Making Cents of It All

Nelson Bradshaw

December 20, 2022 Jesse Stakes Episode 2
Making Cents of It All
Nelson Bradshaw
Show Notes Transcript

Nelson Bradshaw, Farther's Managing Director of Banking Strategies, has over 35 years of financial experience – with most of that time spent managing wealth, private banking, and commercial groups for BBVA, one of the largest international banks (later acquired by PNC Bank).

Nelson is a graduate of Louisiana State University and also completed executive management programs at the University of Texas at Austin and IESE International University in Europe. He is the chairman of the Gator Bowl organization and is deeply involved in the Florida business and non-profit community. Nelson lives in Jacksonville Beach, Florida with his wife of 30+ years, Judy.


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Jesse Stakes: Ladies and gentlemen. Today we have Nelson Bradshaw on the show. Nelson. Thank you so much for joining us.

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Nelson Bradshaw: glad to be here, Jessie. Good to see you. Yeah.

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Jesse Stakes: So, Nelson, you're the managing director of Banking strategies and Wealth advisory for farthest here in Jacksonville. Tell us what that. Looks like.

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Nelson Bradshaw: Well, further, is a financial technology company and the wealth management space a richer investment advisory firm. So we're attracting a financial advisors on to a a new tech platform, you'll find that actually most financials

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Nelson Bradshaw: systems are really 2030 year old technology that's been updated. And at some point it becomes very difficult to amend and innovate with it. And so the the co-founders are farther

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Nelson Bradshaw: 2 mit grads got together for after working for 2 very large institutions, and running into this problem to really set up a platform from scratch

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Nelson Bradshaw: that actually sits right on top of the rails of the world's largest custodian. So your money's still very safe at some place that we we use perishing Schwab fidelity. So

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Nelson Bradshaw: there. There are no concerns there. but it allowed me. so we have financial advisors that come on. But then.

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Nelson Bradshaw: our technology is also good for your community banks out there that might want to offer those services that they don't want to have to deal with the back end. So we're sort of their back in.

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Nelson Bradshaw: and then their salesforce, and we'll do the white label. So I I spent some some of my time on that which is where the the banking strategies piece comes from, and then, additionally, I I do have a personal book of business with Daniel Gills, my business partner in terms of managing funds

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Nelson Bradshaw: and a traditional wealth management platform with a lot of ins on planning. So

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Nelson Bradshaw: that's that's what fathers about?

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Nelson Bradshaw: Well, and I know that that's not all you do correct. You have. You have your hands in quite a few things.

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Nelson Bradshaw: so the last few years I have been overseeing commercial business banking wealth those areas as as long as business. And but at my core what I I tell folks that I've always done for 35 years

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Nelson Bradshaw: is service primarily closely held businesses, family businesses with the revenues of 10 million dollars and over and help them with all things financially, whether it was corporately

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Nelson Bradshaw: whether it was with their employee based in K or or personal planning through a private banking segment. But what I really wanted to do here 2 things: as I transition from from managing a large group, I wanted to go from managing portfolios and people to driving revenue and strategy.

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Nelson Bradshaw: And so, father has allowed me to do that in the wealth management space. I have another firm that I work with on the 4. One K space. That's a turn key best in class and then in terms of the company's capital stack. What?

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Nelson Bradshaw: what is your lending structure? Look like? How you know Banks, Nancy, Non bank financing equity

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Nelson Bradshaw: helping them with those decisions. And so

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Nelson Bradshaw: I like to say that I used to do all those things under one bank name, one platform and they that bank might have done some things that some things not so well. Now I could sort of pick the best the best in in in helping a sizable family business with all things financial.

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Jesse Stakes: That's nice, because you truly get to be a consultant for your for your customer, and and help them advocate for them. And what's in their best interest rather than advocating what's in the best interest for your bank? Correct

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Nelson Bradshaw: right? Right? Exactly.

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Jesse Stakes: You know i'd be remiss if I didn't ask, how did you get started in banking? What inspired you to to get into the industry?

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Nelson Bradshaw: Well, it. It was a part of my initial plan. you know, I got a an undergrad in finance at at Lsu

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Nelson Bradshaw: Was always in strict in the financial markets and and business ownership. I was actually given some stock by who who started a company who went on the New York Company, where on the New York Stock Exchange. So, even at 1011 years old, i'd i'd get out the newspaper and and look and see what the value of the stock was back when you went to the paper to do that. to do that. So I had an interest there.

