Wealth Management: John Woolley, Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer
Each issue, we’ll feature one of TPG’s business divisions to gain a high-level view of their work. This quarter, we spoke with John Woolley about how the Wealth Management team is building and innovating.
“Money is an emotional thing,” says Woolley. “One of the greatest rewards of our job is being able to maintain extremely high-trust relationships with our clients, because the services that we offer are personal.” Our Wealth Management team specializes in investment management, financial planning, individual life and disability, and business exit planning. But what they really deal in, explains Woolley, is trust.
“It’s all about trust for our clients. COVID taught us that the need for a trusted advisor is greater than ever. It’s important work when people are still able to trust you with their wealth without the face-to-face meetings they were used to.”
In a prophetic move in January 2020, after months of planning, Woolley’s division transitioned to a paperless environment, mere weeks before the COVID pandemic changed the way all industries do business. However, the loss of in-person meetings with clients, a standard practice in wealth management, created additional challenges that the team had to overcome. “Our clients run the gamut from those who are technically savvy to those who have low technical abilities. But everyone realized there was no other option. And because we had planned ahead, it worked.”
FOCUSED ON GROWTH (AND TRUST)
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” (origins unknown). This adage comes up a lot in their work. The Wealth Management division is very much “team-centric,” Woolley explains. “Clients know they can depend on all TPG Wealth Management members, and that they in turn are well-known by our team.”
Despite COVID-related obstacles and other challenges, Wooley says, “We are on a roll, with tremendous growth over the past few years. In 2022, we made sure we grew purposefully and wisely. We have good chemistry, with the right people and the right fit. We ensure that those we add to our team believe in our mantra, which is that ‘we do work that matters.’ And that we can trust each other.”
Once again, it comes back to trust – but perhaps a close second is maintaining a good humor, something for which the division is known by their co-workers. “We take TPG’s core value to ‘live well and have fun’ pretty seriously. It keeps us engaged with our clients, as well as with ourselves as a team.”
INNOVATION IN WEALTH MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING
“There is a constant drumbeat of change – new products, investment tools, industry regulations, compliance issues,” says Woolley. “We are communicating new ways of thinking to clients, especially business advisors, so they know we speak their language. For example, we have two Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) consultants on staff [Woolley included] who have been trained to advise owners of privately held companies on their succession plans. Transitioning one’s business is the most important decision an owner can make.”
Other innovations include using DocuSign for paperless transactions, pushing education out to clients through various types of media, and working with other TPG divisions to better assist existing and prospective clients.
“Yet the biggest innovation for us is being able to meet in person again, at the office,” says Woolley. “Trust is best built from person to person. That’s never changed, and I don’t think it will.”
WHAT’S COMING IN 2023?
In short, Woolley’s goal is acceleration. “Our team is right and our offerings are comprehensive. We’ve built a great engine here in Wealth Management; now it’s time to get the word out.”
If you’d like a word with John or his team members, contact email@example.com.