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Rethinking Retirement with Steve Gresham

The demographic shift toward an older population, concerns about the financial sustainability of traditional pension systems, and lengthening life expectancies are just a few of the challenges facing retirement systems today. While having human and digital advice connected and coordinated is key to the wealth management ecosystem, how can financial advisory firms accelerate the development of wealth management platforms to meet the needs of the retiring age wave?

In this episode, Jack talks with Steve Gresham, Chief Executive Officer of The Execution Project. Steve is also the managing partner of the premier executive community in the financial services industry, Next Chapter, and a senior education advisor to the Alliance for Lifetime Income. For nearly 40 years, Steve has been an asset and wealth management leader and a pioneer of managed accounts and advisor practice management. Today, Steve focuses on improving retirement solutions for a historic demographic wave of retiring clients.

Steve talks with Jack about the challenges of combining human and digital advice to create a personalized client experience, how he sees advisor adoption being solved, and the importance of a connected and coordinated wealth management ecosystem.

What Steve has to say

“If you can solve the needs of those people and you don’t get hung up in connecting a product to them immediately, you will become that person, that firm that can connect with them.”

– Steve Gresham, Chief Executive Officer, The Execution Project

Read the full transcript

Jack Sharry: Everyone, Welcome to WealthTech on Deck. Thanks for joining us. As our listeners know, I have the privilege of speaking with industry leaders each week about the issues that we were industry forward around the confluence of digital and human advice. This week, I’m speaking with a longtime friend and colleague, Steve Gresham. Steve is someone who knows more about the issues around the future of financial advice than just about anyone I could think of in our industry, other than maybe myself, we spend a lot of time going back and forth on this, you’ll hear some of that back and forth as we go today. quick background on Steve. He’s a former EVP of Fidelity, where he led their retail strategy. He is currently the CEO of the Execution Project, where he works with leading wealth and asset management firms, insurance and annuity companies and fintechs. To help them in the build and development of what all firms are working on these days, comprehensive wealth management platforms. He works closely with a wide variety of industry leaders and their firms on these issues. And we’ll get into all of that in our conversation. So Steve, welcome back to WealthTech on Deck.

Steve Gresham: Thanks, Jack, great to see you again.

Jack Sharry: It’s only been a day hasn’t it? Steve and I speak frequently, we’ll get into some of that as we try to help the industry set its course. So Steve, you’re frequently featured in the media, following an article I saw you wrote for one of the magazines, I know you write for a few, I invite you to come back on our show. So we could discuss the challenges of building comprehensive wealth management platforms, as you well know, that is the thing that is what everyone’s talking about. We both observed the struggle to do that. So we’re gonna see if we can sort that out a little bit. So let’s start with you’re telling our audience about the work you’re doing and really, why you have a front row seat to what’s going on. And then we’ll talk about what you’re doing to help firms accelerate their progress and building these wealth management platforms of the future. So Steve talked a little bit about what you do, and then we’ll get into how we’ll fix it.

Steve Gresham: Yeah, thank you. So for the most part, I do what I’ve always done, because I don’t really know what else to do, which is to connect the different capabilities together to be able to improve the ease of doing business for advisors. And then ultimately, for the benefit of the consumer. We call them clients, but they’re increasingly your consumers, because they’re picking off lots of little bits of what we do, and not necessarily finding it easy are all in one place. So why concentrate right now in the areas of opportunity, which I would refer to as the reverse Pareto, or the other 80% of the clients that don’t seem to have that level of engagement with an advisor or an advisory firm. And since most of those assets and most of that opportunity, and certainly most of the profitability is connected with this move toward retirement or protection away from investing, then I focus primarily on protected income, on financial wellness, and then on liquidity and credit. And so that seems to be the bag that people want.

Jack Sharry: And you also want to talk a little bit about what the work you’re doing next chapter because you really have brought together a lot of industry leaders from a lot of different kinds of firms, and really trying to create a movement around how to what’s called the next chapter, because the folks that are moving into retirement, you need a lot of help, and frankly, they’re not getting well.

