Registered Rep.: The ideal client is (in three words)…
Mark Hall: Willing to listen.
RR: The ideal advisor is …
MH: An excellent listener.
RR: You've partnered with three local community banks to help grow your client base. What is toughest about this model?
MH: Educating the client about the difference between bank deposits and investments.
RR: What was your firm's biggest expense in 2006?
MH: Salaries, due to the expansion of my firm.
RR: Describe the most unusual client you've ever had.
MH: I met this particular couple purely by accident. I made an appointment to meet with them at their home. When I showed up at the door, one of them yelled back to the other, “This is not Mark!”It turned out that they were expecting to meet with another broker named Mark, whom they had met at a party and was the grandson of some dear friends. Well, I explained that I had sent them a letter and they had responded to the letter and scheduled an appointment with me. Since I was there anyway, they invited me in. I ended up opening several accounts for them and have been their broker for over five years.
RR: What's the most formal/elegant piece of attire you own?
MH: The broker's uniform: dark-blue pinstripe, custom-made suit.
RR: What is your least favorite regulatory rule?
MH: The Patriot Act.
RR: There is growing concern in the industry that financial advisors have not adequately developed succession plans for themselves. Do you have a plan in place?
MH: Yes, it is part of our strategic plan. When I noticed the increasing amount of gray hair on my head, I convinced my son, Scott, to come work with me, and then hired two younger reps. But clients do not mind seeing some gray hair on the person who is minding their money.
RR: What is your favorite form of transportation?
MH: Walking — taking one step at a time.
RR: If you could take a class on any one subject, what would it be?