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Leadership Perspectives

The launch of a new series imploring leaders to explore new possibilities and move to action.

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First Tennessee, Red Rock Advisors partner to bring value to clients

Red Rock is pleased to provide this new service to First Tennessee clients

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The Ultimate Sophistication

Chris Homa

The first in a series of articles exploring client experience.
View “The Ultimate Sophistication” here.

It’s a Crucial Time for Leaders to Lead

Scott Dixon and John Rhett

We had the pleasure of hosting a panel of industry leaders at the recent BISA Annual Convention, gathering their thoughts on leadership in today’s world. The panel included industry veterans Lori Hardwick and John Geraghty. In preparing for this panel we contacted some of the great leaders in our industry. We heard feedback on the changing industry landscape, the onslaught of technological advances, the changing client demographics and where those issues place leadership at this time in our industry’s evolution. Every leader that we spoke to underscored the importance of true leadership today and also described the challenges to providing great and consistent leadership in their organizations.   Read More  

Cracking the Commercial-Wealth Conundrum

Our team at Red Rock Strategic Partners spends a lot of time talking to wealth management executives at banks about growth and profitability. Most executives have similar business and profit objectives which often include maximizing the value of the opportunity with their commercial partners. On the surface, this objective seems straightforward. When we ask executives about their strategy they often reply by saying, “we are trying to set up a referral strategy with our commercial partners.” Most bank executives see the value in this partnership but rarely have a clear, differentiated approach to driving flawless execution and delivering sustained results. Since we have built this strategy successfully with several institutions, here are 5 keys to cracking the commercial-wealth conundrum:   Read More  

Red Rock Strategic Partners Hires Steve Stroker as Senior Partner

ATHENS, GA – January 18, 2017 – Red Rock Strategic Partners is pleased to announce the recent hire of Steven Stroker, who will join the Red Rock team as Senior Partner. Steve, who most recently served as Regional Director for R.W. Baird, will be leveraging his 35 years of experience and roles to help Red Rock’s clients achieve their business objectives. “I am looking forward to my association with Red Rock Strategic Partners,” Stroker said. “Their commitment and success in helping organizations and people grow is consistent with my desire in helping others.” Read More

From Resolution to Progression…Making the Most of 2017

Matt Johnston

The phenomenon of the New Year is interesting. In many respects it’s just another day on the calendar. But for so many of us, it signifies new beginnings, hopes, dreams and goals to be fulfilled. I admit that I am one of those people who anticipates January 1st of each year as a turning point or a chance to change things and make them better. Sometimes I convince myself that as the clock ticks down and the ball drops that magically I am a new person with unlimited energy, supreme focus and locked-down goals. So why do so many of us start strong and fade fast? Why are most New Year resolutions broken within the first month? More importantly, how can we achieve all we can in 2017? Here are a few ideas for you, your business and your dreams for 2017. Read More

Red Rock in the News

Red Rock COO Scott Dixon recently had his article, “Use the DOL fiduciary rule as a catalyst to transform your business,” published in InvestmentNews. Check out his thoughts on taking advantage of the DOL fiduciary rule here:

Fiduciary Readiness Report

With the DOL Fiduciary Rule approaching, Red Rock recently joined with Stathis Partners to gauge the readiness of the bank and credit union channel, as well as their product provider partners. We polled industry executives to determine how significantly the DOL rule will impact their businesses and to what extent they have prepared for the inevitable ruling.

What we found is that 73% of industry executives believe that the DOL Fiduciary Rule will be either very or extremely disruptive to our channel, yet 63% of the executives polled are taking a “wait and see” approach and, at most, have a set of contingency plans being considered. Red Rock Strategic Partners expects that the DOL Fiduciary Rule will have broad impact across multiple business lines within banks, brokerage firms and RIAs, as well as product providers. It will require firms to change processes and procedures within a compressed period of time. However, we believe that disruption can provide transformative opportunities for businesses. There will certainly be measures that will need to be put in place to comply with the specific items addressed within the DOL rule. At Red Rock, we believe that the firms who embrace the change as an opportunity will differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Accomplishing that will require intense focus on execution and change management from advisors, bankers, sales managers and executive leadership. Click here to access the full PDF report

“The Future’s So Bright” (Market Volatility and the One Hit Wonder)

Scott Dixon

If you are an ardent fan of ‘80s pop music, or a connoisseur of one hit wonders, you probably can finish the line of this particular song. The song was a hit for the husband and wife duo, Timbuk3. The song was released in 1986, and was the band’s only mainstream hit. It has been played at numerous graduations and other significant events throughout the years. The irony is that the song was not written as an optimistic anthem about the future, but instead was meant to be a grim, apocalyptic narrative due to the nuclear tension and cold war that was occurring during the time when the song was written. There are similarities between this story and our interaction with clients and prospects. Often what we intend to communicate (full song lyrics) is not what is heard by our audience (catchy chorus with an optimistic title). Effective communication with our clients and prospects is always essential, but it is especially important in times of market volatility when emotions are higher and fears are more pronounced. Read more

