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Active investment management’s weekly magazine for fee-based advisors

Brad Bakken, CRC • Wahpeton, ND
Bell Bank/Bell Investments • Cetera Investment Services

In 2012, I joined Bell Investments, which is located at Bell Bank, the largest independently owned bank in the upper Midwest, and one of the largest in the nation.

Bell Bank offers many services to retail and business customers across several departments. Many of my clients have an existing financial relationship with Bell Bank. New clients either come in through a current client referral or directly through a banking relationship. There is a certain comfort level for people in knowing that they are working with a representative of a highly respected financial institution.

The real key to the success of our advisor group’s referral process is to educate branch employees about who we are and what we do. We provide a variety of financial-planning and investment services for the bank’s clients, and I particularly enjoy working to address the multigenerational needs of families. I am a Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC), and I have extensive experience working with pre-retirees on accumulation strategies and post-retirees on distribution planning.

Senior management is very supportive of our efforts, and our group is prominently featured on the bank’s website and in external and internal communications. The personal touch is very important, so we conduct periodic bank staff meetings where our advisor group presents information on our capabilities, services, and any new developments in our area.

We have also started quarterly “lunch-and-learn” sessions with branch employees. These are part education on financial-planning issues or current market developments and part review of how we can potentially serve the bank’s customers.

These activities help keep the advisor group top of mind with bank employees and make them aware that they should be looking for appropriate opportunities to refer our planning and investment services to bank customers.

Disclosure: Financial advisors offering securities and insurance products through Cetera Investment Services LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services are offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Neither firm is affiliated with the financial institution where investment services are offered. Advisory services may only be offered by investment adviser representatives in conjunction with an advisory services agreement and disclosure brochure as provided. Investments are not FDIC/NCUSIF insured, may lose value, are not financial institution guaranteed, are not a deposit, and are not insured by any federal government agency. Investors cannot invest directly in indexes. The performance of any index is not indicative of the performance of any investment and does not take into account the effects of inflation and the fees and expenses associated with investing. Bell Investments, 717 Second Ave. N., Wahpeton, ND 58075. 701-672-2265.

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