Stifel Branch Managers Have the Freedom and Flexibility to Do Things Their Way
We would like to share the story of Ele Jordan with you.
Ele joined Stifel after a thorough due diligence process where she experienced our advisor-first culture, our thriving entrepreneurial environment, and the freedom to lead and grow without being micro-managed.
We trust you will enjoy Ele’s story!
In the same way that financial advisors must establish meaningful relationships with their clients, branch managers need to be able to manage relationships with advisors as they see fit.
Wealth management is, at its core, a personal service. A meaningful client-advisor relationship is built upon a foundation of trust and authenticity. In order to be successful, financial advisors need the freedom and flexibility to run their business in a way that plays to their unique strengths and expertise.
At Stifel, we understand the importance of fostering this kind of advisor-first culture. That’s why we strive to bring on branch managers like Ele Jordan — industry veterans who understand how to cultivate an entrepreneurial environment and keep teams performing at the highest possible level. We feel that when experienced branch managers are able to do their jobs without having to navigate unnecessary, top-down micromanagement, everyone stands to benefit.
A Wealth of Experience
Jordan’s career began at a community bank in Rockport, Texas, where she worked for 11 years in the investment portfolio division. In 1992, she moved to a small bond house, which just one year into her tenure, was acquired by a larger firm.
Five years later, Jordan was informed her department was being transferred to the firm’s home office in Memphis, Tennessee. Because she and her family were based in Austin at the time, she decided against the move, instead transitioning into the role of operations manager at her current branch — a position she would hold for the next 17 years. Jordan had just stepped into a branch management role in 2013 when, once again, her firm was acquired. It was during that transitional period that Stifel first approached her about making the switch.
“I had spoken with Stifel a few years back, but I wasn’t ready to make a move at that time. Three and a half years later, I took another look and thought, this makes sense now.” Jordan joined the Stifel team just three months ago, in January of 2017.
A Seamless Transition
Having spent 25 years with previous firm, Jordan had developed strong and meaningful relationships with her peers — one of her biggest concerns about the move was having to start from scratch in order to develop inter-departmental rapport. Upon arriving, however, Jordan was pleasantly surprised: “Everyone at Stifel has been so accommodating. The transition was incredibly smooth from day one, and it already feels like home.”
The defining moment in Jordan’s transition? Her visit to the Stifel home office in St. Louis. “I knew the success of my branches would depend on building strong relationships with other departments throughout the firm, so I thought it was important to meet those people face-to-face,” she explained. “I found that every single person was friendly, highly experienced, and been with the firm for many years. That was very important to me: these people knew and loved Stifel. The fact that they had been here for so long helped reaffirm that I’d made the right decision.”
Two Branches, Two Cultures, One Manager
At Stifel, Jordan has the unique task of managing two branches — Austin and Corpus Christi — each with a distinct office culture. The Corpus-Christi office, Jordan says, embraces a fast-paced, “hard-charging culture.” The Austin office, on the other hand, “is laid-back and entrepreneurial by contrast.” Thanks to Stifel’s flexible and advisor-centric culture, Jordan is able to keep both branches “operating at the highest possible level, all while maintaining the distinct culture that characterizes each group.”
Jordan notes that this kind of freedom is rare within the financial services industry. “Some branch managers have to deal with corporate mandates and red tape,” she explains. “In those organizations, products and philosophies are dictated from on high, and it’s the branch manager’s job to implement them.”
According to Jordan, Stifel is different. “The executive management is there when you need them, but they’re not always telling you how to do your job or boxing you in.”
“At Stifel,” she explains, “I feel like I’m free to manage each branch in the way I think is best. I don’t have to employ a one-size-fits-all model for how things should work in each office.”
Jordan credits the seamless transition between roles to Stifel’s focus on branch autonomy. “I like being able to put my own color on the way things operate around here, and I’m very privileged to be able to do that at Stifel.”