KIRK MANDLIN

  • Complex Manager, Managing Director
  • Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Portland, Ore.
  • Number of Advisors: 140
  • Branch AUM: $7.1 billion

Kirk Mandlin has a simple goal for this year and any year. "To be the best leader, husband, and father I can possibly be," he says. With the power of positive thinking, Mandlin expects to use those strengths to expand his business.
"The challenge is to refocus our financial advisors on external growth," Mandlin says. Clients are aging, and their investment profiles have become more conservative. Many baby boomer clients are living on their distributions. Both these factors have resulted in a slightly reduced assets under management this year compared with last.

Mandlin's five-year plan calls for those assets to double, which means striving for increases of 15% per year. That will require enlisting the parent company, the advisors, and the office staff to think creatively and "get out there," he says. That includes meeting with potential clients and taking them to golf shows and Portland Trail Blazers basketball games.

So far, the technique is working. Results for the first quarter of 2013 are triple what they were for the first quarter of 2012. Much of this is thanks to increased exposure, Mandlin says.

The complex's Medford, Ore., office, used to assign one person to attend senior fairs to talk up Wells Fargo. Now the firm hands out tote bags—emblazoned with the Wells Fargo logo—to thousands of the fairs' visitors.

Mandlin is constantly seeking new recruits. Those coming from other firms usually have excellent training, but he is also looking for prospective hires who have been "successful in life and are looking for a second career."

Mandlin has spent nearly his whole professional career with Wells Fargo, after earlier employment with UBS Financial Services. For him, managing is not only professionally fulfilling, but personal as well.

"Leading people and doing great things fulfills me as a person," Mandlin says. He strives to fill the leaders' job, which he says is to "find the vision and ask the right questions," and wants his offices to be "the place to work [and] the employer of choice."

ROLE MODEL: Jack Welch

FAVORITE QUOTE: “It takes a village” and “The difference between excellence and mediocrity is effort”

FIRST JOB: Cleaned bathrooms in an elementary school in Tacoma, Wash., as part of a government program

SOCIAL MEDIA: LinkedIn and Facebook

HOBBIES: Family, faith, baseball coach, school board