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Cathy Clauson fills newly created position related to TAMP sales
April 25, 2014 — 12:08 AM UTC by Brooke Southall
Brooke’s Note: I have yet to meet anyone who worked for Schwab Institutional, especially during about the 1995-2005 decade, that doesn’t long to recreate what the company had going on then with RIAs. The San Francisco RIA custodian enjoyed the delicious admixture of inventing a business, perfecting a business, ruling a business and delivering well on a promise of service to a business. What’s great is to see that many of those people like Dave Welling, Bob Oros, David Canter, Jeff Roush, Chip Roame, David deVoe, Tim Welsh, Lucy Carrico, Kelli Cruz and Mike Golaszewski have carried that magic forward into new careers that well serve financial advisors. Charles Goldman and Cathy Clauson both fit into that category of ex-Schwab personnel who are still hungry to grow the RIA business in a way that is downloaded onto their hard drives, emblazoned in their souls — and grow personally in the process. That they have teamed up seems to be promising for both of them and for AssetMark.
When David S. Pottruck made the mind-boggling decision to buy U.S. Trust in 2000 on behalf of The Charles Schwab Corp. — of which he was then co-CEO — somebody had to find a way to take the dusty old-money wealth manager’s capabilities and package them for RIAs.
That thankless task fell to a young Schwab executive in her early thirties named Cathy Clauson, someone who had been a Schwab tele-broker in a call center only seven years before. See: U.S. Trust advisor joins an RIA after surviving the firm’s sale to Bank of America.
She is a quick study.
Now, Clauson’s smarts and versatility have made her Charles Goldman’s first big public hire since he took over as chief executive of AssetMark Inc. in January. See: Gurinder Ahluwalia to step out, Charles Goldman steps in, as AssetMark CEO. The Concord, Calif.-based TAMP reported the news yesterday. Clauson has been on board since Monday in the newly created position of director of sales strategy, operations and administration.
“She worked for me for many years in many jobs. I have a good deal of trust and respect for her,” says Goldman in a statement. Clauson worked for Schwab from 1992 to 2011. Goldman’s Schwab career spanned from 2001 to 2008, including his last two years as head of the RIA business.
Translation: Clauson’s back to doing all the things at the RIA custodian and turnkey asset management program that nobody else is sure how to do.
“She knows how to plow through the operational details and she can manage the exceptions,” says Tim Welsh, president of Nexus Strategy LLC, who worked with Clauson at Schwab.
“Cathy was awesome at doing that.”
Clauson, who lives local to Concord in the East Bay, reports to Dan O’Toole, senior vice president, national director of sales and consulting.
She alludes, in a prepared statement, to the importance of applying a nimble approach at her new $22-billion AUM firm.
“In an increasingly competitive environment, AssetMark’s ability to evaluate and respond to market opportunities is a key component to its success,” Clauson says.
Translation: Clauson will act as the connective tissue that links the 100-person sales department of AssetMark to executive management. The overarching purpose is to be sure that AssetMark fulfills its promise of filtering ideas up from advisors to develop the right products — rather than having a top-down approach. See: Charles Goldman speaks from the CEO Summit hotel about what he didn’t see coming at AssetMark and how it changed his life.
In their shoes
The greater “sales” effort at AssetMark includes 50 external sales people working with advisors in their offices, 40 internal sales people supporting the outside force and 10 practice management people. The 40 internal sales people report directly to Clauson.
Clauson served most recently (Nov. 2011-Sept. 2013) mostly as vice president of advisory sales at Advent/Black Diamond. See: A blessing from Charles Goldman helped seal the Advent-Black Diamond deal
One of her bosses there, David Welling, senior vice president and general manager of Black Diamond, has high praise for her.
“Having worked with Cathy for several years in multiple roles she possesses a rare talent of combining the experience of leading large, complex initiatives, and product teams with the pragmatic reality of what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a sales person and, even more importantly, the realities that her clients face every day. Cathy’s talents can help build a bridge between sales and the home office that would position them well to execute on their vision.”
Goldman adds that Clauson’s ability to roll with punches was tested right away: This week the company is having its national sales meeting with the entire force on hand in Concord.
Mentioned in this article:
Top Executive: Timothy D. Welsh
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