Frank LaRosa on the Essential Qualities of Financial Professionals

While each financial firm will operate a little differently, most major institutions are looking for the same basic qualities in their advisors and money managers. Knowing what characteristics are valued and how to display those traits during the recruiting and interview process is essential when looking for a high-profile position. Here are some of the key areas firms will be interested in:

Production: Performance is paramount in financial services and quantifiable data is essential to prove your record. Provide evidence of your gross and client assets, return on assets, and other basic metrics.

Work History: As hiring financial professionals can be a lengthy and expensive process, managers seek out long-term hires and look carefully into where candidates have worked previously and for how long; reputable firms obviously look better on a résumé. If there are several short stints on a resume, be sure to express your desire to find a stable, long-term position.

Business Focus: Every financial professional operates differently and a hiring firm will want to know a candidate’s specific process, from how they interact with clients to how they plan to expand moving forward.

Mobility of Business: Clients and resources often follow financial professionals from firm to firm. Potential employers will want to know the details of the product mix and how portable the business model will be.

CRD and Background Check: Virtually all employers now require a background check, but financial professionals will need to present their Central Registration Depository (CRD), issued by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), as well. Any and all issues will be vetted thoroughly, so be prepared to defend or explain any potential problems.

Culture and Fit: Corporate culture varies between firms and certain personalities simply will not thrive in particular environments. Take time to research the firm thoroughly and meet with employees from various departments to ensure the job is a good fit.

About the Author: Distinguished as one of the Top 10 Managers of 2010 by On Wall Street magazine, Frank LaRosa possesses 15 years of financial experience with some of the most prominent firms in the country. In 2011, LaRosa launched his own New Jersey-based firm, ELITE Recruiting & Consulting, which places financial managers in positions with best-of-breed firms. More information on Frank LaRosa and ELITE Recruiting & Consulting can be found at


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Frank Larosa

Frank LaRosa leverages more than a decade of experience in the financial sector toward his role as President and CEO of ELITE Recruitment & Consulting. In this position, he focuses on getting to know financial advisors and other investment professionals before recommending that they change firms. The competition is fierce for successful financial advisors, who often bring their clients with them when they change firms. Applying his expertise, LaRosa helps clients through the process. Under LaRosa’s leadership, ELITE Recruitment & Consulting specializes in working with financial professionals to help them move from one company to another. At ELITE Recruitment & Consulting, Frank LaRosa draws on his extensive experience in the investment industry. Frank LaRosa possesses the knowledge and experience necessary to help clients make a smooth the transition. He has worked continuously in the financial industry since graduating from New Jersey’s Kean College in 1996 with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. He has stood out in every position he has held. In his first role as a financial advisor with Prudential Securities, he made a name for himself as the firm’s number-one trainee of the year. By late 1998, he had generated over $320,000 in annual revenue. Under his management, client assets amounted to over $18 million. Subsequently, Frank LaRosa worked as a financial advisor for Smith Barney in Red Bank, New Jersey, where he became Assistant Branch Manager. He then received a promotion to Branch Manager of Smith Barney in Alexandria, Virginia. Following this role, he served as Senior Vice President of Smith Barney in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. After Morgan Stanley acquired a majority stake in Smith Barney in 2009, Frank LaRosa became Senior Vice President of the Southern New Jersey Complex, the second-largest in the region with over 115 financial advisors. His achievements included raising the average revenue per financial advisor to $650,000. He was also the region’s top recruiter. Moreover, the highly respected magazine On Wall Street named LaRosa to its fifth annual list of the Top 10 Managers for 2010. In his free time, Frank LaRosa is an avid amateur boxer. He also enjoys golfing and fishing with his boys, as well playing with his two bulldogs. Residing Moorestown, New Jersey, he is married with two sons.