Steve Gresham: That’s right. I mean, if you’re a new retiree, this is a new experience for you becoming retired, you’ve never done it before. And so take that, blow it up by 76 million people plus all the people that are dragging around, and either aging parents, or adult children along the way. And you’ve got about two thirds of America connected one way or another to the aging and retirement life. And retirements really not the first word that most of them use. I mean, it really is a next chapter because there is in many cases there is the desire to do something different. And sometimes there is the need to continue working, depending on their circumstances. So that’s why we talk about next chapter. And it’s sort of floating gypsy Ted, with all of the people that we’ve collected over the years. So we’re now about 60 companies, 120 people, and these are very senior leaders that we’re talking to so encourage everybody to follow what they’re what these people are saying on the next chapter LinkedIn page on the website. It’s at

Jack Sharry: Great. So I’m a member of your executive board for next chapter along with a number of other industry luminaries people like John Thiel and Riley Etheridge and can take wild and Noreen Beaman and Cheryl Nash and a whole bunch more inaccurately many more. So we had a board meeting and can take well she did some research that some may have seen a little bit of about East shed some new research that basically underscores how what trouble people are in at least in their own mind and frankly financially as well. But to talk a little bit about sort of as a cornerstone element or predicate to what we’re going to talk about next They don’t feel so comfortable about where they’re at. And they’re looking for solutions. So why don’t we start with some of the tech world age wave research, search, and then talk about what we need to do about it.

Steve Gresham: Yeah, so some of the things that Ken brought up, and I think it’s really important to understand that these are manifestations Jack, as you said, have been trending for a while, you know, one of the side jokes that I’ve always had with Ken Dychtwald, who coined the term Age Wave in 1989, is that he has been talking about something that’s now finally arrived. And so I don’t know if that makes you a great forecast, or if that makes you a terrific surfer, because when you know, the wave is gonna break, you’re gonna jump on it. So he’s doing a really good job, though, of helping to define where we need to look more closely. One of the issues that I saw the other day that you and I were looking at in this research is that there’s been a shift from the the almost maniacal focus on the cost of health care as being the number one concern of retirees. It’s an enormous issue, but inflation has actually taken over the number one spot. Now, that hasn’t really been an issue, except for these people who might remember in their Wayback Machine, that in 1980, the first year I was in the business that inflation was 13 and a half percent that you can get 15% and T bill. So that’s just a different world from where we are today. But the resurgence of that concern and the power with which it is arrived. And the fact that it hasn’t been around for so long, does kind of tip over the applecart as you’re moving through your retirement. And I guess the second one that always finds its way through no matter how much we try to ignore it is that there is a significant difference between the level of confidence that is held about retirement by women versus men. It’s a 17 percentage point differential. And even though it has for both groups, for both genders, it has declined in the last couple of years. That 17 percentage point differential remains. So it’s actually gotten it’s a bigger and bigger issue. And that’s critical because these are the people are going to own most of the dough and make most of the decisions.

Jack Sharry: Is some other research separate and different from cans, and that’s a Franklin Templeton word. I think it was with Gallup and did some study we had Jackie Reardon, who works in Franklin Templeton also involved with next chapter, as is Franklin Templeton the firm. And one of the things that they found a key finding they came away with, which is that people don’t think of it as retirement, they think of it Their objective is not to retire in the classic sense of playing golf in Florida. But rather and that may include that or not. But really, it’s about financial independence. And oh Ken found it similar but different findings along the same lines, that really people want financial independence. And they recognize that it’s up to them to figure out what that means for them. And it’s so it’s highly personalized, an over use term in our business currently. But really, that’s what it’s about. People want a personalized experience. And then their situation, everybody’s situation obviously is quite different. And then to try to figure out how to go about it. That all said what next chapter love the work that you’re doing with the various firms who work with and the various colleagues across the industry that you’re working with, certainly with with next chapter is how do we help people fulfill on that opportunity to enjoy financial independence, because right now, they’re scared to death, inflation being the lead. And there is a differential for sure, between men and women, but they’re not comfortable and political scene, just the wars, though you go through the list. It’s just everything has them in a state of just being not comfortable. And so really up steps where you and I often spend a lot of time talking to the firms that we work with. How do you bring together digital and human advice? How do you bring it together in such a way that the advisor is empowered to have a personalized experience with that client, address their issues, solve their problems, make them feel more comfortable. So talk a little bit about that, because you do a lot of work across the spectrum, with lots of different types of firms with lots of different products and, and services. But it all comes back to how do you coordinate all of that in such a way that the experience is one that is comforting, ultimately, and then also produces an enhanced outcome.

