In this series, crew members in Client Services share their perspectives on career choices, teamwork, and how they contribute to Vanguard’s mission.
Flagship, Senior Assigned Representative
Sydney graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a minor in marketing. During her senior year, she attended the SDSU Career Fair and was inspired by the way that the Vanguard representative spoke about the firm as a best place to work. After graduation, Sydney began her career as a Client Relationship Specialist. After spending some time as a Brokerage Orders Associate, Sydney made the switch to Flagship, a department which serves high net worth investors. Eventually, she was promoted from an Assigned Representative to a Senior Assigned Representative. This role allows Sydney the opportunity to serve clients, directly impact the coaching and development of Flagship crew, and lead several initiatives throughout the department.
Flagship, Team Leader
After graduating from Ohio State University, Lindsey worked for a bank in Ohio for four years. During this time, she learned about Vanguard and its reputation for putting clients first. Lindsey has held multiple roles throughout her tenure here at Vanguard, including: Client Relationship Specialist, Select Services Investment Professional, Team Leader in Retail Services, and her current role, Client Service Specialist Team Leader in Flagship. In the past year, Lindsey chose to pursue a career in Flagship to expand her business acumen and to work directly with crew and clients.
What’s it like working in Flagship?
Sydney: My role consists of managing a book of clients and assisting fellow Flagship crew with their clients’ needs. In my role, I have two main responsibilities. One is to serve my clients and make sure they have a positive experience in every interaction. The second responsibility is to support my team. I coordinate staff meetings, conduct 1:1 meetings with my teammates, and take on additional leadership responsibilities. Because of this, the Senior Assigned Representative role is great for those like myself, who are exploring leadership as a career.
Lindsey: Crew in Flagship pride themselves on their strong relationship management skills, which is a direct driver of the collaborative and inclusive environment that really sets Flagship apart. I spend 75-80% of my time with my crew members, whether that is coaching, developing, leading team meetings, or facilitating peer coaching sessions. During our time together, I help my crew to see the affect they have on their clients and the overall business.
One of the primary initiatives I am driving focuses on shaping the way our crew deliver quality interactions and how this empowers our clients to leave us positive feedback from their time spent with our investment professionals.
What are the top skills needed to be successful in your role?
Sydney: Time Management, Client Relationship Management (CRM), and Investment Guidance. As a Senior Assigned Representative, I have the autonomy to determine how to allocate my time between my clients and the business. In addition, CRM skills, such as positioning, are crucial in my day-to-day work. My time as a Client Relationship Specialist helped prepare me for this role through developing these skills.
Lindsey: Relationship Management, Time Management, Organization Skills, Conceptual Thinking, Leadership Impact, and Coaching & Developing. I need to balance the needs of crew, clients, the business, and my own professional development, but my crew always come first. Conceptual thinking is necessary to balance the many aspects of my work and to adequately prioritize what is most important. Lastly, the ability to take an ambiguous request and deliver strong results is crucial in my role.
What is one of the greatest lessons you have learned during your time at Vanguard?
Sydney: My answer is two-fold; first, it’s important to build trust in the small calls, such as executing a transaction flawlessly, so that when there’s an elevated situation, my client trusts that I can handle it. Second, it’s important to strategically choose where I want to have an impact. There are so many opportunities and, as crew members, we can decide what the best fit is for us.
What is one piece of advice that you would give someone starting out their career?
Lindsey: In my role, I work a lot with new hires, so I share this advice often – own your career. You are in the driver’s seat of everything that happens. There are going to be opportunities given to you and opportunities given to others, so you’ll need to be proactive. Part of this means even when you’re busy, make your own development a priority. Personally, I make sure to attend one professional development event a month and meet with two individuals a month in order to continuously develop.
How does your current role fit into your career goals?
Sydney: There is no “typical” career path for Senior Assigned Representatives. Some choose to take roles in Relationship Management, Project Management, Advice, or other areas. Personally, my long-term career goal is to be a leader. I see my current role as an opportunity to cultivate my coaching and development skills and work on broader business initiatives that drive crew success.
How does your role contribute to Vanguard’s mission?
Sydney: In Flagship, we embody the mission of Vanguard every single day. Through our conversations with clients, we get to know them at a very personal level. Because I have that relationship and personal connection with my clients, I’m able to better position what I think is best for them and their family.
Lindsey: This is something that my team and I discuss often. Especially in Flagship, we manage a large portion of Vanguard’s overall assets and therefore, have a large influence on the financial health of RIG. Everything my teams does effects clients. Clients remember their interactions and so every conversation that my crew have is important in building client confidence in Vanguard and strengthening Vanguard’s reputation.
Read the last blog in this series on Retail Services and stay tuned for the next edition of our Client Services career conversations, featuring a new department each time.