CEO Jeff Petersen Announces Semi-Retirement After Serving More Than 33 Years

Jeff's Retirement Announcement

It is with mixed emotions that this is my final CEO Report. It is with great pride in our Petersen Hastings team that this transition is taking place. Petersen Hastings has a team of over twenty dedicated employees that continue to demonstrate their abilities to take care of our ongoing client needs. While spending several years researching the root causes of business successes and failures, I came across the following quote that I think about almost daily:

“It’s not the job of a CEO to decide when they are ready to retire, it is their job to prepare their successor and determine when they are ready to step up to become CEO.”

As of January 1, 2020, I will become semi-retired and will be stepping down as CEO. I will continue to help clients achieve their goals as a Senior Wealth Advisor in a supportive role, and I will continue to participate as a member of our investment committee. I also look forward to continuing to provide my experience and expertise, as needed.

Scott Sarber will add CEO to his current President role. Scott has been in the role of President since 2013, and he has successfully been managing the day to day operations at Petersen Hastings ever since. Scott has been my colleague at Petersen Hastings since October 1995, and we have worked closely together ever since. I am most proud to call him a very good friend. Petersen Hastings is in excellent hands with Scott at the helm.

Petersen Hastings currently has 6 shareholders, including me. For the past several years, the Petersen Hastings Board of Directors has consisted of Scott Sarber and I. As of January 1, 2020, it will now consist of Scott Sarber, Matt Neff, Blaine Carr, and Matthew Petersen. 

We have worked hard at developing a succession plan to build on the strength of the organization, and now we are well prepared for, at least, the next decade. This means the “Family Values” that my father instilled in the organization over 57 years ago are alive and well! Dad just wanted to help others, and he felt that his skills were well suited to do this by forming Petersen Hastings (previously Benefits Northwest) in 1962.

In Simon Sinek’s recent book, “The Infinite Game,” he noted that according to a study by “McKinsey,” the average life expectancy of an S&P 500 company has declined since the 1950’s from an average of 61 years to less than 18 years today. It is also implied by Mr. Sinek that having an “infinite vs finite” mindset as an organization is the root cause of this success. This means being focused for the long run and addressing client needs versus primarily being focused on non-client related organization metrics (short term visioning). Think of Apple creating new products to address customer needs, not to just build the best product and then create the need.

A few examples of Petersen Hastings being focused on helping others includes but is not limited to, an attainable minimum balance needed to become a client, family fee schedules, fee-only investment management, comprehensive financial planning and investments, trust services and consulting. We believe that to help others we need to have a positive work environment for our team. We have been proud to be recognized during the first two inaugural years of “Investment News” Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors (2018 and 2019).

If my father was here to witness this transition, I can only imagine how proud he would be of our organization for what we have accomplished and where we are headed. He would be quick to point out that our growth as an organization allows us to expand our help to others, help that continues to evolve in complexity in this ever-changing world. He would also be proud to see his grandson, Matthew Petersen, become a shareholder in Petersen Hastings and a 3rd generation Petersen in the business.

Finally, the transition will mean that I will have increasingly less interaction with clients and our team. This is an emotional challenge, but I am comforted by the knowledge that we have the best team ever in place at Petersen Hastings and our clients will continue to be well taken care of and our team will continue to have the opportunity for growth.

To our clients and team, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for this journey of over 33 years! Best wishes to all for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!