Steve Gresham: So Jack, I think you actually put your finger on the word that I think is most critical, which is coordination. And we used to say connectivity. And we used to say all kinds of stuff. But you know, the reality is, everyone sees the situation. And they see it differently. And ultimately, it is based on the self interest of the organization that they have. So it’s fascinating to bring 60 companies together and next chapter have discussions about what we think is going on, and then try to plug into what could be the right solution. And I you know, I have to say that every place that I’ve ever worked, the only times we ever really made progress was when we achieved a level of humility that said, You know what, it’s quite possible that we are the ones that are the problem. And I can tell you that working with Kathy Murphy and the team and the personal investing division of fidelity, I mean, that was a rock and roll story, but there was Never ever a day where we ever blamed anybody else. If there was something that didn’t work, right, we’d looked at ourselves first. And I can’t remember a time when the answer was anybody other than us. So that’s where you got to start, the connectivity thing has become a little bit more complicated also, because not all of these different players operate with the same level of urgency. And so there are some that are quite happy with the way things are, because they’re separated a great deal from who the actual client is, and in some cases, the advisor. So the other challenge of it is, is that if you are really comfortable with where you are, you’re not going to be busting anything to try to innovate. But at the same time, as you point out that innovation is very difficult, because when these component parts are owned by different players that have different levels of self interest, different levels of motivation, and different levels of speed to action, it is extremely difficult to find the ringleader that is going to pull them together. And so some of the success stories that you see are actually the functioning of sort of a benevolent dictator who says this is the way it’s going to be. And it is very interesting to see that the most successful examples of that kind of operation are not that person trying to describe the way they think things should be, they are instead advocating for a client, a consumer and advisor, someone for whom they are trying to make all of this simpler and easier.

Jack Sharry: So let’s dig into that. Because you know, I’ve talked a good deal about this. And that’s, it’s sometimes characterized as it’s an advisor adoption issue. In other words, we’ve created all this cool stuff, all these tools, drop that for a moment. And then I’ll add another piece that we tend to come up with solutions that are not connected. In other words, we come up with a product, we come up with a FinTech tool, we come up with whatever we come up with. And but they’re not coordinated. And clearly with this notion of comprehensive advice platform, or comprehensive wealth management platform, is predicated on the idea that everything’s connected, and coordinated enhances one another. We’re on a journey. And we’re early in the journey, frankly, as an industry around that, but talk about that, because you deal with a lot of firms, whether it’s in lending, or whether it whether it’s with protected income, and there’s a variety of different ways and different types of firms retirement and retirement space. How do you start connecting those dots? How do you work with firms to engage the advisor? How do you get that advisor adoption, because if the advisor doesn’t adopt it, the clients not going to hear about it.

