CEO Report: First Quarter

Jeff Petersen CEO Report - Petersen Hastings

Over the next several years, when we look back on the first quarter of 2018, I believe it will be remembered as one of the most significant periods in the history of Petersen Hastings. Why?  We executed a formal succession plan to provide ownership continuity at Petersen Hastings for at least the next 10-20 years, and Petersen Hastings was also recognized as one of the Top 50 “Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors” in the United States by InvestmentNews.

Effective January 1, 2018, Josh Chittenden, a wealth advisor at Petersen Hastings since 2006, became the first new shareholder at Petersen Hastings since 2007. Josh has been a dedicated team member, embracing the values that are the foundation for the Petersen Hastings culture. Josh most recently demonstrated his leadership skills through 2017 as the Chair of our Investment Committee. He is skillful and hard-working to insure clients receive the excellence in wealth management that Petersen Hastings is committed to deliver. You can read the full press release on our “In the News” section of the website.

Having a succession plan in place also reduces risk to ongoing client relationships. Clients develop a relationship with Petersen Hastings over a period that may span years or decades. Mutual trust is developed and earned over this period and an unexpected end to this relationship due to an untimely death or disability or the exit of a key employee can disrupt years of relationship building. That is why everyone at Petersen Hastings works as part of a team and why our teams include shareholder advisors that may be 20-30 years away from retirement. We believe this is important as part of our commitment and fiduciary role for our clients.

With the succession plan in place, we continue to expect to be a Tri-Cities based organization. As the largest independent wealth management organization headquartered in eastern Washington (by assets under management), we believe it is good for our clients, our Tri-Cities community, and Washington state for us to continue to be employee owned and not part of an organization with a home office and/or decision-making coming from outside of the Tri-Cities or Washington state.  We also embrace our unique culture of being a hybrid of a family and non-family owned business.

In 2017, one of Petersen Hastings’ top initiatives was being recognized as a top employer in the state of Washington by the year 2020. The goal was to develop a series of actionable metrics that we could benchmark and measure on an ongoing basis to help us in achieving recognition as one of the top places to work. The philosophy was if we take great care of our team members, they will continue to take great care of our clients. Our recruiting process of new team members would be enhanced, and we would continue to raise the bar on our competitive capabilities. Late in 2017, InvestmentNews, a weekly publication for investment advisors, rolled out a new initiative to identify the Top 50 “Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors” in the United States. They were engaging an organization that specializes in evaluating the best employers in different industries to help them choose the inaugural list of top employers in our industry. After our Leadership Team discussed the application process, we decided to proceed with their process and apply. Our hope was to better understand the key actionable metrics and receive a report on where we stacked up against our competitors, not just in Washington state, but the United States. We would then know what areas were our strengths that should be reinforced and what areas we need to prioritize for improvement.

In mid-January, we were notified that we had been selected as one of the 50 firms across the United States to be included in their inaugural list! In addition, we were the only firm recognized for this honor in Washington state, as well as the entire Northwest. Petersen Hastings will be represented in May at the InvestementNews awards ceremony in Chicago by Scott Sarber, President, and Lynn Ramos, Director of Human Capital. We will continue our “Best Employer” initiative by learning from the final scoring and targeting our efforts to become an even better employer.

We strongly believe our strategic advantage is our people. Our succession planning progress and being recognized as one of the best workplaces in the United States for advisors is consistent with this strategic advantage, and we will continue to work hard to “raise the bar” even higher!

Jeffrey Petersen, CFP, AIF
CEO/Sr. Wealth Advisor