This week In The Suite welcomes Keena Pettijohn into the guest chair. Keena has navigated her career for nearly half a century. She made a revolutionary move away from all the tech solutions, instead focusing on establishing conversations as an opportunity to create a result. She has an almost clairvoyant capacity to recognize the moment to jump ship, breaking patterns and barriers as she does it.
She has such a long career and resume, which she breaks down in the podcast episode. Now, Keena is the CEO and Founder of Lifelogixs, a strategic consultancy firm that embraces holistic technology solutions, transforming an Advisor into a “Life Coach” by addressing the wealth, health, and happiness needs of the clients they serve.
In our discussion, you’ll discover some of Keena’s best advice for establishing a career that you can grow with for years to come. She has deep expertise in how to stay relevant and maintain a career that can last a long time in a world where things are designed to break down. You will love hearing what she has to say about why she decided to work for herself, her thoughts on lifelong learning, as well as the importance of breaking patterns. You’ll want to write notes for this episode, it’s chock full of amazing advice.
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Tina Powell 0:08
Hi, this is Tina Powell host of In the Suite where I sit down with top women leaders and some of the biggest names in the financial services and the wealth management industry. Together we'll discover some of their best secrets and top strategies to grow great business build a strong brand and lead teams in the 21st century. I hope you'll enjoy hearing their amazing personal stories of triumph, trepidation and transformation in hopes of becoming better leaders ourselves. The time for you to lead is now and you're In the Suite.
For nearly half a century, Keena Pettijohn has navigated her career with one of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People begin with the end in mind that forward to today Keena is now CEO and founder of Lifelogixs, a strategic consultancy firm that embraces holistic technology solutions that transforms the advisor into life coach by addressing the wealth, health and happiness needs of the clients they serve. Keena is also the Innovations Advisor to the Bank Insurance and Securities Association BISA, which boasts a membership of over 1100 Senior decision makers from national banks and credit unions throughout the country engaged in wealth management. And right before the COVID pandemic she headed BISA’s innovations lab at their annual conference in March. Keena’s work as author and moderator of digital transformation of the customer journey with average purging and five serve was featured in the 2019 BISA annual publication. Keena's origin story in the financial services On Wall Street over 46 years ago as a technical trader, and an arbitrage err, she's an accomplished Wealth Management executive with over 40 decades in the financial services industry, with expertise and bank, credit unions, broker dealers, RIAs, and insurance distribution channels. Throughout her career Keena has witnessed the biggest names in the financial services grow up from LPL to Wells Fargo to TD Ameritrade, even the T3 conference, which she effectively calls T3 University and one of the many gifts you'll discover about Keena's her ability to evolve. She herself has gone through nine acquisitions, nine relocations, nine bosses, and nine teams and has had to reinvent herself each and every time. She's a lifelong learner and a keen observer of technology trends as it relates to the mature and in the up and coming disruptors. Tina's nearly half as century journey is a page taken right out of the financial services longevity career playbook In the Suite. So Hello, everyone, we are just we're having a lot of fun behind the scenes when the camera wasn't rolling, actually. And I am really proud to be sitting here today virtually Of course, even though we're both in the same state and that would be Florida right now. I am joined by Keena Pettijohn, who is CEO and founder of Lifelogixs. And the one remarkable thing about Keena is that Keena you've been an accomplished Wealth Management executive now for over 30 years in the financial services industry, and you have a different skill set than I do. You have deep expertise in banks, credit unions, broker dealers, IRAs, insurance, insurance distribution channels, as well as a lot of product innovation. So I am so excited to talk to you the last time that we spoke. Interestingly enough, you were one of the last events before COVID. From March 3 to march 9, I had a client that was working with you at BISA Bank insurance securities Association at your annual conference. So number one, I wanted to welcome you to the, to the to the not to the conference. I wish for the conference. I do want to welcome you to the podcast today. It's great to see you. I know that you and Craig are doing well and all of your animals so Hello, and welcome to In the Suite.
Keena Pettijohn 4:40
Thank you, Tina, this this is an honor Truly, I want you to know that this is my first podcast ever. So be gentle on me.
