We’d like to introduce you to another client who has been with us and part of our success since the beginning of our days as Transform.
Steve, a new business owner, was a wealth manager and had four employees in 1994 when he joined several classes at the Sandler Training Institute where Mary Anne and Theresa were both employed. Theresa worked with Steve one-on-one, guiding him to set up his new firm in the most productive and efficient way. Like many of our clients, Steve is an entrepreneur who knew what his talents and gifts were and where he needed to ask for help. He reached out to Transform, Inc. to partner with him to realize the vision he had for the Firm, and now 28 years later, Transform continues to work with Cassaday & Company and has assisted in the Firm’s growth from 4 individuals to today’s 75+ talented professionals, and from a new business to one that is regularly recognized both as a top independent wealth management firm locally and nationally and as a great place to work.
Our first assignment with Steve began with helping him hire and develop additional wealth managers and staff members. Steve has a real knack for hiring talented and high-performing team members, and Transform has provided executive one-on-one coaching, business development and client relationship management strategies to guide these professionals in developing the supportive work habits and communication skills they need to be successful in their positions. Steve’s investment in his people, providing them with the tools, training, and guidance needed to position them for success is a hallmark of his legacy and has yielded so many successes. Just to name a few of those successes — Allison began as Steve’s Executive Assistant 20 years ago and is now the Managing Partner and COO; Carmen began in Investment Research and is now the V.P. of Advanced Strategies; and Justin, Chris, and Chris started as advisors-in-training and are now Partners with Steve in the business.
As Cassaday grew and added staff, Steve was pulled in too many directions. He believed that as CEO he had to show the way, so over many years he has sought guidance and input from Transform on how to structure the business so that he could shift from the role of owner and decision maker on all matters to focusing more fully on what he does best — lead the Firm, develop new advisors, and manage and grow the Firm’s clients’ portfolios.
We recommended that he form a leadership team to run the day-to-day management of the business. He took this advice, and in 2008, a leadership team was formed with capable managers who are able to handle many of the day-to-day issues and concerns that arise, train and grow their teams, and only escalate to Steve issues that require his guidance and decision making. Steve developed confidence and trust in this team and found that he could bring “things that kept him up at night” to them and gain wise counsel and input from them.
Over the years, Transform has continued to advise Steve and the Firm’s leadership team on succession planning, designed and recommended innovative programs to fully engage staff in the setting and meeting of the annual goals for the Firm, provided sales coaching and training to Advisors and financial planning teams, developed company-wide training programs for onboarding and team development, advised on organizational structure planning and talent management programs, and worked with managers and team members on efficiency and operational projects. Through his vision and with our support, Steve and the Leadership team have created a culture that engages all Cassaday & Company employees to “think like owners,” embody the “Cassaday Way” and the Firm’s values through their actions, and hold themselves accountable to delivering what they call “Stradivari-Level” service to clients.
In 2021, Steve took another step towards assuring Cassaday & Company’s long-term legacy. The Firm researched, debated, and eventually entered a strategic partnership that will enable Cassaday to invest in the Firm’s growth on a larger scale, further access and collaborate with leaders in the wealth management industry, and tap into shared services and resources.
Transform’s work with Cassaday over the past 28 years has been a partnership that has brought out the best in us as well. We have been challenged to bring innovative ideas to the table, encouraged to “call it when we see it,” and to be willing to let go of our egos when an idea doesn’t fly, a training agenda needs to be revised, a service that we have offered needs to be replaced by an internal hire, or a different strategy is adopted and implemented. We thank Steve, Allison, and all on the Cassaday team for allowing us to be a part of their organization and family and to grow with them!
PRINCIPAL, TRANSFORM, INC.