Building a Culture of Practice: The Next Generation

The May edition of the PLANADVISER Practice Progress 2022 webinar series addressed critical questions on the topic of corporate culture – what it is and what it takes to create a positive and productive environment for staff and management.

The webinar featured insights from three of this year’s PLANADVISER Pension Advisor of the Year finalists. The final webinar interview featured Janine Moore, Senior Vice President of HUB Retirement and Wealth Management, who spoke about how her past experiences have influenced what team building and mentoring really mean.

Moore has been successful as a retirement planning consultant for more than 20 years, but before that she managed a call center, Moore said. They got a lot of tough calls from people trying to get money out of their retirement plan early, and most of the time the callers didn’t qualify.

“It would make that person angry and want to raise the appeal. I usually got these high calls,” Moore said. “That’s where I really learned the most. It’s psychological work, to try to pull people off the edge and help them find solutions that don’t involve taking money out of retirement. And I always felt best when I could successfully say that they had kept the money in the plan and found a solution.

After her call center job, she moved into sales, until she eventually left the wealth management space to retire, Moore said. During this period, she met many great mentors, which led her to want to become one herself.

“I’ll start with Darrell, who is my partner. Even though we are peers [and] we’re probably around the same age, he’s just full of knowledge, and I go to him for most of my really big decisions because I trust him implicitly,” Moore said. “The mentors will tell you the truth. They will tell you, good, bad or indifferent, if you make a good decision. I also rely on my team, and I try to coach them, to give them the same kind of open feedback without criticizing them to the point where they feel like they’re being critically criticized.

Moore said she’s also been very active in the women’s segment of the advisory world, including serving on the National Association of Plan Advisors for several years. This allowed her to meet counselors from across the country.

“I actually had the opportunity to form a study group that we call the Retirement Alliance. And this retirement alliance is just high-level advisors who are willing to let their hair down and say, “Hey, we’re not going to care about which company we work with, we’re just going to trying to help each other succeed,” Moore said. “Because when we all succeed, it elevates the whole industry.”

New to the industry, Moore said, she was usually one of the few in the room who was different from the majority. She knew that greater diversity would take time to accomplish.

“Now I’m at the stage in my life where I want to leave a legacy behind, and I want it to look like me,” Moore said. “It’s not just about having more black or Asian or Hispanic people, it’s about having all types of people, and I think that’s only going to get bigger. The United States includes many different types of people, so we need to be able to meet these people where they are.

The retirement industry has many barriers to entry, and to attract people, recruiting needs to start at a younger age, Moore said. She’s done active college recruiting, mock interviews, and panel work to help teach students what she does — and mentorship plays a role in nurturing the next generation.

“What I believe is that each of us has within us the capacity to be a mentor. If we have reached a level where we are able to pay our bills on time and have received awards, such as the ones you gave, then there’s no excuse,” Moore said. “We should mentor someone else. We should also position the next generation to take over, instead of just relying on our accolades.