I Got A *NEW* Job!

I had been living in the “Bring your whole self to work! Uh, except those parts. And those too, and yeah – maybe just this tiny piece of you works for us come to think of it, so file these TPS reports and see you Monday” world for too long.

I’ve started a new version of my old job at a company that is behind ALL of me and it feels… it feels a lot of things. Good things. Grateful things. “Did I really just do this?!” things. All of them.

There’s a lot of hard work to do in the near future, but I needed to say this before I got after it this morning:

Thank you to all of you who read my posts / get these emails / interact with me on the regular – because you’ve been my salvation for the past several years.

Find me on LinkedIn (Matt Zeigler) and Twitter (@CultishCreative), officially (!), and stay tuned for more updates on how Cultish Creative is foundational to my *NEW* job at Sunpointe.

If you’re not on LinkedIn, here’s the text from my post. If you are, here’s the link:

It’s official – Lisa Kearns, my most trusted sidekick and I, have closed the Merrill Lynch chapter of our professional journey and turned to a fresh page with Sunpointe Investments

We’ve got the “first day at a new school” feels right now. All the butterflies are officially in our stomachs, but all the opportunities are officially in our eyes too. And now we’re here, at your lunch table, hoping you’ll have a conversation with us about it.

First things firstly. 

We are still working with our creatively-minded executives, entrepreneurs, and everyday people.*

We are still crafting financial plans and investment strategies that evolve with our clients’ lives and the world around them. 

We are still prioritizing a human connection at the core of everything we do – no matter how financially complicated OR personal-life complex it may be. 

We still believe in aligning the plan, with the strategy, with the individuals involved, with whatever the world is currently throwing at any or all of the component parts – because the combination of all these factors where we add our value. 

And we love our clients (and our work). 

What we are changing is where we are doing it. 

We’re leaving a subset of kindred spirits in a gigantic organization behind, for a focused tribe of kindred spirits who believe there’s not just a better way to do this, but a lot of better ways. Plus a smaller ship is always faster to turn, and we think the world today demands we all adapt faster. 

Sunpointe was founded in 2016 by Michael Pompian. For many of the reasons we’re making our change, he left a leadership role at Mercer’s $8 billion Private Client group to strike out on his own. And I thought what we were doing was scary….

I knew of Michael before I knew Michael. In the industry, he’s a 5x book writer, contributor to several professional designation training curriculums, and a regular public speaker.

If you’re a professional who is not just interested in finance, but curious about why people behave the way they do with regard to financial decisions, you run into his work eventually. 

(There’s a good story about how we met too – but send me a message and I’ll share that one separately. Anyway…)

Lisa and I now know Michael and Sunpointe well, and we know them as a firm who prioritizes: 

Empathy for how the client understands a situation, 

Education to help shape that understanding, and 

Expertise – because if you don’t have the answer (or the answer framed in the right, empathetically-aware way) you should go find who does.

As Sunpointe has expanded, they’ve added what Seth Godin would call, “people like us who do things like this.” So far it’s working. Really well. With $3 billion in client assets (under advisement AND management for you filing checkers), they – no WE – can command big resources from a smaller, yet way more resourceful unit. 

Big resources include the ability to “unbundle” the advice, products, services, custody, and oversights that bigger firms have historically insisted they solely could “bundle” the best. 

Big firms pick what you get, sometimes despite what you need. Smaller firms get to cherry-pick what they need for the people they serve.

Building your own bundle, with the people you serve in mind, is better. And yes, that’s as much a slight on cable companies as it is on big finance. 

I’ll never get this old-school Charlie Merrill quote out of my head, “The interests of our clients must come first.” I’ll never get these new-school questions out of my head either – if Charlie’s words are true, then shouldn’t advice be impartial to where the products are created, impartial to where the assets are held, and above all -partial to putting the client’s interest first? 

We believe so. 

We believe we’ve been different for a long time in how we approach our work. 

We believe it’s time to lean into what makes us different, with a firm who embraces the same values, and take care of our clients the way we’d expect to be taken care of too. 

That’s it. We’re here.

We’re a little bit terrified (back to those first day at a new school vibes), but we also know we found our people and this is the first step down a long path. 

Now it’s your turn. Get in touch. We hope you’ll join us. The phone lines are open, the email is set up, and the coffee is on. We can’t wait to (re)connect.

*what does “creatively-minded” mean? If you’ve ever felt like you’re outside of the box, where you’re talking to people inside of a box and their cookie-cutters + one-size-fits-all solutions don’t look like they really care about you as an individual, congratulations – you are creatively minded.

We serve people who want to exist outside of that box, and in many cases, won’t be happy until they create their own box, which we love to help them do. 

Ps. Creatively minded people also have the best book, music, movie, art, activity, etc. suggestions. You can feel free send those our way too!