Brendan Maloy, a financial advisor with Insight Financial Horizons, located near Boston, was not new to the financial industry when he took part in Commonwealth Financial Network’s mentorship program. In fact, he already knew he was going to take over the advisory firm from his mother.

Similarly, Magdalena G. Johndrow had accumulated an impressive resume, including a degree from the London School of Economics and a work history that included stints with prominent Wall Street firms advising high-net-worth clients, when she became a mentee in the Commonwealth program. She is now an advisor with the family-owned firm Johndrow Wealth Management in Farmington, Conn.

But both now sing the praises of how the mentorship program added skills for their careers and improved the odds of their being successful in the financial services industry.

“My confidence is strong now, and when I sit down with a client or a prospect, I am more prepared and more comfortable so I can deliver better services for my clients,” Maloy said.

Johndrow added, “I learned a lot on Wall Street about finances, but the mentorship program taught me how to build meaningful and long-lasting client relationships. I learned how to be a better public speaker and how to help educate my clients.”

The coaching and training program developed by Commonwealth through a partnership with Allego, a technology company geared toward the financial services industry and other business enterprises, is unusual in its intensity and its use of videos as practice tools.

The mentors and mentees who volunteer for the year-long program meet for in-person two-day sessions three times in the year. They also have monthly peer group sessions and weekly telephone consultations. That is supplemented by sessions between the mentor and mentee that can take place at any time the two parties desire, Commonwealth said.

The mentorship sessions are in essence coaching and training programs that rely on a technology video platform developed by Allego. The advisor who is the mentee records their practice presentations and role-playing sessions, which are then reviewed by the mentors and the participants’ peers. The videos are used as teaching tools, with coaches stopping and starting sessions to give immediate feedback.

Advisors also use them to practice pitches or presentations that they can then ask the mentors to review, looking for ways to improve their work before the advisor actually uses it on a client or prospect. The videos are interactive with observers having the ability to leave comments and feedback for the advisors who made the recordings. 

“So few advisors practice what they are going to say to a client or prospect before they do it,” said Mark Magnacca, co-founder and president of Allego. “They miss a lot of opportunities with clients by not doing that. Using the video practice sessions and the role playing the new advisors can learn from those with experience.

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