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Nelson Bradshaw: and but as I I was getting my finance degree, I I came to learn that I I

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Nelson Bradshaw: I really wanted to be entrepreneur. Go out and and start my own business, and I said that you know what better to to to learn on someone Else's dying initially. Then go out and and try and figure it out on my own. So I went into what was a traditional bank

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Nelson Bradshaw: management training program they don't have as many of those around anymore, but they used to do bikes to a lot of train

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Nelson Bradshaw: where they would rotate you from department and department.

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Nelson Bradshaw: And then you sort of figure out in this one particular bank that I was with.

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Nelson Bradshaw: you know, after you rotate it a while they sort of had you designated in certain area, but you might end up rotating like I rotate through trust. we were a a a super large

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Nelson Bradshaw: single bank holding company, and so we had a strategic planning and development area. I worked with it. We had a a marketing strategies area that did product development.

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Nelson Bradshaw: I work in that area. So those those are neat. But where I really thought that i'd learned the most was in the in the traditional Credit Department

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Nelson Bradshaw: working with the commercial lenders and helping them underwrite loans, and my goal was to. We'll learn, You know, how companies make money, lose money and

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Nelson Bradshaw: and and and go out of my own. Well, what I really found out was just how hard that is, and I got used to that. That paycheck coming in. It was pretty decent paycheck good benefits, and and here I sit 35 years later. But I have exercise along the way from that entrepreneurial spirit on on the side.

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Nelson Bradshaw: But it I I know in a sense i'm living through my clients with that ent entrepreneurial spirit i'm i'm working with them, helping them realize their their dreams, and and hopefully just playing a small part of it.

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Jesse Stakes: Very cool. Well, and I you know I I I can. I can speak for my own experience. I really have a tremendous amount of respect for people who hang that are in shingle and go out and do it themselves, because to your point

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Jesse Stakes: to actually drive that top line revenue into a business it's challenging. Sometimes people don't realize how how hard it is to get respect from the beginning with it, with the name that you create yourself, and from you know, if you don't, if you don't have a paycheck. If you don't have somebody sign in a paycheck every week, it's you gotta. You gotta wonder what you know where who's going to pay the light bill and who's going to put food on the table?

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Nelson Bradshaw: Yeah, no, no no doubt about it. no doubt about it. So but it has. It has been a a a a great run, you know, initially as a

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Nelson Bradshaw: a commercial banker. I'll tell you the You know. One of the things in the notes she sent me back is what you think sort of yeah impact it, my career the most and i'll tell you the the first thing was, you know, I came out in the in the mid eighties.

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Nelson Bradshaw: and in the the mid to late eighties. They had a financial crisis in South Louisiana and Texas. that was very similar to what the whole country experience in, though a you know you had all drop. It was very old defendant. All drop from 30 bucks a barrel.

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Nelson Bradshaw: and so there are a lot of companies that we got in trouble, and then companies that service those companies, you know, just the whole, the dynamics of that and economics. And so I early on got thrown into the group that did the the the workouts, you know. Is there a way to salvage this.

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Nelson Bradshaw: and I get our best outcome, and generally you you wouldn't have taken someone that was 2425 years old and and and done that you would have some more experience. But, the stuff is happening so fast that you just need bodies to throw at it, and if you

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Nelson Bradshaw: trade water. You You did well, so it really helped me early on. Learn from others mistakes in terms of what they did, both distances, and as a banker.

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Nelson Bradshaw: and because I was able to trade water and swim, I I actually start at handling larger and larger accounts again. Mid twenties, and I'm hailing what today would be equivalent to 10 or 20 million dollar relationships and trying to make sure we salvages as much as we can at them. So that was sort of

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Nelson Bradshaw: early on One of the things that really helped me my my career that folks, you know, so recognized what I I did there, so I I got to elevate it pretty quickly.

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Jesse Stakes: It's such a such a cool experience, I mean. You got such a well rounded education and banking what you know, whether it was intended or unintended, or if it's people. Don't usually have that experience today as you you mentioned it, that they don't really have those traditional bank training programs anymore. I feel like, even in my own experience, people you you kind of get thrown into, you know.

