Growing your Firm with Andrew Rosen

Growing your financial firm requires self-knowledge, foresight, and patience. Andrew Rosen shares his story of making it happen!

May 31, 2024 | Blogs, Podcast

About the Episode

We focused on the process of growing your financial firm, the courage it takes to delegate and trust others, and some practical thoughts on scaling a business, with Andrew Rosen, CFP, CEP, President, Partner, Lifelong Financial Advisor at Diversified, LLC      

Listen to hear a difference-making tip on why caring matters more than knowing!

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George Grombacher

George Grombacher


Andrew Rosen

Andrew Rosen


Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:02
Andrew to get us started. Give me two truths and a lie, please.

Andrew Rosen 0:06
Whoo. I like it. George. Two Truths and Obi Wan. I’m definitely afraid of flying, too. I love Bruce Springsteen. He’s my favorite artists ever. And three at age 43. I can still do a killer cartwheel.

george grombacher 0:27
These are excellent, Andrew, because I know a small amount about you. And they’re all close enough to be very, very, very believable. So. Oh my goodness. I don’t think you’re a Springsteen fan. Oh,

Andrew Rosen 0:42
you’re killing me, George. He’s as good as it gets. Is a Jersey boy. That’s all you needed to know. Jersey boy. Yes. No, I I flying so big deal. I give me a flight. I’ll hop on it. I don’t care to one wing, two wings. Whatever you have.

george grombacher 1:03
But no cartwheels for you. Oh,

Andrew Rosen 1:05
I can cartwheel with the best of them. Oh, which? No, I have no fear of flying. Okay, got it. Okay, no, no, you should see my cartwheel game is on point. Okay,

george grombacher 1:18
that’s awesome. And I need to I need to take a minute and just sing Thunder Road on my own and do a penance because I also love Bruce Springsteen. So I apologize to you. And to Bruce Springsteen and everybody else out there for thinking that you did not love him the most. I’m sorry, Andrew

Andrew Rosen 1:39
band will have to take it under. Considering I’m flying him this summer. So go

george grombacher 1:46
I’m gonna go to stone pony. And, and just make my make my trek and pennants and everything else you’re gonna see in the summer where? Yeah,

Andrew Rosen 1:57
Philadelphia. Okay. Awesome. That’s great.

george grombacher 2:01
still pumping out some amazing new music, so I’ll credit to the boss.

Andrew Rosen 2:06
Yeah, surprising.

george grombacher 2:08
I bet he can do a cartwheel to Andrew. He’s okay. For

Andrew Rosen 2:12
73 years old. The dudes in shape. I can promise you that. I mean, we got well and we all look that good.

george grombacher 2:21
Man he and Mick Jagger should do that should have a some kind of a program teaching you how to how to age. Well. That’s

Andrew Rosen 2:28
right. Well, I guess it’s easy be work. Step one be worth hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to have to be rocking on the road. 300 days a year, right. Definitely have a whole cadre of people that can help keep you fit.

george grombacher 2:45
The book, the book writes itself. Right. That’s exactly right. Easy as pie. Easy as pie.

Andrew Rosen 2:55
Alright, podcast over we gave you a lot of value. i What else can I share?

george grombacher 3:02
Well, I guess we’ll give it a shot, man. What is uh, what is top of mind for you right now.

Andrew Rosen 3:09
We’re in growth mode, George. So we’re really we’ve hit we look at our business and we reference like innings. You know, we’re we’ve saved we’ve advanced to the fourth inning, if you will, I mean, I don’t know what life looks like. But you know what, when you get there and to us, we have built a great infrastructure. We have a great top, top executive teams, we have great leaders, great people under their amazing staff, amazing clients. And so now we’re just poised and preparing, which we we’ve been doing to just put fodder on that foundation and just that grow sort of always organic, inorganic. And so that’s been a lot of my focus is how do we take that next leap as a firm?

george grombacher 3:58
And it is obvious to be a well aging Rockstar. Is it obvious how you grow a financial firm?

