A love of sports, particularly the New Orleans Saints and the Houston Astros, helps define the competitive team atmosphere that Vance Richard fosters at Iberia Financial Services. "We have what I'd call a fun culture, a tight-knit, friendly competition group," he says about his team. As a producing manager, Richard says sticking to a playbook is essential for a smooth-running operation. "I'm a process guy. I stick to a model of high standards. This also creates a rep-friendly environment to work in," he adds.
But the outside environment can be as challenging as a shot at the Super Bowl. Amid rapid growth of Iberia Financial's parent, Iberiabank, Richard says it's difficult to keep pace. The bank has grown through acquisition, with two new banks in 2009 alone. "It's difficult to staff up, keep pace and maintain the culture and high standards," he says.
The regulatory environment is also challenging. Audits are more frequent and of greater depth, "but this also benefits the industry by enhancing investor confidence" he notes. It's also challenging to meet the income demands of clients in an environment of continued low interest rates. Richard expects slight increases in rates, which "will be better for savers and people who live off their investments."
Richard sees more golf in his future, but with many years left in his career he plans to be at Iberia for the long haul.
Bank/TPM: Iberia Bank/Essex National Securities
Location: Lafayette, LA
No. of reps managed: 26
Avg. production per rep: $600,000
Total production 2011 (projected): $9.7m
Total production 2010: $7.2m
AUM 2011: $627m
AUM 2010: $575m
Years at the bank: 13
Years in the industry: 22
Age of program: 18
Total number of branches: 145
Product mix: Fixed income 43%; Fixed annuities 28%; VAs 20%; REITs 3.5%; Mutual funds 2%; Managed accounts 1.5%; ETFs 1%; Life insurance 1%; Equities 1%
Do you decide what products are on the shelf? Yes