Brian Falconer is a managing sales director with Baystate Financial in East Providence. He’s responsible for the management of operations and recruiting and supporting advisers in the development of their practices, marketing and practice management. With more than 15 years of experience working with professionals and business owners on identifying and setting financial goals, he talks with Providence Business News about the Rhode Island market, how the industry has changed and his investment philosophy.
PBN: How does the Rhode Island market fit into Baystate Financials goals as a financial services firm?
FALCONER: The Rhode Island market has been an integral focus for Baystate Financial for many years. Currently we have twenty-four veteran and experienced financial planners and advisors, most of which live here locally and also concentrate their practices almost solely on the clients they serve here in Rhode Island. We actually have eight advisors each who have been serving the Rhode Island market for over thirty years. In addition to me, we recently added another managing sales director, Josh Gorra, to help us grow our Rhode Island presence.
PBN: Have you worked in markets outside of Rhode Island, how do they differ?
FALCONER:In the past, I have worked in a few different markets outside of Rhode Island, New York City, Connecticut and New Hampshire to name a few. In my opinion they differ for only one important reason. Rhode Island, because of its size and as long as you have a good reputation for doing great work for your clients, is a great place to be in our business. The financial planners and advisors here at Baystate Financial that I work for everyday have done the heavy lifting over many years serving their many Rhode Island clients.
PBN: In your decade and a half of working in financial services, how have you seen the industry change?
FALCONER: Over the last 15 years I have seen countless changes. One of my favorite things to say is that the only thing that remains constant in our industry is change. Our attention is hyper focused on how we can collectively do the best job possible helping our clients navigate the constant sea of change we face utilizing the deep team of both financial planning and estate planning specialists that we have on staff.
PBN: Do you have a strong preference for actively managed funds or passive investments?
FALCONER: This is a great question. The simple and short answer is no. There are many important factors, too many to discuss here, when determining the right investment mix for our client’s portfolios. The correct answer, without getting into the differences between these two investment philosophies, is that both have their place depending on our client’s needs. Here at Baystate Financial we are never product focused. We always start and end with a comprehensive financial plan at the core of what we do to help our clients. Our investment philosophy is simple, but effective when it comes to helping our clients. Investments choices are to remain within or below our clients risk tolerance while delivering the results they need which are all tied to them reaching their goals not industry benchmarks, all built within the framework of their financial plan.
PBN: What makes your client experience unique compared to other financial services firms?
FALCONER: Our client experience is truly unique and in my opinion the best in class compared to all other firms. Baystate Financial, headed by [CEO] Dave Porter, has the very best resources and infrastructure, all built to help our financial planners and advisors bring the best possible client experience through our financial planning process. My belief is that through utilizing our financial planning model, our advisors get to help their clients better than any other firm here in Rhode Island, New England and probably the entire country. We have a deep and very experienced team of specialists, all of whom help our advisors provide the best solutions to their client’s complex financial issues. On staff and available to all of our clients through our advisors is a team that consists of a large Financial Planning Department, Support Desk, Marketing Department and the team of many specialists, which includes three estate and business planning attorneys on staff to help our clients at no additional cost to them.