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Jesse Stakes: be good at one thing you know, be it

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Jesse Stakes: be a you know, instead of being a jack of all trades, be a master of one essentially, but it's, but it really does.

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Jesse Stakes: You get it. You get elastic. A less experienced person handling your accounts. You get a less knowledgeable person that's relying on teammates sometimes rather than relying on their own experience. Do you feel like the quality of professional in the banking industry? That is, let's say, in their twenties now, or even in their early thirties.

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Jesse Stakes: Do you feel like that? They are a

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Jesse Stakes: a less qualified person being put in those positions than what used to be 30, you know. Call it 30 years ago.

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Nelson Bradshaw: Well, I think that they

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Nelson Bradshaw: they're basically becoming pure sales, folks

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Nelson Bradshaw: and it used to be. I mean, you had to have the sales aspect to you, but you had to be able to understand long documentation. You understand the legal pre legal documents. you had to understand the credit underwriting.

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Nelson Bradshaw: because you did a lot of the right. I might have an analyst that did some basic stuff that you you had to participate. So I don't think that they are as you say, as round it these days usually with it, plus. They do tend to sort of

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Nelson Bradshaw: getting one lane and stay there that a lot of banks silo things by industry where it could be health care.

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Nelson Bradshaw: it might be tax exempt institutional type financing car dealerships.

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Nelson Bradshaw: and I was fortunate enough to work for 2 banks that they really looked at the person geographically being the front line person, and they overlaid that expertise.

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Nelson Bradshaw: And I did enough of those deals that I got to learn the industry because of the guy who had the expertise. That was sort of co- helping me so. and so that really adds a lot of of a uniqueness. You know real estate today

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Nelson Bradshaw: either commercial or commercial real estate. I actually have a a strong background. I've led a commercial real estate team. I've done a lot of commercial real estate

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Nelson Bradshaw: in it. So it is. It is different. That you don't have is a true universal banker. as you you do. But you know they're trying to tech cost and create efficiency. so I don't think them products quite as good as it used to be, but

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Nelson Bradshaw: it's what's out there?

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Jesse Stakes: Do you think that it's cyclical? Do you think that it might return to that at some point here in the near future. Or do you think that for this foreseeable future we're going to kind of stay in the same trends of people specializing in in kind of staying in their lane.

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Nelson Bradshaw: Well, yeah, I I think that they are gonna continue to do that. You know a lot of where the foot where you do get some opportunity to to

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Nelson Bradshaw: do something that's more expansive with the community banks, because they

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Nelson Bradshaw: they don't have enough a book of business to to specialize a lot of times. But they're few and few of those community banks because of the regulations, since. you know, the financial crisis are such that you gotta have so many more back office folks

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Nelson Bradshaw: to stay in right with Cory compliance, and folks selling on the street that

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Nelson Bradshaw: they're very few startup banks anymore. It it is hard to make the numbers work so with with them, being few, or that's going to give you fewer opportunities for bankers to to get that more diversified training.

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Jesse Stakes: no doubt. Well, I think it it again. It affects that in customer as well, because then they get a different, a different level of individual that's having the conversation with them about their financial future, about or about their financial situation. Now.

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Jesse Stakes: I want to kind of turn it back towards farther and just

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Jesse Stakes: what I see in the industry is that everything is going towards a. You know, more technology based banking. Essentially, it's your your

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Jesse Stakes: I had somebody I had somebody who was an actual it person for a bank. Tell me, not too long ago, that banking has been a become a technology industry that just happens to be in banking. Do you find that to be where you see it going as Well, do you find that banking is becoming more of just

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Jesse Stakes: technology based, and that the banking is just secondary? Or do you think that there is still value

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Jesse Stakes: in the banking aspect of it, and not just in that technology overlay.