Steve Gresham: So there’s a couple of different aspects of that, because I’m not sold on the idea that the advisors should be the one that is driving the solution all the time, that seems to me as a kind of a gating mechanism, we’re never going to be able to grow and engage with the number of people that we need to, if we have to wait for a human to prioritize that in their day. And you know that our friend, John Thiel’s got a lot of horsepower around this topic, when he talks about the ability of an advisor to have the right kind of incentive to be able to plow through what really has become an enormous number of clients. You know, one of the things we don’t realize in full service a lot of the time, as compared to the big platform providers is that it full service, as advisors retire, or they leave or they do whatever they do, you end up with a lot of those kind of residual client relationships, and those get shipped around to whoever is left. And some of the people have been around for a long time have books that are something in the 75 to 80% range of people that they’ve inherited somewhere along the way. And since they didn’t start that relationship, chances are they’ve not really dug in and completed it. And now that most of those big firms are banks, it is really, really important for them to be able to hold on to that base. So what I think we’re angling for, again, you and I have talked about it a lot. I think we’re angling toward a world where a lot of the work will be done at the high end by advisors. Now you start to envision a pyramid with three different levels of service, this is what we ended up doing at Fidelity with the retail business. At the very high end, you have that bespoke fiduciary consulting work done by a top adviser all the way at the bottom, you’ve got to do it yourself solution, some would say robo, I would say get over it, it doesn’t matter. And then the middle area is the one that’s by far the largest as the middle always is. And that is where you have advisors and brokers and product companies kind of popping in and out with ideas in the moment. And a lot of that is driven by the demand and the behavior of clients. They’re not really engaged in the in depth planning. They don’t really want to spend enormous amounts of time working through all the choices. They’re really a little bit more episodic, and they hit it when they need it, and then they hop back out again. It’s sort of the way people are also digesting personal health care, this strong parallel here, but I think what’s going to happen is you’re going to continue to see this segregation And, and that’s critical because if you’re trying to provide product services advice, whatever it is, you’re going to want to be able to preserve the resources needed to do it at the high end, that has to come at the expense of something else, because you just don’t have the bandwidth. And so being able to automate some of the things that are done by humans actually becomes priority one, instead of having technology come in to handle the stuff that sort of pedantic and boring to people. That makes sense.

Jack Sharry: You know, totally. And you and I’ve talked about this good bit. And you know, the folks at Morgan Stanley as we do as well, at LifeYield, they’re our biggest client and have a front row seat, what they’re doing and everything I’m about to share is all public information. It’s been in the press, and so on. So nothing, no secrets here. But really what they’ve done, they purchase the trade, they have a Morgan Stanley online, so the direct to consumer is is in place. And there’s advisors, certainly with the trade, but you don’t have to use what if you don’t want to their wealth management business is classic in terms of how the typical New York Stock Exchange type firm has operated for years. And they’ve Of course, built out a robust technological infrastructure to support that, actually, all of these. And then yet another way that they touch the marketplaces, they’re what they call Morgan Stanley at work, which is their 401k defined contribution business. Their attitude is, however you want to come to us, we’re here to serve you. And they’re using common capabilities, technological, operational, trading, all the rest of it capabilities, that all each, each of the elements are being refined. But the key thing that they’re doing, a lot of people are paying close attention to what Morgan Stanley because, in my mind, the clear leader, we ever proceed to a lot of people, including all the all the biggest and best I would argue, what they’ve done so well is they recognize that doesn’t matter how you come to them and how you want to operate. To your point, the pyramid earlier point is that you can operate anywhere you’d like and we’ll take care of you and just the way you want to be taken care of. But we’re going to have the speediest that we’re going to have the most efficient, we’re going to look at things like taxes and risk. And we’re going to look at all the kinds of stuff that you need to consider. And we’re going to incorporate into a household level portfolio. So if you’d come in, there are good examples of talking about them necessarily. But this notion of moving toward a coordinated activity, I know you do a lot of work with firms of the protected income front, I know they’re moving in that direction. lending is becoming part of that that whole ecosystem that we were describing here. So talk about how the elements turn into a coordinated ecosystem, because we are in motion and Morgan Stanley would tell you, they’re still in motion they’re not, they have a lot more to go further along than anyone else, arguably, but a lot more to go in pulling all this together. But you from your perspective, because you you work with so many leaders, how are they responding to what seems just an imperative that the industry is moving this way?

