Q&A: An interview with Chris Haynes

Chris HaynesWe spent some time with Chris Haynes, an advisor development coach with the Advisor Mastery Program, to learn how the program can benefit veterans who are considering a career in financial services.

Q: How did you come to join Raymond James?

A: Prior to coming to Raymond James, I was working in international education, helping globalize curriculums, designing study abroad programs, recruiting for study abroad, doing international research – that kind of thing. I really enjoyed it, but when it was time for a change, I started looking at the skills that I could apply to the for-profit world and Raymond James just kept coming to the forefront. And when I read about the Advisor Mastery Program and how it was structured in terms of coaching, training and facilitation – all of those aspects that are based on adult-learning principles – it really resonated.

Then I met the team and it just blossomed from there.

Q: What is the Advisor Mastery Program?

A: The Advisor Mastery Program is a comprehensive training program for new advisors to the firm. We’re really trying to build out those core structures that make for a successful advisor here at Raymond James, and we accomplish that through a variety of tactics and strategies. We use a blended approach. We have our online learning platform, where trainees have access to real-time assignments they can then use in real life. They don’t have to wait for a home office visit or come all the way here to St. Pete to get that information – they can get it in an online learning setting.

We also provide in-person trainings, where we connect with our new advisors to hash out the details and refine their practice as they go along. The third component, which I’d be remiss not to mention, is our coaching. All of our Advisor Mastery Program participants have access to group coaching from the start, but as they get more familiar with the program they move into individualized coaching. We have a team of six talented coaches that can dig in and uncover what trainees’ motivations are for being a financial advisor and how to capitalize on it moving forward.

Q: Why do veterans do so well in the Advisor Mastery Program, and financial services generally?

A: There are so many transferrable skills that veterans bring to the table. But the Advisor Mastery Program provides them with structure that’s a core element for success for our veterans. It lets them know, hey, you’re going to be supported through this entire program, but you know the mission. There’s no ambiguity, no smoke and mirrors. This is what we’re going after, and this is how you can get there.

When we look at some of the key ingredients for successful Advisor Mastery Program trainees, we boil it down to three things. The first is motivation. What is your ignition? What gets you up every day? I think the veterans’ approach to serving others is something that relates directly to this field and to this position in particular. The next thing is deep practice. Are they willing to push themselves? Without a doubt, that’s something our veterans tend to lean into. They’re always willing to get better and bring others along too. The final thing is are they coachable? Are they willing to get different perspectives and execute on some of those things that are going make them a better financial advisor? That’s where veterans really stand out from some of their peers in the cohort and what makes for a successful advisor all the way around.

Q:What’s the connection between the Advisor Mastery Program and VFAN?

A: One of the things that drew me to Raymond James is our inclusion networks and how we help underrepresented communities within the financial services industry. We’re still in the infant stages of our collaboration with VFAN, but what we’re trying to do is develop a structure that can help Advisor Mastery Program participants support one another. So as our veterans self-identify, we want to provide an empowerment program for them to share the concepts they’re learning in the Advisor Mastery Program, things they’re running into in the field, and just have a space to share information and build an internal community.

So we’ve laid out a plan for our veterans and we’re excited to start pressing play on some of those buttons in the near future. We’re going to start hosting resource groups where we’ll bring in our veterans to discuss a specific theme, but also to just have an open conversation about where they are and what they’re seeing as they progress through the program.

Q: What do you enjoy about working with veterans?

A: That these advisors are clearly in it not for themselves, but for the betterment of others, is something I relate to. Where can we have the most impact? When I talk with vets, they’re in that same mindset of helping others and serving their community – they’re the ones who sit on every board and raise their hands.

The thing that resonates with me is that they’re doers. There’s no avoidance behavior. They really buy into what our motto is, which is “Get better every day.” They exemplify that tenfold in my experience here at Raymond James.

This piece was featured in Veteran Voice, an annual publication from the Veteran Financial Advisors Network. View the latest.

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