of researcher Brené Brown recently, and she has a quote in one of her books that has changed almost all of my personal and professional relationships. She said, “We like to think that we’re rational beings who occasionally have emotions,” when actually, “we’re emotional, feeling beings who, on rare occasions, think.” She has this little test where she’ll say, well, in this situation, I’m feeling my emotions at about a 10, I’m paying attention to them at about a 5, and I understand them at about a 2. Even just being able to go through that exercise helps me pay more attention to my emotions and to hopefully understand them better.

The inaugural RIA Intel Awards is a celebration of financial advisors, wealth management firms, and industry leaders. Winners will be on announced on RIAIntel.com September 14, 2022 and will be honored in-person at upcoming RIA Institute Forums.

If you have any questions, please contact your relationship manager at II or RIA Intel.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the winners would be announced at a dinner and ceremony at the Metropolitan Club of New York on September 14, 2022.

However, due to an unanticipated scheduling conflict with the venue, we regret that Institutional Investor’s inaugural RIA Intel Awards Dinner & Gala on September 14 in New York will not take place. We apologize for the inconvenience.

The Awards themselves remain unchanged. Winners will still be on announced on RIAIntel.com on September 14, and will be honored in-person at upcoming RIA Institute Forums.

Each winner will also be the subject of a feature story on RIAIntel.com.

Caitlin Keating (@Caitkeating) is a freelancer at RIA Intel and based in New York City.

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