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Nelson Bradshaw: Well, I

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Nelson Bradshaw: if i'm going to bet on a company like farther

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Nelson Bradshaw: what I am truly betting on is, it takes both. It takes both technology

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Nelson Bradshaw: and people working together. So

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Nelson Bradshaw: in fact, our investors, like best of our mass mutual others that have invested in our series a. That was well or subscribed this last summer

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Nelson Bradshaw: they had been investors, and you know, i'll throw out better. That was. You know more of a Robo. You know that 4 or 5 years ago said, Well, we can do all this account, balancing wealth, management, balancing by automated programs and whatnot. Well, what you find is once someone gets maybe around a half man or so they tend to have a little more complexity, and they feel more comfortable talking to a person than just having some a a program

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Nelson Bradshaw: output, something on the other end. they've had some firms who have just tried to do. Roll up a restaurant investment advisory firms. Go, roll them up, cut your cost out, try and be more efficient, and those really didn't have the kind of level.

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Nelson Bradshaw: So what we're doing we've done that farther is we started out with code.

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Nelson Bradshaw: We started out the first year and a half is nothing but building the platform before we brought on a single client. and and now we're we are bringing on clients. But our whole goal is to that financial advisor. You'll hear a number just for like in commercial lending that there's

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Nelson Bradshaw: 30 to 60% of your time that you spend on

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Nelson Bradshaw: just doing back office type stuff, you know, helping the client with certain things back to office. Is that really have anything to do with helping them with their planning or getting better results of their portfolio, and so the farther platform. It's designed

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Nelson Bradshaw: to lessen that from being anywhere from 40 to 60% of their time to only being 10 to 15% of that time, and that extra time they can actually do help with the planning.

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Nelson Bradshaw: I I tell you it it's incredible. Me when I talk to someone, I said, who has an existing visor will tell me what they're doing in in terms of planning, you know. Let me, you know. Can you share your plan with me?

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Nelson Bradshaw: What they end up. Sharing with me is basically something that says that they've got a certain percentage of stocks and and growth equities certain percentage and and value, and so forth. And I say, that's not a plan. That's a strategy.

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Nelson Bradshaw: sure. The the plan is.

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Nelson Bradshaw: What do you? Where do you want to be financially, you know, 2030 years from now. Retirement and whatnot. And what are the inputs and outputs getting there? And your portfolio is just one aspect, and it does have a life of its own. But there's so much more to it.

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Nelson Bradshaw: And quite honestly, we see very few folks that really have a financial plan that have quite a bit of wealth.

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Jesse Stakes: I I would agree with you. I feel like there's

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Jesse Stakes: I think people get. You know they they hold their breath, they go underwater, and they start swimming, and it's by the time they pick their head up they don't really know. You know they've they've kind of been focused on the task at hand. They're focused on what they're doing every day, and it's a lot of the time. They don't really have an idea of what that what that future holds for them. So it's.

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Jesse Stakes: I think that's it's excellent that you're helping them out with that. And I think on the other side of it, helping their advisors actually guide them towards where they want to be in the end

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Jesse Stakes: is for is farther something that that you're that an in customer, somebody like me that's opening up my K statement, or i'm i'm speaking to an advisor about my retirement.

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Jesse Stakes: Am I going to know farther by brand name, or as far they're gonna sit behind the brand that i'm actually doing business with. Say, you know, whoever my adviser works with am I going to see their brand, and then farther as part of you know what they see right now. It's 98. You're gonna see farther.

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Nelson Bradshaw: I mean, we are working toward what I talk about with the banks and white labeling to them. So you know. So you don't truly see you get the further experience. But you're not seeing that that's who's providing a lot of that back end stuff

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Nelson Bradshaw: but no, so we are. We've recruited just in the last year we're probably up to about 40 financial advisors across the country. we ought to be by this time next year 150 or more. so yeah. So now we're we're primarily going to grow

00:19:08.940 --> 00:19:18.619
Nelson Bradshaw: organically. But we can have this hyper growth with bringing these financial advisors on because of our technology.

00:19:18.660 --> 00:19:21.300
Nelson Bradshaw: so, for instance,

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Nelson Bradshaw: you know, my partner, Daniel work at one of the big financial institutions and and on their wealth platform.

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Nelson Bradshaw: You know they're getting wet centers. It takes some 2 weeks to get an account open.

00:19:34.280 --> 00:19:38.079
Nelson Bradshaw: It takes us literally 5 min to get an account open.