Tina Powell 4:53
We're gonna have a great conversation today. And yes, it's it's it's wonderful, right? I mean, I I'm so excited that you're here. And the fact that this is a person that this is your first podcast, yes, is something that is, I feel really fantastic about and you should. So the goal of the podcast is to talk about the origin stories of women in financial services and wealth management. And one of the reasons that that I want I started the podcast is to hear from a variety of voices. And just as you and I were talking before the podcast even started to roll I said, if somebody when I was in my 20s, would have told me how awesome this industry is, and how it's filled with amazing people and technology, talent, events, and how I would feel so how I would be able to go into the universe and do my best work being here in this industry. I think you would say the same thing. Absolutely. And that's why you're here. I want to hear your story. Let's go Kind of let's talk about right now you're CEO and founder of Lifelogixs. And tell us a little bit about Lifelogixs. It's your own consulting firm. Congratulations on that. And you and I started to deal with each other. And when you were just in the formation stages of Lifelogixs, so let's start there. And then we'll segue into BISA. And a lot of interesting topics we have in store today.
Keena Pettijohn 6:26
Thank you, Tina. It's interesting that I arrived at the name Lifelogixs. And then of course, we all want to be strategic consultants. So it expanded to life logic strategic consultancy group. But I'll tell you, it took me a while and also we had conversation when I first embarked on this. And again, I'll still call you the Wizard of Oz. I had no idea of what the name was going to be. What the value I was bringing to the market. What my deep love level of expertise was, and I will always be grateful for your friendship and your support because like the Wizard of Oz, you gave me the heart and the courage and the brain to go forth. And that is absolutely the most important part of what I did with someone such as yourself, because for those people embarking on this industry, surround yourself with positive, supportive, inspirational people that really believe that you can do it, that confidence. encouragement is critical. And I'll say that as many individuals are embarking on financial services, because it is a industry of change. It's an industry of adopting so back to Lifelogixs. It took a while to even land on that name. And I knew and I'll share with you how long I've been in the industry. And I remember they just discovered fire at the time. That dad sure that
Tina Powell 8:09
say, I will say that one of the one of the most interesting things about you is the fact that we are different. We're of different generations. Yes. And I look at you with such style and poise and grace at the way that you've been able to navigate your career. And you had some of your early roles were at countrywide and bank bank united. So I know we're on the topics of Lifelogixs, but you know, you were just saying how awesome this profession is. You've been in this career for more than 30 years and you're thriving. Now. I want to make that distinction here. I am sitting across from a woman who is thriving in her career, and you are not looking to work another 30 or 20 years. You're, you're exactly. So that is really something to be said, I don't find many examples of that, hence why I really wanted to pull you into the suite today to let women know and even to convince myself as a woman in my 50s, to say, you know what, I have a place here for the next 30 years, 40 years, even if I want to be here. So what was it early in your career? We talked about some of the elements that attracted you to the profession, but who How did you get here? What were How did you start those early roles?
Keena Pettijohn 9:33
Well, I'm going to go back to the very beginning. And I appreciate your saying that I have expertise. So 30 years, but I'm going to move that meter out. I actually have a career so far. 46 years. Wow. So as an inspiration for longevity, and agility. This is an individual of 46 years in the financial services. industry, and
Tina Powell 10:05
I'm gonna, you're looking awesome.
Keena Pettijohn 10:09
So this is what happens after 46 years and keep in mind for years I will be on my 50th year anniversary. Wow, same industry. And I'll share with you. I graduated college in 1974. And I had an apartment at $160 a month I couldn't afford. I entered into a double digit credit area of loan rates were 14%, of course certificates of deposit. I had a major and there was no job. So my first job in terms of how did I get here, which I think taught me a lot in terms of hand to hand combat, and to always leave the customer with a great experience. I learned in my first job as a greeter. What is a greater a greater someone that meets meets customers as they walk into a auto dealership that are not happy with having their car fixed that they just bought? Think about the positioning of talking to the customer, making them saying, Wow, this was the greatest experience I ever had, and listening to them. So I had a tremendous opportunity in learning what the customer wanted. So I got my first real job at an insurance company and I had no qualifications. And I became a bookkeeper. And I was a bookkeeper processing commissions and premiums, I only can type one key at a time I refuse to learn how to type because that's what they would make me do if in 36 years ago. So I became a bookkeeper. And then I decided I need to do better. I need to get more degrees more stuff because I really want to be successful. in financial services, so I started to work during the day and at night and I wanted my Masters in Business. I could not make rent. I could not pay my bills. I went to my professor, his name was Ozzy, Nestor
Tina Powell 12:15
bless his soul. Oh boy. I that's quite an Aussie Nester, I love it. You can't make this stuff up. By the way. We're here in this week. You can't.
