MICHAEL GATEWOOD

  • Complex Director
  • UBS Wealth Management
  • Troy, Mich.
  • Number of Advisors: 91
  • Branch AUM: $9.8 billion

Michael Gatewood's desire to raise his children in the Midwest prompted his move to Chicago in 2005—and transformed his career. Starting there as assistant manager of UBS's downtown office, he was picked in 2008 to run the Troy office. GM was going bankrupt, and the other car companies were flailing.
It was trying, but also a time of opportunity. "You earn your relationships in difficult times," he explains. "It is easy to forget how important [your role] can be to people."

One of the tougher jobs his team confronted was advising clients whether an industry buyout of their pensions would be right for them. "In a lot of cases, we told people to keep their pension,'' Gatewood says. "Sometimes we had to be adamant with people, because they really wanted to take the money, and sometimes shouldn't." His advisors' advice might have crimped their business, he says, "but we did the right thing."

In late 2010, after the auto industry crisis, Gatewood was named complex director and charged with leading several offices. He wanted his team to be engaged in the community.

They have worked hard to nurture children in Detroit and provide assistance to families whose children have cancer. The team also worked to build and supply a homeless shelter. "We have a lot of people who care about the community," he says.

Gatewood tries to stay in close contact with all of his advisors. "I can't meet with them all, but I meet with about 40 here in Troy monthly. I try to replicate that in the other offices by traveling and by having my branch managers do the same thing."

Gatewood believes the best advisor focuses on a specific segment. "My job is to help them grow their business," he says.

His goal is to push each advisor past $1 million in production. "Baby boomers need advice, and it is a lot different from the advice they needed during the accumulation phase of their lives,'' he says."We are transferring to more of a financial planning business, and that's where the growth is going to be."

ROLE MODEL: His father, who was a coach -- high school, college and division one. Gatewood says he almost went into coaching too, and now realizes he really is coaching a different set of professionals.

FAVORITE QUOTE: “Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better.” -- Bill Bradley, NBA star and U.S. Senator from New Jersey

FIRST JOB: Internship at PaineWebber

SOCIAL MEDIA:  It will become an increasingly important part of our business, Gatewood says, but it’s going to come in phases.