• Executive Director, Complex Manager, Family Wealth Director
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Boston
  • Number of Advisors: 130
  • Branch AUM: $15 billion

Rob Malenfant's financial services career began in the collections department in the windowless basement of a Boston bank branch where he called on delinquent debtors and assisted on deals as he worked his way up to loan officer. "I learned about proper risk management, and I also became pretty efficient and effective on the phone as a prospector, which I later used in building my business as an advisor," he recalls.
Malenfant's career as a loan officer was sidetracked by a fortuitous late-evening house call to a Smith Barney branch manager around 8:30 p.m. Noting how late Malenfant worked, the branch manager told him he should check out the investment side where the hours were better.

Acting on that advice, Malenfant worked his way up the ranks at Smith Barney, spending several years in Connecticut, New York, and Los Angeles before returning to Boston as a branch manager. The variety of experiences and people he worked with inspires him now at his Boston Harbor complex, he says.

"You gain exposure to some super-talented advisors," Malenfant says. "I've learned a great deal from all of them, and one of my passions is really sharing the best of the best with my current group of advisors." That includes using some creative ways to boost his advisors' confidence, such as spending time videotaping a mock elevator pitch or cocktail introduction and then evaluating the conversation play-by-play like a football team watching tapes.

"Once you leave the training center, you almost never spend any time videotaping. Yet when you look at the professional athletes or anyone in a professional organization, they spend a lot of time roleplaying and videotaping," he says. "The feedback has been terrific."

To keep his 130 advisors growing, Malenfant is working to expand the capabilities his branches have (including banking and lending) so that they can aggregate assets and help clients cut through the complexities of retirement. "There's a real desire to simplify their financial lives," Malenfant says.

ROLE MODEL: His leaders along the way, including a branch director in New York who hired Malenfant as an assistant branch manager for an office on Fifth Avenue in New York

MANTRA: “One advisor at a time.That’s one of the biggest challenges of a branch manager and one of our core responsibilities: to lead, motivate and inspire our advisors to get the most out of themselves,” Malenfant says.

FIRST JOB: Credit-trained banker in the collections department of a bank


SOCIAL MEDIA: Active on LinkedIn, and just hired a technology trainer to help his team.

HOBBIES: Running and coaching youth basketball and other sports