Northwestern Mutual Lifer Brags about Clarity of Succession Amid Aging Wealth Management Crisis


Last name: Tom sanczyk

Solidify: Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management

Location: Morristown, New Jersey

AT M : $ 460 million

Forbes Rankings: The best wealth advisers

Background: Sanczyk, 56, has spent his entire three-decade career with Northwestern Mutual. Growing up, his father had an accident while working for the railroad, which allowed his family to cope with a government disability plan in what he describes as an underserved community.

While at Rowan University in New Jersey, he met recent Northwestern Mutual recruits whose footsteps he followed after graduation, a few years after his father died from cancer. .

Philosophy / Investment strategy: Building on Northwestern Mutual’s important insurance business, Sanczyk fosters the necessary but difficult discussions on wills, trusts and estate planning as well as life and disability insurance.

“There is so much more than rate of return when it comes to the success of a client and their family,” he says.

Competitive advantage : As the wealth management industry grapples with the rising average age of the advisor community, Sanczyk is bragging about his company’s succession plan. His son Steven Sanczyk and another young partner, Shail Shah, are expected to take over his business portfolio when he retires.

“Our competitive advantage is our succession plan,” he adds. “A lot of advisors are trying to figure out how to monetize their practices and what we’re trying to do is develop a succession plan so clients have continuity. “

Biggest Challenge: Although there were many difficulties during Covid, the virtual work allowed Sanczyk and his team to speak with more customers on a daily basis and to be extremely efficient, he says. While he is happy to be able to see clients in person, he is concerned that the extra time and travel required will reduce that efficiency.

Mentors: His two biggest mentors were the aforementioned classmates who helped him get into Northwestern Mutual about 30 years ago. Andy and Scott Schwartz both left Northwestern Mutual and now work for New Jersey-based Bleakley Financial Group. He also mentions their colleague and fellow Forbes / SHOOK Top Advisor Rick Wright as an important mentor.

What keeps you from sleeping at night: While he works in finance and has devoted a lot of time and effort to his own financial situation, Sanczyk is up at night thinking about his health. Having just celebrated his 30th wedding anniversary, he hopes to take enough care of himself to reach his 60th wedding anniversary.

Favorite Book / Movie: Sanczyk was inspired by the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” starring Will Smith in the true rags to riches story of former homeless businessman and motivational speaker Chris Gardner. He is also a fan of the extremely popular book “Principles” by Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio.

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