Every year when On Wall Street sets out to identify the top branch managers in the wealth management industry, we always learn new lessons about what it takes to get to the top.

The leaders who landed on the Top 10 Branch Managers list, co-sponsored by New York Life/MainStay Investments, have all faced some kind of adversity before reaching the success they now hold in their current positions. Those challenges forced them to persevere, like Joseph DeFalco of Ameriprise, who built his once-dwindling office back up after he was handed the keys. It has forced them to get creative, like Jeff Dobyns of Southwestern Investment Group/Raymond James did when he called up the popular financial guru Dave Ramsey's show, which turned into an everflowing source of referrals. And it has challenged them to get even more competitive, as Rick Folmar of Wells Fargo Advisors did when he was ranked number two in his firm for recruiting. Was Folmar eventually able to nab the top slot in the Wells Fargo ranking?

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