We reached out to some of the previous winners from our Top Program Managers raking and asked them the following three questions: 1) What are the biggest challenges in being a program manager in the bank channel today; 2) What are the biggest changes you’ve seen as a program manager over the past two to three years; and 3) What’s your best piece of advice for rookie bank advisors? Here we present the best answers (edited for length and clarity.)

Britt Woods (Fifth Third Bank, #1 in 2013) Challenges: Regulation and compliance. Our advisors have more scrutiny than ever with documentation and regulations. It is an ever changing industry and getting strong type “A” personality advisors to embrace it is always a challenge.  Changes: Less bank traffic inside our branches. We have seen a 10% decline in bank transactions. Banks are doing a good job training our clients not to come in the branches. Advisors have to understand that we need to drive appointments since this is happening.  Advice: Integration with the bank is crucial. If a bank feels that an advisor really wants to be on the team, it will refer clients more quickly to a rookie advisor. We are a guest in the retail branches and the faster we integrate into their team the advisor will be set up for success.

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