2017-09-07 / Business News

Ken Thomas, CFA, CFP

Vice president, senior portfolio manager — Huntington Private Bank

Ken Thomas, CFA, CFP Ken Thomas, CFA, CFP In a changing industry inspiration comes from helping others


NAME: Ken Thomas, CFA, CFP®

TITLE AND COMPANY: Vice president, senior portfolio manager — Huntington Private Bank

YEARS WITH THE COMPANY: 3 (15 in the industry)


NATURE OF BUSINESS: Wealth Management

EDUCATION: B.A. in Psychology, Loyola University, MD; M.B.A.-Finance, Florida Atlantic University; Chartered Financial Analyst® designation; Certified Financial Planner™

HOMETOWN: Old Brookville, N.Y.

What is the most significant change you’ve seen in your industry over the last year?

Investors have seen two major market declines since the turn of the century and are increasingly concerned about how they are positioned financially. They are looking for more transparency on fees and want to know that their advisors are truly looking out for their client’s best interests. Portfolios customized to meet individual needs continue to trump one-size-fits-all model portfolios.

What improvements, innovations or changes do you foresee in your industry?

The investment industry has seen rapid change in the past few years driven by new technology, increased transparency, and regulatory changes driven to promote trust and fairness.

How are you responding to changes in the local economy?

The local economy continues to grow and we are seeing more and more fulltime residents. Many times, this transition coincides with retirement, necessitating a review of their investment strategy. Our local team of experts is responding with tailored advice encompassing all aspects of wealth management including investments, financial planning, banking and lending.

Within the context of your current marketing/promotional strategy, how do you differentiate your company from your competitors?

Huntington Bank has been in business for over 150 years and has weathered many storms including the Great Depression. Our founder, P.W. Huntington, once said, “In prosperity, be prudent; in adversity, be patient.” Those words resonate through our investment philosophy today and our clients appreciate that approach in today’s uncertain times.

What’s your superpower?

While not exactly a superpower, I would say empathy is a very important quality to me. The ability to understand what clients are experiencing, to be able to put myself in their position. Financial matters are very personal and can often lead to deeper discussions on family and life’s challenges. Clients like to know you are there for them and will look out for their best interests.

What will you base your success on for 2018?

Success to me is a well-balanced life and a happy family. In that sense, I am already successful.

How is social media impacting your industry or business this year? What’s in store for 2018?

Social media, i.e., Facebook and Twitter, has transformed how people communicate and how they obtain news and information. Information now spreads at a very rapid pace. With that speed though comes the opportunity for misinformation to travel fast as well. Having a professional advisor who will not react emotionally or irrationally to this rapid flow of information is key to having a sound investment plan.

How are you recruiting new talent into your organization?

Huntington is a great place to work. Employees have the ability to grow professionally and are encouraged to learn new skills and to continuously improve the workplace. It is a natural fit for people who have a passion for what they do, are inclusive of others, and the drive to succeed. People with those qualities tend to find us and really connect with our vision, mission and values.

How do you find inspiration in today’s business climate?

My inspiration comes from helping others. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than giving peace of mind to a worried client, especially in today’s environment.

What wise words would you tell young people entering the work force today?

I would tell young people entering the work force today to brush up on their interpersonal skills. Being able to write a professional letter, send a thank you note, or eat a formal meal are necessary skills to have even in an increasingly informal society. ¦

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