Keena Pettijohn 12:25
So I went to Ozzy and I said, Listen, I need to make money. Can you tell me what industries I should go into? And he gave me three industries, which I refer to as PPP, petroleum, the petroleum industry. My first job interview, never talking thousands of years ago was with a Petroleum Company, Mr. Hess. If you remember going back all those years, I would be the only woman that wanted to enter as a possible lower management position. No, I didn't. I didn't get the job. Then he said, Well, pharmaceuticals go That? Well, a couple of things were challenging. I was height challenge. I was gender challenged. I didn't have the sales skills. So I didn't get into the pharmaceutical area. last hope. He said precious metals. I didn't even know what that was. So I go to the New York Times, and remember, you could hold it and you've got all that black ink. I'm surprised that I didn't pass away at that time and I see something on the right. And it says financial assistant needed. Okay, it had finance in it, it sounded really
Tina Powell 13:34
good in it, that's for sure.
Keena Pettijohn 13:38
So I go for the job interview. I know I need to look you know, serious. So I wore a black suit, but black pumps, you know, white string of pearls. And I go and he starts talking to me says, Well, you know, you don't have any experience. I said, Absolutely not. He says you don't really understand what we do here. So I have no idea but I did see finance The assistant to the Vice President and that you were willing to start someone with no experience. He goes, That's right. So it was that experience. I learned to be an arbitrage err, I learned to manage institutional positions, I learned anything about money markets, spreads. And I worked at your Suleyman, American Express which doesn't exist. And I worked in a building that doesn't exist world trade on the hundred and seven floor. And I stayed there for about 789 years, quite a long time. And I was in the building and then I got a call from someone that says, you know, we're starting a wealth management program. Okay. I don't know what that is. But we would like to have someone that understands the markets, you know, in, you know, an institution and we'd like to speak with you. So I'm downtown Manhattan and I go to Midtown. Sounds good. And they started talking to me and I was one of the first seven people hired for a small company by the name of Citibank to to start their area where they would offer non FDIC insured products. We had two products. Two, we had a fixed annuity, and we had a mutual fund, which was their own It was called landmark. So we had two product offerings from which to serve the customer. That was it.
Tina Powell 15:33
That's so interesting. And you were so you were one of the seven Were there other women there?
Keena Pettijohn 15:39
There was a few, but they were acting in the capacity of ops operations now, not in the point of a face to face with the customers of high net worth with the commercial lenders with the private bankers. So I was one of the few people that actually interface with all this different divisions.
Tina Powell 16:01
That's so cool. So then walk us through a little bit about your time there. How long did you spend then at Citi group?
Keena Pettijohn 16:08
I stayed there for at least five years, nine, and I was recruited by another company that had a securities division by the name of Liberty Mutual, huh? So Liberty Mutual had decided since they had the insurance business, they were going to also offer security. So I was recruited by Liberty Mutual. And I started focusing on their enterprise business, specifically banks. And I was a key accounts manager, I had an opportunity for the different Eastern banks that were based in the New York tri market area in New Jersey, Connecticut in New York. And as a result of that, you got to learn everything about working with the bank culture, working in how they perceive non interest income, how they would go through a request for approval. proposal for due diligence, in turn bringing different products and processes, how they would compensate Wealth Advisors. So when you learn all that in addition to institution, you really start to become a specialist. So it took about 12 years to just focus on the enterprise. And then from there, I started to work for third party marketers, and what are they they're not broker dealers, they are companies that do clearing all the account processing all of the back office, middle and front. And they go into the lobbies of banks and credit unions and offer from end to end solutions, everything. So I now worked for a company that was a third party marketer, that was a that was purchase, which you'll enjoy by a small company by the name of LPL.
Tina Powell 18:01
Great, I love it Keena that you've been that you've been in the right place at the right time. And it's like I knew then I knew them when? Yeah, and we've been really interesting to see in financial services is the consolidation of companies and the acceleration of growth and companies at the same time. What is it like today then? Well, I should I don't want to take you off your tracks. So then that was another position. Yes. You had a lot of positions. Yeah. And was that what walk us through the the next slide? We're still not a country wide yet. Right now. It was
Keena Pettijohn 18:38
a country wide was a a an area of when I worked for a third party marketer that was purchased by LPL that decided that mutual funds insurance products should be offered through mortgage areas and countrywide was a very successful mortgage company that as you took in your mortgage applications, because you had net income, you had all of your liabilities, you had everything about your profession, your credit score debt to equity. They said if anyone can start wealth offerings, it's going to be in a mortgage backed industry. So countrywide stayed in that area for a while. I took a position of a regional coverage with the countrywide offices, and I was the only one to work with countrywide. on building a referral program to build the marketing program on how to position wealth management in a mortgage based company, how to train their mortgage officers as to when do they uncover the opportunity in the mortgage process. So I wanted to create a confidential data profile so when they would start at Asking questions about their debt, where their assets were, they knew to start asking do you have a retirement account? Do you have a retirement account with your employer? Do you know what a retirement account and that started the conversation?
