Terri’s reflections on FSG 40 years in business
First, I would like to congratulate Mike on his 40th Anniversary of being in business! If it weren’t for his leap of faith and visions of the future, who knows where any of us would be today.
My journey at FSG started in 1996 after I had recently moved back to Wisconsin from San Diego. I was working at a retail brokerage firm in Racine when I got a phone call that would change the course of my life forever. It was the strangest call I had ever gotten, a woman asking me if I was happy in my current position and if I would consider speaking with her about an opportunity at a fee-based RIA firm here in town. I was very intrigued and I agreed to meet with her to talk further.
Having never worked with a recruiter before (I’m not sure if that was even a thing in 1996!), my first question to her was “how did you find me?” She explained that she did a search for licensed individuals in the securities industry and my name came up. I had previously worked for some large broker dealers out in San Diego where I had obtained several different securities licenses that were required when working on the retail broker dealer side. We talked further and I was really excited about what Mike was doing with his business so I submitted my resume and waited to hear back. Within a couple of days she contacted me again to set up a time for me to come in and meet with Mike.
I remember sitting in the lobby of his office on Durand Avenue nervously waiting for the interview to start. Mike came into the office and, in true Mike fashion, sped past me like a whirlwind and went back to his office, not even acknowledging my presence in his lobby! All I could think was “what have I gotten myself into?” Just then, he appeared and asked me to come back. I honestly don’t remember much after that, I think I was so nervous that I may have actually blocked it from my memory, but I have to assume it went well because I’m still here 27 years later!
It’s amazing to think about all that has happened over these years and how fast the time has gone. Mike and I have literally been through the best of times and the worst of times, both personally and professionally. Through the pain of divorces to the celebrations of re-marriages, babies to teenagers, illnesses and injuries, caring for elderly parents, markets tanking, you name it, I think we have seen it and weathered it together. The team has grown from it just being me, Mike and a clerical assistant in a small office on Durand Avenue to our beautiful office center where we currently have a team of nine. We have had turnover of employees over the years, some good and some not so good, but we learned from each and every one of them and every one of them have contributed to where we are today. At one time or another my two sons and Mike’s four sons all worked with FSG helping out with various tasks.
All of the relationships I have formed over the years with current and past team members and our clients are priceless. Our clients are an extension of our family here at FSG and I regularly have clients ask me how my kids are doing, what they are doing now, or how my mom is doing. We truly value every relationship we have with our clients and our Client Appreciation Events feel like big family reunions.
On a more personal note, I am so grateful to Mike for allowing me to have the flexibility I needed while my children were young, in school and participating in sports. I know there were times that he wanted me to grow more professionally but he knew my commitment to my children was my first priority and he always respected that. Now, all these years later, my kids are grown and out living their own best lives. I was at a crossroads of my own, wondering what the next chapter in my own life would be, when Mike approached me with the idea of me being the Chief Operating Officer of Financial Service Group. I am so honored to be offered this amazing opportunity and I am committed to working hard to build operational efficiencies that will contribute to our client’s overall experience.
Without our clients, none of us would be here today celebrating FSG’s 40th Anniversary year. As we celebrate our past accomplishments, I am even more excited to see what the future has in store for FSG and I am proud to be part of the journey!