Andrew Rosen 4:08
No, right? I don’t think it is because the cool thing about this industry this business is I’ve seen people grow massive businesses, dozens of different ways. Just organic just in organic, their own systems purchasing other I just there’s so there’s a lot of ways I think it I think it stems from understanding what your unique abilities are as a firm your unique offerings and lean into it. Right? I mean, something maybe maybe they came by accident. Maybe you happen to get in with executives and you’re dent dentist or who knows what and you just double down so no, I don’t think it is obvious. I mean, I think there’s some core foundational principles that just run business This is, but I don’t know that it’s obvious how to get to that next hypergrowth level. And I also think it’s different that those words mean different things to different people.

george grombacher 5:15
Yeah, I totally agree you use the term unique ability is that I’ve heard the coaching series from Dan Sullivan. Is that, Dan?

Andrew Rosen 5:24
Yeah, yeah, I haven’t gone to him. But I’ve read like every one of his books, you know, I think he would throw me out of class. So I don’t want to write, I have enough trauma from the first 20 years of my life of schooling that I hate to do that to myself for him. But yeah, it is. I think he’s genius. And

george grombacher 5:44
in terms of other programs, or structure, I know a lot of people like EOS and Ey and YPO. And I think that those are all the acronyms I have. Yeah, ABCDEFG,

Andrew Rosen 5:55
too. So I think, luck to me, we are the our firm runs on traction, which is EOS right. So we’re certainly a huge proponents, we were introduced to that maybe close to a decade ago already. And that is our guiding principle. That is how we run our business. Because candidly, George, what do I know about running a business, I didn’t go to business school, I didn’t train for it, I was a decent financial planner and grew it the right way and lucked into some things and had some good mentoring and next thing, you know, own a business and trying to figure out how to grow it. So to us that really gave us some infrastructure and some guidance that that we needed, at least,

george grombacher 6:43
did you can you look back and say, you saw a point in your career, you said, I do want to keep growing this versus this is great. I can just kind of keep this good thing going and have an awesome lifestyle versus hyper growth or whatever other term?

Andrew Rosen 7:01
Yeah, absolutely, would be the answer. Absolutely. So I will tell you that I always knew I wanted to grow something special, right? I don’t, I don’t have an end game that, oh, I want to sell it for this dollar or that dollar, I just believe we can build something special in the industry. And we’re well on our way. It was about 2018 2019. So in our business in the financial service business, right, there’s, there’s a there’s a wall, right, there’s called capacity. So you could do things to extend your capacity, you know, I can hire more people and more assistance and more support. But inevitably, there’s 24 hours in a day, there’s seven days a week, 12 months, 52, you know, weeks, so 365 days, you got it, you can only see so many people, you can only get to a certain point. And so I got to that point where I really to make my firm, our firm partners, as big as we believe it can be you have to put faith in others. And the first big big leap, which was watershed moment for us was hiring our CEO Mike Fisher, who is about as awesome as they come just as a human and as a talented executive and CEO for a company. And this goes back to sort of the traction days and understanding sort of integrator visionary, my role was visionary, and I’m not good at integrating. I don’t get passion or joy or fulfillment out of it. And that’s exactly what my CEO Mike does. And so that was the moment do we do we stop here and just write this thing? Or do we double down bring in and I didn’t, there was no benefit to bring in an executive like that if I just wanted to sit around and collect a paycheck and go spend two days working set five days chillin, right, so that that was the moment for us. And then there’s been subsequent moments along the way, but that was that to me, like I said, that swore watershed moment, that was the demarcation line where we said once we crossed this pedal to the metal

george grombacher 9:18
and how hard would it how hard a decision was that?

Andrew Rosen 9:24
I would tell you so I have a couple of partners is easiest for me. It took some cajoling took some convincing but they got in line pretty quickly. And in my role is really to the growth of the company and that’s the hat I wear along with being an advisor. But it it’s just a gut feeling. It’s just a belief and and I’ve done well in my career, trusting my guide and putting faith in great individuals and so I figured successful people do things unsuccessful people don’t do and Let’s do it. I didn’t see a lot of other firms. Certainly there are firms that do plenty of them. But we are not in the majority, the majority hit that capacity. You know, many times I’ve spoken or acquired a older, older advisors looking to retire and said, you know, at one point in my career, I thought about doing what you did there or thought about it. It’s crossed everyone’s mind. That’s not the hard thing. Right. The hard thing is taking that leap of faith. There was no there was no landing for me. There is no what is there’s no, it was unpredictable. And so it, but it worked out swimmingly. We’ve grown substantially since then. And I have to give Mike and other executives we brought in after him. All the credit.

george grombacher 10:48
That’s awesome. And how long ago was that?

Andrew Rosen 10:51
That was 29, September 19 2019. So talk about an interesting time to bring someone on, right? September 19. Everything’s going swimmingly, swimmingly? Well, and six months later, we go remote work on Zoom, we didn’t know what a zoom was, for two straight years. And everyone goes remote. Right? And as the end is the end here, right? Did I do something so stupid, and buyer’s remorse, but now they it just was rocket ship.

george grombacher 11:24
And now, five years later, see how I was able to do the math there give or take? Your your your your other partners, they’re happy with the decision as well.

Andrew Rosen 11:33
I would imagine. So they have been benefited tremendously and been valuable. And you know, I can’t take the credit. Or all the credit. They’ve been integral to this, as well. But yeah, I mean, I think anyone in our firm would be crazy to look back and say bad decision. I mean, we are exponentially larger, exponentially more profitable, exponentially touching more lives and, and have a bigger, badder firm with more value to our clients. i There’s virtually been no downside. Yeah.

george grombacher 12:06
So which is, which is obviously what you’re looking for all upside and very little downside. So. So your, your growth, you’re, you’re out there, meeting with clients and taking on new clients, making it rain for lack of a better term. And you also have adopted some kind of an acquisition strategy and brought on and bought other businesses. Yep,

Andrew Rosen 12:33
absolutely. So 100%, we’ve done exactly that, yes, sort of the blocking and tackling, bringing on client by client one by one. And we’ve also built an infrastructure that that allows and can handle both acquisitions or merger, merging or partner track. So we’ve started really educating ourselves on it. How do you build so we sort of shot first ask questions later, and we started acquiring, we said all this gray and and, you know, one plus one equals three, but we didn’t really I’d be lying if I told you we really knew how to do and over the past year and a half, we’ve worked with some coaches and some investment bankers to really educate us and get us aligned to how do you build that infrastructure to, to attract and be competitive in that space? And so that’s what we’ve spent out. And I personally, with, along with my CEO, Mike has spent a ton of time you know, learning and studying and, and challenging so that we can get you may get it right for us.

george grombacher 13:41
Sony say learning and attracting it’s a competitive market to acquire a another firm and how do we stand out or?

Andrew Rosen 13:51
Yeah, day all the above? Right is insane. Like, I think there’s 50 buyers for every seller. I mean, and a lot of these buyers, especially the serial ones are substantially larger than us with substantially bigger pocket books and substantially bigger financial backers behind them that can help them throw money around left and right. I mean, I still today underwrite everything myself. It’s, you know, it’s my name on those loans. But my partner’s it’s not no private equity or big bank or something of that nature. And so yeah, so that’s one element of it. And the other to your point is, how do we figure out our unique abilities and what makes us unique, and how do we create a infrastructure? So we’ve recently reorganized so that George came on board, he could earn partnership and get shares in the equity. Right. I think the sort of stodgy old mentality is it’s my firm and no one’s going to own any piece of it, because that deludes me and why would I do that? And it’s sort of taking a one ad A viewpoint where you look at it differently and say, Okay, I, I see to get to these levels, there are things you need to do. And here’s the benefits of it. And that took gardening for me and educating and like I said, challenging the status quo, which, at first I wasn’t comfortable with and then I, I saw it, I drank the Kool Aid, and now we’re adopting these things and these policies.

george grombacher 15:27
Have you always dealt with uncertainty? Well?

Andrew Rosen 15:32
Oh, that’s cuts to the core me. issue now have always dealt with.

george grombacher 15:41
I mean, it certainly takes courage. Yeah.

Andrew Rosen 15:44
You know what, it’s interesting. I’ve never thought of it through that spectrum. But I do think, and good, bad or indifferent. And I’m not suggesting this makes me any better or worse than anyone by any stretch, but I think I have been someone who has been the common the storm, right. I think I’ve, whether it’s COVID, or I lost my dad, you know, 2016 16. Like, I certainly, like everyone’s got their problems. But I think I’ve come out fairly unscathed and a better person through it all, and been a solid force for others during choppy times. And I guess it speaks to also this industry, right? I mean, I’m giving advice to people when markets are down 20 30%, you know, and they’re looking at me as the bad guy, like I did something in some cases, right. And you have to remain calm, and you have to remain convicted to your beliefs and morals. And there’s an element of just blind faith. Right. And trust and belief. I mean, no one’s seen God. A lot of people believe in God. Right. So I think it’s something similar if you feel you’ve built something special and you believe in yourself or whatever you are believing in I think it gives you that that courage, that comfort to deal with adversity. Well.

george grombacher 17:18
Yeah, yeah, I was just spend some time yesterday thinking about just how to develop confidence and where it comes from and that self assuredness belief in yourself. And it’s all the things you’ve been talking about and prove to yourself that you can handle things and you can see through tough times and all that stuff. So Oh,

Andrew Rosen 17:40
yeah, well look no further than what was it? Stuart Smiley from Saturday Night Live, right. You’re good enough. You’re strong enough and Gosh, darn it, George. People like you.

george grombacher 17:52
That’s all you need. Sometimes, that’s all you need. And

Andrew Rosen 17:59
you ever see the one where you had Michael Jordan?

george grombacher 18:01
I was just thinking that I was just thinking that man

Andrew Rosen 18:06
that was glad I’m gonna watch that when we hang up.

george grombacher 18:08
Oh, 100% Can you just Al Franken sitting like what? Two feet across from Michael Jordan with a straight face doing that live?

Andrew Rosen 18:17
Yeah. Don’t worry, Michael. You got this.

george grombacher 18:24
And eat nailed it, man. Oh my gosh. That’s awesome. I’m gonna go listen to Thunder Road. And then watch Stuart Smalley. Talk to Michael Jordan.

Andrew Rosen 18:34
That’s right. Well, good. You have a great starter your day. All right. Oh.

george grombacher 18:42
I totally agree. I totally agree. All right, Andrew, we’re ready. You’ve already given us a lot we’re ready for that difference making tip sir, what do you have for us?

Andrew Rosen 18:52
I I like to go back to something one of my mentors told me years ago which is and it’s one of my belief systems is part of my ethos is people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. You can’t fake this stuff. Right? Authenticity shines through on all of us. And I think if you’re if you truly care about your vocation, the people you work fit with the people you work for. That gravitate people gravitate to that people want to be around that and so that would be my difference making tip. One of many I’ve heard and tone and you know, I love that one. You know, but we could sit here for an hour and a half I can give you with a great quotes because I’m a sucker for him. But there you go. There’s my great tip.

george grombacher 19:44
I think that that is great stuff that definitely gets a Come on. I don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And that is true. That is that is. I don’t know if that’s ancient wisdom, Andrew, but it is certainly wisdom.

Andrew Rosen 19:59
That’s right. I mean, I guess I could, I’m telling you, I can just spit fire, little tidbit quotes, and we can have a cliche off. But there you go.

george grombacher 20:10
I think I think that those are true. So I appreciate you coming back on. Andrew. It’s always always great talking with you. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you and who should be reaching out?

Andrew Rosen 20:24
Great question. So our website is always the best diversified You can pretty much get to our acquisition site there, you can get our tax company you can get to our planners, myself, who should reach out if you’re a client or someone who needs financial guidance, golly gee, we’d love to help you. If you’re in this business, whether looking to sell your business or partner or increase your growth and want to join something special. I think we have, we’d love to talk and back just a nice person and want to catch up on here too. I you know, I love people I love helping and guiding. It’s what I feel I was on this earth to do so. Anyway, I can please reach out.

george grombacher 21:12
I love it. If you enjoyed this as much as I did to Andrew, your appreciation share today show the friend who also appreciates good ideas go to diversified And check out everything that we’ve been talking about, check out the growth that Andrew and his partners have been putting together. If you are interested in financial advice planning, check it out. If you are an advisor and what Andrews been talking about resonates, check it out. Reach out to them and if you want to learn about how to do a great cartwheel or how to get over your fear of flying, or what Andrews favorite What is your favorite Springsteen song, Andrew?

Andrew Rosen 21:54
Oh, yeah, he’s my favorite child. George. Right. Thunder Road just hits right like you can’t go row jump, jungle Road, Turner. I mean, any road I guess that we don’t have enough time. We sit here to quotes and Springsteen songs for the next two hours, and then you’d have no listeners. So I don’t

george grombacher 22:17
know. That’d be the next one. That’s a thanks again, Andrew.

Andrew Rosen 22:21
pleasures mine. Thank

george grombacher 22:23
you, George. And finally, a friendly reminder never going to be anybody more interested in your financial success than you are. So act accordingly.



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