Steve Gresham: Well, so it’s interesting. So I use an analogy, which I am prone to do from time to time. And so you know, there is a way for you, if you were building something, and you had all the parts on the floor, and you have the directions, and you’re looking at the directions, and you’ve got all those parts and you directions, the parts, I always look at the box that all the stuff came in, because I want to see what the thing actually looks like. Because some of it makes more sense instead of all the this multitude of parts, and even the very clear directions. So you look in the box to see what the thing looks like. This is the hardest part, I think of all wealth management, retirement and solutions delivery, there is no easy way for the people who are building the stuff to see what it’s supposed to look like when it goes in the hands of the user. So it’s a very, very difficult thing to be the advocate for a client. But man, is it critical because the best way to build any of these services and I’ll give you a story from a very senior leader that shared with me yesterday, you know, the is a friend of mine, David Didtenfass CMO of Fidelity said the act of true customer centricity is an act of extreme humility. And I think about that almost every day. Because if you know what you are solving for, you will identify all of the problems along the way. And you and I both know that unfortunately, a great number of terrific business successes began with somebody building it the way they wanted to, you know, the classic line from Henry Ford, you can have any color as long as it’s black, you know, for the initial model T. You know, they’ve refined the view a little bit since then. But that was the way they got the stuff to market. Now, you could say the same thing about a whole bunch of different financial products that have gotten significantly easier to use. But the initial thing that was built was probably built and, and I’ll say life yields a really good example of this, something that was really built with significant intellectual and mechanical integrity. But people would look at it on the outside and say like, what the hell and so when you solve the What the hell apart, you know what you’ve done if your place, that’s when it starts to make sense. So again, now we’re saying to a wealth management firm who built a product or whatever it is. And several, the Morgan Stanley capabilities are like that. They’re basically trying to follow the target client, who is the exact target client. The primary success we’ve had in our organization in the past two years, has been because we have been working with our clients to ruthlessly, ruthlessly research the absolute very, very best targets for, as you pointed out, protected income, for liquidity and security, and also now for wellness. Because if you can solve for the needs of those people, and you don’t get hung up in trying to connect a product to them immediately, you will actually become that person, that firm that can connect with them. And I want to say firm, because there’s not enough advisors in the world to connect in this way with everybody. But if you understand those six personas for protected income, or those four for securitized lending, you will be able to then create your engagement strategy that is consistent with those people. And that’s really what we learned at Fidelity by being able to create the personas that would then allow us to galvanize our offering, you don’t have to solve for 20 people, you have to solve for the people who most want what you are delivering, so that you can get yourselves coming in. The rest of them actually take care of themselves. Because if you solve for them, it can help it benefit the others.

Jack Sharry: It’s kind of a corollary, one of the things that life has been around a long time, 14 years now 14 years, when things we talked about forever. So what we do is we generate tax alpha. So that’s fundamentally what we do, we do it by managing multiple accounts, you can’t, by the way, generate tax Alpha fully, unless you consider multiple accounts, just how it is tax harvesting is great, but limited. And it’s not the end all be all, it’s frankly, quite limited, if you really look at it carefully. But if you do all the other ones asset location, and transitions and rebalancing, and blah, blah, blah, if you do all that stuff, you’re going to improve outcome and you can measure it. So we’ve talked about this forever, and people who agree that everyone hates pay taxes, and yeah, we should do something, we’ve got a nice client list, and they’ve all gotten onto it. But boy, let me tell you when the markets go down, a lot, like they have this this year and in in a way that feels out of out of control. And then you have been the bond market has gone down a lot. And you’ve got inflation that’s like where’d that come we don’t do inflation anymore. Last time was when you and I get started in the business. Last time inflation was an issue. You put all that together, all of a sudden taxes are kind of important, because it’s one of the few things you can control the biggest expense. But to your point, and you do this with the various products and firms that you work with, let’s find out what the issue that people are trying to solve for to get them started on the right path. So that this whole concept of the comprehensive approach can then make more sense. We do have a mentality I’d love your comments. As you and I grew up in the business doing this, we lead organizations in this regard, we tended to come up with the latest, greatest product and tell you why it was so great, and you ought to want it. And that’s fine for things like because you were you were at the dawning of SMEs and later you amaze and so on. The time came, it took a little while to convince and promote and all the rest of that sort of stuff. And now it’s just sort of standard people just that’s what you do. It’s how you manage money. It’s the advisory approach. They again, you were a real, one of the forefathers, if you will, point of all that is that now it’s not so much that a product is going to solve it. It’s about how you incorporate that into that whole approach that coordination that we talked about. So take it home for me, if you will.

