In this episode, Steve talks with Mark Fonville, CEO of Covenant Wealth Advisors in Richmond, Virginia.
In 2010, Mark’s wife Katherine started a wealth management company and in 2018, Mark joined her in the ranks. Since then, they’ve managed to merge without layoffs, revamp their technology, solidify core values, and maintain client trust through a winding road of newfound business ownership and company growth.
Mark began his career in the consulting world. And it was there that he learned the importance of listening to advisors (and people). He’s never afraid to be the “dumbest person in the room” and thrives on absorbing everything around him.
Mark and Steve discuss incorporating tax planning, why core company values determine success, handling a transition in three phases, and the trait Mark admires most in advisors.
“The answer is not always black and white. And when you have a grey area, and I’m not there to help one of our team members make a decision, then the question is, how can they make that decision without support or guidance? And I think without anything else it may be difficult. But when you have values in place that you can fall back on, it just makes it that much easier to carry through with the values that we care about. And if that means that the decision is much more for the benefit of the client than the firm, I would take that every single day.” ~ Mark Fonville
- Sometimes, the smartest thing to do is to be the dumbest person in the room. Don’t let your ego stop you from growing and learning from the expertise of those around you.
- Ask questions and stop focusing on being right. Focus on getting the right answer.
- While much of the industry has strayed from tax law, tax impacts every part of our financial lives. So having a comprehensive understanding of tax is essential.
- If you’re looking to grow your business, let your clients’ needs drive your decision-making.
- Focus on areas no one else is focusing on and price those services at or below market value. Become the go-to advisor for specialties that are hard to come by. That’s how you’ll differentiate yourself in a crowded market.
Links and Important Mentions
- Mark on LinkedIn
- Covenant Wealth Advisors
- Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim