If you’re wondering what exactly happened about three years ago when legislators, aides, lobbyists, and regulators all met to change the way business was done on Wall Street, there’s an email trail that will tell the story. The 20-hour all-nighter was an exhausting session for everyone involved.
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Except for a dozen or so emails sent to the SEC by an attorney over that same 20 hours. Those emails became transformed into what is now called the Dodd-Frank Act.
They also epitomize the way you can build relationships with influential people and make your voice heard on important matters that affect you and your clients.
Dodd-Frank’s 2300 pages of new regulatory mandates are still being dealt with by the SEC and the financial industry.
Over the last two years, the SEC has only created about 100 (approximately one third) of the mandates stipulated by the new law.
In the process of appointing herself chief email correspondent, the lawyer responsible for sending those emails—Annette Nazareth—built relationships with the SEC that have given her an in with the agency.
It’s a prime example of how lobbyists and lawyers bond with lawmakers and thus, have influence on legislation that is brought for consideration and possible passage.
And although the officials with whom those relationships are formed may go out the door after a short period of time, the methods Nazareth used in her emails to build those bonds reveals prudent strategies.
First, instead of asking directly for specific policy requests, she asked for meetings, offered her expertise, and stated her opinions on debates going on in Congress.
Understanding both perspectives of a process also gives you a significant leg up. For example, Nazareth is a lawyer in a firm outside Washington. Yet, she’s been on the inside, influencing how regulatory legislation should be formulated.
Translated to the advisor-client relationship, you have the advantage of being on the inside of the advisory industry. You also can learn to shift your mindset to see how your clients view things from their perspective.
How does your client define success? How does that definition differ from the way you defined success for them? This is where meaningful translation occurs that can cement relationships for multiple generations. It’s also a path toward making your mark
on an industry that you love and work in every single day.