Steve Gresham: Yeah. So now let’s go back into the dark ages when we were painting on the cave walls and talking about performance and the transparency of portfolio holdings and not having commissions in a portfolio. And you know that I remember I was getting fired at least twice from two different firms for having that kind of outrage in front of people. So but now AUM is the standardized way for being paid to do investment management, Wealth management power the entire industry. And now of course, at some point that’s going to be challenged, it’s being challenged now because it doesn’t guarantee an outcome. And so where the world has shifted now is that we need outcomes. So yes, you’ve got me on the investing track as a person heading toward retirement. Now you have to protect me, because I now see that I’ve got a finite runway, I’ve got stuff that I think is going to carry me for part of the way but I’m not really sure because I don’t know how long I’m going to go. Which is one of the reasons why as I tell you all the time, retirement planning is actually a fraud because most of the real questions that people ask cannot be answered because there is no way to get the answers. You know, how long are you going to live? Well, is that important? Yeah, it sure is. Because you can either stretch it or you can really just you know, well then I’ve said so I think what’s happening here in where we’re trying to go as an industry is to try to integrate, or the word used before connect these things. And the reason we do it is because that is the standard of care that has been requested and soon will be demanded by both the clients and the advisors. And someone will do it. We know that if the demand is there, and there certainly is margin in financial services, enough to attract all kinds of innovators, it’s really amazing to me that some of the stuff has not been better connected up until now. So I don’t think that that situation is going to pervade for much longer, because it’s just simply too important for people to be able to do that. But as I said, this is one of these shifts. And I really do think this is the biggest shift in the industry, since we were moving from stockbrokers to manage assets. So this one moving from those managed assets to protection is a very, very complicated step. Because some of those products are more complicated. The solutions that are there are more complicated. But to your point, Jack, they are not connected in the planning process, it is not really easy to see how you could get the leverage of buying an annuity product to be able to protect against longevity risk, it is hard to determine whether your long term care will kick in at a particular time and what that will look like. So but there is a huge future in protection and being able to provide protection, because ultimately, that’s what wellness is, is protection, it’s peace of mind.

Jack Sharry: Yep. And I’m gonna enhance, you’re connected to just elevate a little bit, quite a bit, actually, to coordinate, because connected in integration kind of in my mind kind of the same coordinate is taking all those factors like protected income as an example. And from the accumulation side with a lot of the guarantee type products that come out of the insurance industry. For the accumulation side as well. Both of those should be a part of we’re actually doing some work with some groups right now, along those lines where protected income and enhanced accumulation through tax deferral are part of that planning process, you increase the capacity of how you grow your assets, through a say low cost variable annuity, like an IOVA, or then when it comes to income. We’ve been doing some work with others that measure what the sentiment is what the what people are looking to do. Wade Pfau and company in particular that are looking at ways to determine what kind of what level of protection Do you want? So we’re doing some interesting work very much in line with what you’re doing, Steve, we’ve talked about this. But the whole idea is that we’re moving toward how do you incorporate that? How do you coordinate all of that in such a way that you’re getting a better outcome, and that better outcome includes peace of mind. So I know we’re on the same page on this sort of stuff. And we fight the good fight each and every day, try to get folks to join us in this battle. But I really appreciate your being on the show. I don’t know if there’s any last words before I go for my two favorite questions, three key takeaways and something personal that you’d like to share. But before that, anything before we close out our discussion for today, anything to add on what we’ve been talking about?

Steve Gresham: Yeah, I think you’re exactly right about coordination. You know, if you were to find somebody to help you do things differently than you’re doing today, you would probably have a whole bunch of activities, and you’d say I’m not getting the results I want from those activities. And I doubt you would hire somebody that was going to be the connector where you would hire somebody that’s called the coordinator. And they would coordinate on this new initiative. I had this conversation as you know, we’ve been hung up the other day at Morgan Stanley and, and I said, you know, we want to do something different. The issue is trying to collect these assets that clients have got scattered all over the industry. When you start talking about improving their level of protection, those assets come right home to roost. And so we have to talk about that. And that’s why I do think that it’s going to be not just the advisor anymore, I think the adviser needs to leverage their firm so that the firm can help get those clients lined up. That was the biggest lesson we learned at fidelity. And there’s a few trillion reasons to say that it worked.

