In this series, crew in our Retail Investment Group share their perspectives on career choices, teamwork, and how they contribute to Vanguard’s mission.
Retail Services, Retirement Specialist
David graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studied management and sociology. He then completed a graduate program in business fundamentals at Wake Forest. Following his education, David followed his passion to serve others by working for the Hickory Public Housing Authority where he worked with low-income families to empower them towards self-sufficiency. After his time with the Hickory Public Housing Authority, it wasn’t long before David found himself at Vanguard – first taking on a role in Personal Investor as a Client Relationship Specialist, followed by his current role as a Retirement Specialist in the Retirement Center.
What is it like working in your department?
As a Retirement Specialist, I have the opportunity to educate and assist clients with one of the biggest moments in their life – retirement. Due to the complexity of the subject matter, I leverage my technical knowledge and CRM (client relationship management) skills, often taking ownership of unique client situations until resolution. In my role, there are two main areas of work: complex transactions and small business accounts.
What are the top skills needed to be successful in your role?
Intellectual curiosity, and attention to detail, but first and foremost, you need to have a desire to learn about the complexity of retirement. There are a lot of IRS and tax implications related to complex transactions, so I need to make sure I’m asking clients the right questions to understand their needs, and then adequately explain the options to guide them to an appropriate decision.
What is one of the greatest lessons you have learned during your time in your department?
In addition to the immense retirement knowledge that I have gained, I have learned the importance of approaching a situation in a holistic way, making sure to gain all the details to arrive at the best answer. In my role I’d come across complex client situations and taking the extra time to gather all relevant information before positioning solutions for the client proved to be well worth the time!
How does your current role fit into your career goals?
I recently accepted a new role as a Retirement Administrator where I will be responsible for supporting other specialists and service partners with highly technical issues. Each stage of my career contributes to the next, and I am confident my experiences as a Retirement Specialist will aid in my success in my new role.
How does your role contribute to Vanguard’s mission?
Clients want to make sure their assets will sustain them during retirement and the Retirement Center is crucial in helping them reach this goal. As an example, baby boomers who are entering retirement age are leaning on institutions like Vanguard, particularly the Retirement Center, for help in navigating their transition into retirement. The Retirement Center’s mission is Vanguard’s mission. We are taking a stand for all investors by providing excellent service and solutions on complex individual and small business retirement topics, equipping our clients with the tools and information for investment success!
Stay tuned for the next edition of our Client Services career conversations, featuring a new department each time.