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Nelson Bradshaw: so there's just a and you know, rebalancing. We have rebalancing tools so that the client that'll do it automatically. The client doesn't have to do that. We have tools where we can automatically

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Nelson Bradshaw: to hook up

00:19:54.940 --> 00:20:03.910
Nelson Bradshaw: our planning software to folks different accounts at other institutions outside of father, and the data feeds in

00:20:04.000 --> 00:20:05.400
Nelson Bradshaw: automatically.

00:20:05.420 --> 00:20:09.189
Nelson Bradshaw: so that their plan is always updated.

00:20:09.310 --> 00:20:21.590
Nelson Bradshaw: we generate view with them once and quarter to see how things are going, and and we'll meet with them. We're really not talking about what we do to get into portfolio performance, but we're more talking about

00:20:21.820 --> 00:20:28.800
Nelson Bradshaw: is the income. There is the the balances there that you need to accomplish your long-term goal

00:20:28.820 --> 00:20:38.109
Nelson Bradshaw: of whatever that looks like in in retirement, and the big purchases you might do along the way of nice boats, vacation homes, those kind of things. So

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Jesse Stakes: somebody's interested in doing business with you guys. Where can they find you if they're if they listen to this interview, and they say you know what i'm interested in, and looking more into farther.

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Jesse Stakes: Where can they find you guys, did they go online or their offices in their communities?

00:20:52.210 --> 00:21:01.350
Nelson Bradshaw: easiest way to find someone is to go online, And there's a a place where you can go in, and you can.

00:21:01.360 --> 00:21:12.440
Nelson Bradshaw: You can actually look at all of our advisors and and see, maybe, who you feel comfortable working with and reaching out. I will tell you that our our advisors

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Nelson Bradshaw: you know, we farther really gives advisors a way to go to market, and the way that they want to go to market. So why I like to work with business owners and families. There might be other folks like to work with the C suite of public companies, or what? So you know, finding that person that's a good fit for you.

00:21:32.460 --> 00:21:36.389
Nelson Bradshaw: we've got that information for the different advisors.

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Nelson Bradshaw: you know, we're all across the country quite honestly.

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Nelson Bradshaw: I still meet a lot of my clients usually early on, when I first meet them it's face to face. But, 90% of my meetings are reach or virtual these days, even if they're in the same city. So it's more about finding the

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Nelson Bradshaw: the right fit than it is. Can you go down to the corner bank? You know the Banks

00:22:01.540 --> 00:22:03.640
Nelson Bradshaw: branch and and meet someone.

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Jesse Stakes: no doubt, and we'll make sure that your information is listed with this interview as well, because that's probably the easiest way that somebody can get in touch with. Farther is find Nelson Bradshaw.

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Jesse Stakes: I want to switch gears a little bit and talk about some of the stuff that you do. Personally, I know that you're involved with a lot of different causes. You're very engaged in your community, and i'd love to hear about some of the some of the causes that you support, and number one just because it's coming up soon as the gator bowl here in Jackson, though, tell us a little bit about that. How'd you get involved with them?

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Nelson Bradshaw: Well, i'd i'd like to say that I just reached out and found it interesting, but the reality is, for not the bank moved me over here to run this market 14 years ago. we have an advisory board, and for those Advisory Board members have been prior gatorball chairman, so they very quickly got me involved in their favorite thing, but as it turned out.

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Nelson Bradshaw: it became one of my favorite things to be involved in. They

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Nelson Bradshaw: you know, we saved the the the

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Nelson Bradshaw: The organization does a lot of charity, especially somewhat sports leadership related in the lower session socioeconomic markets and areas.

00:23:18.420 --> 00:23:31.619
Nelson Bradshaw: with it. So we really say that the game is a celebration of the work that the gator bowl does all year long from a flampy standpoint, and you know we've been doing it for 76 years.

