Chief Compliance Officer
Justin Buller, IACCP®
Compliance & Business Administration Team
The fiduciary standard says you put the client first, but that doesn’t mean anything unless you actually do it. I became Chief Compliance Officer in 2009. One of the first things people talk about in compliance is ‘what’s the culture like, what’s the tone at the top?’ I tell people that my job is pretty easy in that regard because Nancy has always instilled in us that you put the client first.
She has built, and we have built this firm around the client. When you see that you can be successful that way, it makes things much easier. Here’s one way we do it. Our Code of Ethics says that employees can trade only during the last hour of the trading day. The client comes first, always.
In terms of how we might evolve, the firm is really the people. I don’t see any reason to believe we can’t grow the assets ten or fifteen times. The ones who know us, they understand they’re hiring the firm, the people, the culture. And you can see this from the tenure of our clients, some of whom have been here 25 and 30 years.
We’re not a trading strategy; you can’t look at this on a short-term basis.
I’ve not really worked anywhere else. I worked at a grocery store and interned at a municipal bond firm. A couple of things stand out when you compare us to other firms. One is the assets-to-people ratio. Many advisors might manage similar levels of assets as we do, but they may have many more employees. Another thing is that we all understand everyone’s function; how one team impacts the other.
“We’re not a trading strategy; you can’t look at this on a short-term basis.”
That we are women-led is absolutely part of why we are successful. No question. We check our egos at the door. The men who have been successful here have been willing to put their ego aside. I think women are better at making sure people are happy in their role, that they are truly valued and appreciated.
My mother always said, ‘live well within your means.’ I take that to heart. I grew up with my dad on Queen Anne. He had an incredible work ethic. He worked his fingers to the bone, and he was always kind.
When I’m not here, I love spending time with my family. I’m a competitive golfer. I aspire to play the senior tour. We have a place in the country; we have goats, we have a horse. My daughter rides.
Keeping the firm safe is a big responsibility. The compliance world is sometimes known as the ‘gate of no.’ I have
“The ones who know us, they understand they’re hiring the firm, the people, the culture. And you can see this from the tenure of our clients, some of whom have been here 25 and 30 years.”