I Want Your Job: Kevin Entwistle ’15

Kevin Entwistle ’15 was a double major in accounting and finance. Kevin works as a private wealth advisor at Morgan Stanley. While Kevin did not know what direction his career would take him, he explains how his experience in different fields led him to the job he holds today.

Headshot of Kevin Entwistle '15.

For those who might not know, can you explain your role and what exactly you do? 

As a private wealth advisor, I wear many hats. Most importantly, I am responsible for helping clients protect and grow their wealth. Wealth is a very misunderstood topic because a lot of people think it simply has to do with how much money you have. As a private wealth advisor, however, I have to be an extremely attentive listener, meaning that I have to fully understand someone’s life, what motivates them, who is important to them, what they feel their purpose is, and what they want to achieve in order to then come up with a plan on how we are going to accomplish this. There is a specific “Supernova” process we follow, which begins with a discovery meeting where we push clients to think about areas of their life they sometimes have never even thought about. It is followed by an investment proposal meeting where we review whether their financial plan and investment portfolio are on track to reach their goals. Finally, we follow up our process with continued engagement, be it financial education, event programming or introductions to our network that keep our clients always expecting the highest level of service. When we stick to the process, work with clients that appreciate the value we offer, and find ways to make sure everyone is included in the conversation, we have found our business really thrives. We are not managing people’s wealth only, we are managing what it is about their wealth that is so important. We manage their dreams, hopes, fears, and visions, and ultimately, we help guide them in making decisions at pivotal points in their life, or what we refer to as a series of individual, profound moments. 

Did you expect to be a joining Private Wealth Management after college? 

No, but I always knew I wanted to end up in the business when the time was right. I first accepted a job in Putnam Investment’s Global Distribution Associate rotational program, which allowed me to explore many different areas of the firm, including global investment strategy, institutional sales, strategic partnerships, and many other arms of the company. This helped me develop a working knowledge of how all the pieces fit together and forced me to rapidly expand my network by constantly meeting new people and working on new projects. Everything was about exposure to me and less about climbing the latter initially. I was less concerned about title and much more concerned about finding ways to be in the room where it happens, as they say. However, I knew I wanted to take all of this experience and use it to help those I cared about most – which is what led me to private wealth. 

During your time at PC, what were your career goals and aspirations? 

I wanted to find a career that would provide a platform for creativity and innovation. I knew it was important to learn the technical aspects of any job, but I was always pushing myself to think outside the box because I knew whichever firm hired me would have the training resources to get me up to speed, so I was not worried so much about that specifically. What I looked for most was a path to leadership. I was and still am drawn to the qualities and success of people in leadership positions. Knowing I had a long way to go, I sought the guidance of mentors and other decision-makers who had seen the landscape change over the years and had become leaders themselves. I wanted to know where the puck was going, and I knew that I was going to need to stand out in order to differentiate myself. I wanted to part of the disruption, which required me to think about my career goals differently. A lot of people talk about hard skills, but it is the soft skills and ability to relate and connect on a personal level that can advance anyone’s career. 

What has been your favorite part of the job? 

Working with individuals and families I know and respect. There is a palpable sense of pride helping those you care about most, and it really helps me elevate my game, especially when they are relying on my attention to detail. I am fortunate to be in an industry dominated by very successful advisors because it makes me work harder to catch them. When you are in first place, you can grow complacent, but from second or third place, you are always looking ahead and hungry to accept more work and prove more people wrong. I would hope our clients would agree that our favorite part of the job is bringing new ideas and new perspectives to an industry that is dominated by a lot of herd mentality and old-school thinking. The greatest compliment we can get from a client is that we are a disruptor and that we truly help them feel engaged in their financial picture. We always say that you never stay the same; each day you either improve or take a step back. So, at the end of the day, if we feel we spoke to clients, educated them on their plan, solved their issues, and kept them on track to reach their goals, we felt we got a lot better. When you add a handful of these daily victories together, you start to see a growth trend in your business every month and that is when our impact becomes both sustainable and differentiated from other advisor practices, who usually do not maintain that level of engagement and momentum. 

Can you explain what a typical workday/week looks like? 

My days are definitely scheduled in advance, with a lot of time blocking. You never know what is going to happen after 9:30 a.m. You receive inbound calls, the markets could be up or down, a prospect could call in, there are a lot of non-controllable events. If I can exercise, meditate, and get to work early, I spend time organizing my email and my day. We believe 90% of your time is better spent in thoughtful preparation and 10% in executing on situations confidently. This is why I try to use the quiet time of the morning to accomplish my agenda, before I have to be more reactive during the day. I will usually have two to three phone calls or in-person meetings with clients and prospects, and I will also try to get out of the office to visit people. A lot of opportunity exists outside the office, so it is important to be rubbing elbows with people beyond these four walls, which is why I also spend a lot of my night time at charity events or social gatherings. In between all of this, I coordinate and implement financial plans for our clients and run investment proposals, too. A lot of my job has to do with listening, synthesizing, and communicating. Our clients need to know what is going on with their portfolios and their plans, and that requires constant touchpoints and communication. Finally, I usually save any important emails that come through the day in a separate, but urgent, email folder, which I attend to during night time hours before bed – this way people can expect a 24-hour turnaround time. 

With COVID impacting so much, where do you see your industry going and why? 

This industry was due for a change, and it could not be a better time to get involved. I do foresee a lot of advisors getting left behind, unfortunately, but it provides a lot of opportunity for our team, too. With the introduction of free trading platforms like Robinhood or E*Trade, more people are getting involved in the markets than we have ever seen before. While this is good news, it means that more people require the proper guidance and advice from a financial advisor. The difference, however, is that the advisors that are not savvy with technology will not be able to service the more immediate needs of this up-and-coming generation. Having an advisor who is easily accessible, in touch with the daily markets, and has an understanding of how information is digested in today’s world will ultimately lead investors down a better road. There are a select few advisors who are advancing this mission in the industry and finding ways to connect with the younger generation investors – a testament to the differing service models that are beginning to exist. 

What advice would you give current PC students looking for internships and jobs? 

Call me. One of my passions is helping students and early career candidates discover their own path. It is a numbers game. The more calls and the more outbound conversations you can have with your peers, the better a chance you have at landing the job you want. I am a believer in the power of networks and I want to be an advocate for our own Providence network. Résumés, internships, and certifications are all important, but nothing is as important as the ability to connect with someone, hold a conversation, follow-up, demonstrate passion, and then rinse and repeat. If you can master the skill of active listening and relentless follow up, you will outrun any individual with a shinier résumé and credential. It’s simple, but not easy. 

Anything else you want to discuss, please feel free! 

If you want to follow us, learn more, or even are looking for financial advice – do not hesitate to reach out to me personally. I run a weekly newsletter that you can also subscribe to by emailing me at kevin.entwistle@morganstanleypwm.com. I love working with students and those just starting their careers. Many times, people think private wealth is for the successful investors only, yet often the most impactful decisions in our lives are made between the ages of 16 and 30. That is why I enjoy being part of the journey early on and helping others find financial wellness and confidence before they find success. Just like having a good routine, if you can discover and implement stable financial habits, you will develop a healthy relationship with money and what money means to you. This business is all about personal level connections, so I would love to learn more about what is important to you and where you want to go.

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