At the top of Stephen Langlois’ list of things to tackle are technology and recruitment, but the newly-appointed president of Kestra Financial first wants to spend some time listening to the staff and understanding “what it is that makes Kestra as great as it is.”

“I want to understand where there are opportunities for improvements and do things in a really culturally appropriate way because the team has built an incredible rapport and relationship with those advisors and I think it’s important to be respectful of that,” Langlois said yesterday, his second day on the job, where he is in charge of the Kestra-branded broker-dealer and registered investment advisors.

In announcing Langlois’ appointment yesterday, Kestra said he will report to James Poer, who had been serving both as CEO and president. Poer will continue to serve as CEO for Kestra Financial Inc., whose network of companies consists of Kestra Financial, H. Beck, Arden Trust Company, and Bluespring Wealth Partners.

Austin, Texas-based Kestra Financial companies collectively oversee $113 billion in assets under administration (AUA) and support about 2,500 independent financial professionals across the country.

Langlois most recently worked at eMoney Advisor, where he was the chief revenue officer for more than two years; prior to that, he held senior roles in business development and planning for more than five years at Fidelity Investments. Before that he worked at LPL Financial for seven years, where he had several roles, including head of the investment research team. He left LPL in 2011.

Langlois said he worked closely with advisors at LPL and he is looking forward to doing so again at Kestra. “I really wanted to get back to advice delivery. I really love working with advisors and helping them,” he said.

He added that he also is looking forward to working with the team. “I have always had incredible respect for the Kestra team. It’s an expert team and I think James have done an incredible job, not only building the business … but also an incredible leadership team,” he said.
Langlois’ responsibilities, according to the announcement, will include driving the company’s revenue growth, executing and expanding the company’s existing growth strategy, and furthering the continued evolution of Kestra Financial’s value proposition. Further, it said, Langlois will focus on delivering technology and wealth management platform innovation and enhancing practice management solutions for the Kestra Financial platform.

“One of our key priorities in serving the independent financial professionals on our platform is to add firepower to our leadership team and deepen our talent pool,” Poer said in a statement. “Stephen comes to Kestra Financial with a 360-degree view of independent financial professionals, having helped fuel the growth of their businesses for over 20 years. With a keen eye on how fintech can deepen the value we deliver.”

The technology piece is one of the things that attracted Langlois to the job. “It’s making sure that we really leverage technology to its fullest potential to help advisors grow their business and service their clients better,” he said. “There are a couple of initiatives underway that I hope to be able to add value to in really providing a more seamless end-to-end experience for advisors."

On recruiting, Langlois said the focus will be on attracting established, larger wealth management firms to Kestra. “That really is the place we play in the marketplace,” he said, noting that Poer is fond of saying that Kestra is a place that advisors graduate to. “So, maintaining that focus on more established firm is something that is really important to the business and the other advisors in the network."

Langlois said he sees growth coming not only from recruiting new advisors to the platform but from supporting existing advisors to grow their business organically. “We have some advisors who want to recruit other advisors themselves or buy other firms. I think we can be supportive of that. So, it’s a really balanced growth. That’s how we think about it,” he said.