00:23:31.690 --> 00:23:51.320
Nelson Bradshaw: so we're one of the oldest ball games out there. and we generally today it's moved over the years we used to have Sec. Big 10 Acc. That we pull from today. We pull from the sec, and usually so on in that

00:23:51.330 --> 00:23:53.250
Nelson Bradshaw: fifth or sixth

00:23:53.590 --> 00:24:00.570
Nelson Bradshaw: within the sec ranking, and then out the Acc. can be sort of their number 4 or or fifth

00:24:00.620 --> 00:24:17.349
Nelson Bradshaw: out of that and so this year our Sec. Team is is a University of South Carolina, who just had 2 great lens with top 25 against top 25 teams. At the end of the year, and they're playing Notre Dame. It's always the perennial

00:24:17.360 --> 00:24:27.440
Nelson Bradshaw: favorite nationwide. And we it's it's a sell out already. We haven't had a a sell out since

00:24:28.000 --> 00:24:40.869
Nelson Bradshaw: right after I first got here. Bobby Bowden's last game is as the coach at Fsu. I was against Virginia Tech. And we had to sell out then. So we're. The city's really excited about

00:24:41.010 --> 00:24:58.029
Nelson Bradshaw: that's excellent congratulations. I'm sure the hospitality industry is is is going to be buying new drinks and buying you dinner over the next couple of months. Yeah, it is. unfortunately, you're gonna have it's a high price to get a bed right now, but it'll be worth it so.

00:24:58.050 --> 00:25:11.750
Nelson Bradshaw: But no, we we do that, and you know I try and have my involvement sort of moved around with different areas. been on the foundation board for Hubbard House, which works with, you know, abused

00:25:13.000 --> 00:25:27.420
Nelson Bradshaw: primarily women you know, and their children, and and help them leave that abuser and get on their fee so that's that's important. the arts, I think, are important. on the board at Florida Theater.

00:25:27.430 --> 00:25:34.480
Nelson Bradshaw: which actually is a real gym in this community. for theaters that hold under 2,000

00:25:34.520 --> 00:25:50.499
Nelson Bradshaw: people. We're in the top 25 in the country. in terms of of of venues and then here tomorrow a mental health. And that really focuses we all.

00:25:50.530 --> 00:25:58.539
Nelson Bradshaw: We were seeing this before even Covid, but the middle stress, and that folks contemplating suicide

00:25:58.570 --> 00:26:13.929
Nelson Bradshaw: the the challenge was, it takes over 30 days to get an appointment with a a counselor, and if you're in that kind of darkness, you don't have 30 days, and so we've. we've. We've made it where you can get with someone in in 2448 h

00:26:13.940 --> 00:26:19.380
Nelson Bradshaw: at no cost, and we'll we'll support those efforts for a year.

00:26:21.730 --> 00:26:24.609
Jesse Stakes: do you sleep at all, Nelson? It sounds like you got an

00:26:24.630 --> 00:26:42.679
Nelson Bradshaw: incredibly busy dance card. Well, I do. Well, you know, my kids are grown now, so I guess we said, being in soccer fields on weekends, or at the cheerleader practice, or whatever that this is where I sort of spend my my extra time outside playing a little bit of a golf and fishing a little bit.

00:26:42.690 --> 00:26:53.709
Jesse Stakes: That's wonderful. Well, we certainly appreciate you being on the show today. if people want to learn more about you, or if they've really enjoyed this, and they'd like to get in touch with you and and do business with you. Where can they find you?

00:26:54.390 --> 00:27:07.560
Nelson Bradshaw: well, Nelson at is easy to get a hold of me there and then. if you want to learn more about what i'm sort of doing out there, there's actually, you know, Jamie

00:27:07.570 --> 00:27:21.990
Nelson Bradshaw: Jackson, Business Journal, and others have, you know, several articles on on things I've I've been involved in. did mention I'm pretty ha heavily involved in the commercial real estate industry primarily through an orn national organization. to call in a

00:27:22.000 --> 00:27:28.870
Nelson Bradshaw: to do that. So and especially if you're in town. It's easier to find me. I'm. I'm at a lot of events and

00:27:28.890 --> 00:27:32.749
Nelson Bradshaw: running in folks like Jesse and business development area.

00:27:32.960 --> 00:27:48.359
Nelson Bradshaw: Well, Thank you so much for joining us and thank you for helping our audience make sense of it all. Yeah, it's a real pleasure. Appreciate what you're doing, trying to help get folks know about what's going on in in Jacksonville, because there's a lot of good stuff happening here

00:27:48.670 --> 00:27:50.459
Jesse Stakes: all right. Good deal. Thank you, Nelson.

00:27:50.500 --> 00:27:51.470
Nelson Bradshaw: Bye, bye.

00:27:56.880 --> 00:27:57.700
Jesse Stakes: good deal.