• Complex Manager
  • Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas
  • Number of Advisors: 133
  • Branch AUM: $9 billion

When Wells Fargo named Rick Folmar the company's second-best complex director for recruiting in 2011, he knew he had more work to do. "It's worse to be number two than it is to be number 20. If you're number 20, you never believed you could be number one," Folmar says.
He immediately called the winner, a good friend, and chided him about how he was going to take the top spot. Then Folmar recruited 13 veteran advisors the next year to win the title.

"When you're as competitive as I am—not just as competitive as I am, but as competitive as most people in this business—there's only one goal and that's to be number one," he says. "I have no intention of giving up that spot."

A 15-year veteran of the industry, Folmar started in 1998 as an advisor right out of college. He decided on wealth management when a recruiter said that advisors make more money than lawyers. Four years later, Folmar was not only running his own book of business, but also managing his first branch.

Those formative years, which he split between another wirehouse, training programs, and Wells Fargo's predecessor, First Union, shaped his management style. "There was a revolving door of managers early on," he says. "I had good managers and bad managers, and I learned from all of them, both in terms of how to be a better advisor and what I would do differently if I were in charge."

More importantly, working with clients and pushing himself helped him develop his leadership style, Folmar says. He will not suggest a product to advisors that he would not suggest to his own clients.

He moved out of production in 2010 and expanded his geographic coverage beyond Oklahoma, almost tripling the revenues under his helm. "They don't say this, but a lot of advisors want somebody who will lead them, who will give them a direction to go and something they can look forward to in building their practice," he says.

ROLE MODEL: Folmar speaks with his father, who ran a construction company, every week for coaching and advice.

FAVORITE QUOTE: “Great leaders cast their vision well and cast it often.”

FIRST JOB: Worked summers at his father’s construction company before becoming an advisor with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter out of college.

HOMETOWN: Corpus Christi, Texas


HOBBIES: His wife and four kids take up his time outside of work