Jack Sharry: Yeah. And actually, Morgan Stanley, again, talks about this frequently as they should, they should be very proud. They’re the fastest growing net new asset from the industry. And they’re doing it because of all the things we’re talking about. They are coordinating all that we’re describing. And guess what they’re winning more rollovers. They’re winning more assets, they’re overseeing more of the client’s net worth because they do a better job. They’re coordinating all the things that we’ve been describing. So our time goes tonight and time to move on to our two final questions. See, what are three key takeaways you’d like to leave our audience with us as we wrap up our discussion for today?

Steve Gresham: Well, you know, brevity, for me is unusual. But you know, what I’d like to leave you with is humility, complexity and unity. Wow. We already talked about humility. Without humility, you will not be able to solve the challenges that we’ve talked about and you will never build a connected platform. That just will never happen. If you don’t think that you’re actually most of the problem. You do not possess the level of open mind and imagination and creativity. The needed to put all these parts together. The second one is complexity. If you cannot acknowledge or manage the level of complexity associated with this stuff, you will never, never achieve the objective. That is my number one complaint of senior management in these companies, they do not recognize they’re part of a connected ecosystem in order to reach their greatest goals. And they do not have intellectual curiosity to investigate the connecting parts. Therefore, they will if you cannot understand what you are trying to connect to, you will never be a good connected party. So we can say that about next chapter as well, because that’s also about connection just happens to be human. And then the third one is unity, which is that there is a really, really, really big difference between alignment, which we hear all the time that you referenced second ago, there’s a big difference between alignment and being on the same team. You know, to beat up an old analogy, if you were to have a high quality bacon and egg breakfast, you could say that the chicken is aligned, but the pig is committed. And so that’s our problem. I think when we start to actually work on this stuff, there are people who are aligned, I see that in companies, I’ve got a meeting today, it’s going to be about getting better aligned. And it’s not you have to be on the same team, you cannot be on aligned teams. So you know, so with respect, humility, complexity, and unity.

Jack Sharry: Love it. So my favorite question that we asked each week love to hear the latest version, because you’ve been on a couple times, so you’re gonna have to cook up something new. And I know you got plenty of interests outside of your day work? What are some things that people might find interesting or surprising that you do when you’re not changing the world in the financial services industry?

Steve Gresham: Well, I’d like to be able to tell you that we just had some great stuff come out of the wood shop. But I have to say that the last three weeks have been dominated by working with FEMA insurance companies and just kind of trying to be moral support for my 88 year old mother, who had her retirement as you know, Jack, you know, you were in my wedding. My mom is tough lady. And so she had everything all buttoned up. My father was a great, great provider from the perspective of making sure everybody was taken care of. And he passed away a few years ago, but she had four to life and nobody’s from the universities he worked for. And she had his New York State Pension survivor annuity from that. So she had five checks coming in a month more than she could spend. And her life was idyllic. Unfortunately, the idyllic life she chose was on Sanibel Island off of Fort Myers in southwest Florida. And her house is trashed. And she won’t be able to reoccupied, of course, along with 1000s of her neighbors. And that’s a drag because, you know, you think you got it figured out. And I’m telling you, every one of us is right around the corner from some kind of retirement curveball and could just punch you in the face and you know, we’re living the dream.

Jack Sharry: Well, a lesson the sad lesson to behold but that’s what can happen. And that’s why I think so many people are so uncomfortable, but hopefully our listeners and will join you and I and hoping to save the day. So once again, Steve great to spend time and to get caught up and share your views and allow me to share some of mine I managed to sneak some of that in there. So with that in mind for our viewers, if you’ve enjoyed our podcast, please rate review, subscribe and or share what we’re doing here at WealthTech on Deck. We’re available wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks again, Steve. It’s been a great pleasure. I can’t wait for our next conversation.

Steve Gresham: Awesome. Thanks, Jack. Good to see you.