Déjà vu All Over Again: Getting Back to Basics in Volatile Markets

Matt Johnston

There is no shortage of opinions, viewpoints and forecasts regarding what the capital markets will do over the next 12 months (or even 12 minutes). Pundits, analysts, and portfolio managers fill the screens of televisions, laptops, tablets, and phones sharing predictions, probabilities, and possible outcomes for 2016. Allow me to preface this article by saying I am not one of those people. We at Red Rock Strategic Partners do not profess to offer expertise on the capital markets and will leave the prognostication to those that do. What I can state as fact is that no one knows with absolute certainty the future of the capital markets. We do know that, at this moment, they are volatile and uncertain. Read more

Red Rock Strategic Partners Hires Scott Dixon as Chief Operating Officer

ATHENS, GA – February 11, 2016 – Red Rock Strategic Partners is pleased to announce the recent hire of Scott Dixon, who will join the Red Rock team as Chief Operating Officer. Scott, who most recently served as Executive Vice President and Financial Advisor Channel Manager for SunTrust Investment Services, will be leveraging his 23 years of experience and roles to help Red Rock’s clients achieve their business objectives. “I am excited to join the Red Rock team,” Dixon said. “I have been impressed with their relentless focus around assisting their clients with defining strategic priorities and helping them execute on those priorities, which maximizes value and accelerates growth.” Read more

Red Rock Strategic Partners Hires Peter Miller as Senior Partner ATHENS, GA – December 17, 2015 – Red Rock Strategic Partners is pleased to announce the recent hire of Peter Miller, who will join the Red Rock team as Senior Partner. Peter, who most recently served as Recruitment Consultant for R.W. Baird, will be working with clients to develop and enhance their businesses and growth trajectory. Matt Johnston, CEO of Red Rock said, “Our clients value our ability to strengthen their execution muscle. In order for us to fulfill that promise to our clients, we need people who have a broad and deep experience set within the financial services industry as well as the understanding and ability to execute. Peter has been successful at every facet of financial services. His wisdom will be invaluable to our clients.” Read More

The Best is Yet to Come: Reflections on a Life in Financial Services John Rhett I retired from the Corporate America “world” after 37 years in the brokerage industry to join the consulting business. Over the course of my career, I had the pleasure of interfacing with hundreds of advisors and clients. My overall observation was most advisors are not very good advisors and most clients are not very good clients. Why is that? I think advisors and clients alike continue to apply traditional thinking to a shifting paradigm. We are entering a brave, new world of evolving expectations, rules, and desired results. The shift, simply put, is from asset management to comprehensive wealth management. This is not a cyclical change but a secular change requiring changes in behavior and often a new set of professional skills. I’m not alone, by any means, at observing this change but I believe I can add a new dimension having just experienced what 76 million Americans will experience as they “retire” over the next 20 years as Baby Boomers. Let me be very clear, this is not a group of 76 million people; it is 76 million individuals who have unique goals and aspirations. Treat them any other way and you will lose their trust. Read More

Red Rock Strategic Partners Hires John Hagedorn as Director of Coaching and Consulting November 17, 2015 – Red Rock Strategic Partners is pleased to announce the recent hire of John Hagedorn, who will join the Red Rock team as Director of Coaching and Consulting. John, Principal Consultant of The Hagedorn Institute, will be working with individual advisors and teams to develop and enhance their practices. Matt Johnston, CEO of Red Rock said, “We work with financial organizations to drive effective execution. We have found that in most distribution businesses, productivity at the advisor level is critical to organizational execution. While we are not in the training and coaching business, we felt it was imperative to add a professional like John to our team to deliver the depth of execution support necessary for our clients to be successful. I have known John for over 20 years and respect his competence, capabilities and ethics. He is a great addition to our team.” Read More

Humans Are Underrated: A True Story Matt Johnston Our industry is undergoing massive change. The financial services landscape is changing faster than ever before, and the changes are coming from multiple disruptors — disruptors that are causing organizations and financial advisors fear and anxiety over the future of our business. We often hear these questions from our clients:

      • – Will the Department of Labor rulings make it too difficult or expensive to remain relevant?
      • – How should we be thinking about and working with women or the millennial generation?
      • – Our old-school advisors are not confronting succession and transition issues. Are we to simply wait for them to leave the business before we move toward the future?

Read More

Red Rock Advisory Group Red Rock Strategic Partners founder and CEO, Matt Johnston, announces the launch of Red Rock Advisory Group along with new Chairman and Senior Managing Director, John Rhett. Red Rock Advisory Group will be a new business devoted to strategically advising private businesses and their owners on a host of key issues and strategies. “The advisory space is incredibly fragmented today. Business owners in particular deserve a strategic advisory relationship that is totally unbiased and is uniquely equipped to help them coordinate and execute all of the circumstances they face throughout the life of their business. That is our mission with this new venture”, stated Mr. Johnston. The new company, Red Rock Advisory Group, will leverage the experience of a newly formed team as well as key business alliances. Read More


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