3. Kyle Davis, Raymond James & Associates
Production: $2.56 million
AUM: $215 million
Many advisors study finance or marketing before getting into the business. Kyle Davis took a different path; he majored in poultry science.
"Yeah, chickens," says Davis. "Long story short, I love animals. I worked at veterinary clinic in high school."
A student at the University of Georgia, Davis originally intended to become a veterinarian, but later decided that he wanted to work in finance, being inspired in part by his father, who worked in banking.
Davis became a sales assistant in Atlanta at Morgan Stanley, working with four different brokers. The experience enabled him to closely watch how successful advisors operate, he says.
"When I became an advisor, I didn't need to learn the systems, or the computers because I knew it already. I knew how the processes like how to get a client on board," says Davis, who became an advisor in 1999.
His biggest challenges at that time were building a network and overcoming perceptions about his age, Davis says. He made it over the first hurdle by doing whatever it took to meet people, including cold calling and hosting seminars. He overcame the latter obstacle through persistent persuasion.
"I literally told them that I don't have a big book so the personal attention I can give you is more. Likewise I'm much more keen on technology and able to stay on top of things a bit better," he says. "I tried to take a disadvantage and turn it to an advantage."
Davis moved to Morgan Keegan in 2007, which was later acquired by Raymond James. His three-year-old partnership with another advisor, who focuses on estate and tax planning, has enabled Davis to nearly double his business.
"I can have a laser-like focus on building my business, taking care of my existing clients and making sure that the investments I am putting my clients into are the correct ones," he says.
His business is now largely driven by referrals from existing clients, who are high net worth individuals and small business owners. Davis says he keeps a running list of his major goals for the year. Top of the list this year? Spending more time with his wife and two kids.
"After having had some success I've got a great team around me, great clients I can take a step back and enjoy the fruits of my labor," Davis says.
"I am making this year more dedicated to my family."