Tina Powell 20:26
So it seems like a lot of your career has been behind the scenes. Yes. And that you haven't necessarily been dealing with the, like the average consumer, the average investor or the people that would come into like a bank branch that somehow that you've been behind the scenes that all of these companies and again, I refer your to your vj that you have worked for. I'm going to just be here. I'm going to read off sighs okay, right. Nine. So we've got held positions securities principal core states now Wells Fargo, a story a bank now Sterling. Formerly eastern bank sank United Health position at shearson. Lehman American Express, we have talked about that. You've also too done some really interesting work. Let's kind of, we'll fast forward it right. Because there's what I love, though, is that the fact that you've been at these companies when both the industry and the company itself was in infancy, yeah, what's the meaning? What's the main takeaway from that? What's the aha moment? Now as you look back, right, you look back in the rearview mirror, you've got, you've got Crystal 2020 vision. What does it mean to be? What does it mean to be you and to have been working at these firms when they were a little infant and now to see they are giant what's the big takeaway there?
Keena Pettijohn 22:01
When I went into any of those infant opportunities, I said to myself, I can't change the person, whoever I worked with, whether it was an executive person, whether it was a wealth advisor, but I can change the process. And I started to realize that I had a 600 point process, an actual reference book on how to create change, how to get from one part of the result to another and with all those organizations, how do we get to revenue? What we have to do to get to revenue? And I started to go with the end in mind you begin with the end in mind.
Tina Powell 22:41
Yes, so Stephen Covey tenants of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People it serves, by the way for marketing as well, too. We always think of where is that link going? Where do we eventually want to take people to and what do we want people to do once we get there? So yes, I'm very familiar. That's a Great. That's a great way to begin, I think any initiative with the end in mind. So go ahead. So,
Keena Pettijohn 23:08
again, go back 46 years go back 30 years. Keep in mind, I lived through nine acquisitions, nine, relocations, nine different bosses and teams, each one demanding a certain DNA from me, each one demanding a different persona, a different solution. So my biggest takeaway is go in there with an open mind, start to really understand what the challenges are. And all of my answers were very process driven, but they were different. It was looking at an entire field and I always remember I was an arbitrage err. So I can do 100
Tina Powell 23:56
What is a as an arbitrage err, what do you do? Like, what is your day to day look like? What do you do when you get into the office?
Keena Pettijohn 24:05
So you look for those who don't know. So you've seen the markets, and you see how fast they trade. And we all know the basics. There's a difference between what you buy it at and what you sell it at. And you're dealing in very small margins. You're dealing in opportunity in a penny in a nickel, but you're always dealing in an opportunity in a very defined time and price. So why say why is it important to be having the experience of an arbitrage where you can take in thousands of pieces of data, at the same time, markets,
Tina Powell 24:45
quotes, a foreign exchange, petroleum, the domestic market, the international market, the petroleum and you're watching all of these things. And I was not a fundamental trader. I was a technical trader, which means I didn't listen to the news. I watched the so keep in mind I watched the patterns when something would have a breakout where would be a head and shoulders and I see numbers chart with a being the head and shoulders is the way that the chart looks just so for anyone that's listening right now there are certain nuances with technical analysis, the way that data starts to actually look and appear on a chart and traders like Hina and people who are real technical analysts rely on technical analysts rather than like a fundamental analysis where you're looking at balance sheets and the management of the company and all of that stuff and they're probably their go to market strategy goes somewhere in there as well. Technical Analysis you're looking like hey, it's just a raw data and what is it doing so heads and shoulders when I was like, wow, when I first learned about those, those nuances, I was at an event with Ralph and pour the the the champion And maybe even the founder of technical analysis. And I said, Why didn't anybody teaches this? So it's a it's clearly a discipline that you that you mastered. And you have a lot of God, you have so much knowledge. Oh, you like, technical analysis? Right? Yeah, right. It's spoke your life, it spoke your name.
Keena Pettijohn 26:22
So the interesting thing is, when people enter into this industry, you know, they want to be very fundamental. You know, they're, they're looking at big picture. And in arbitrary hours world, we're looking at different in a very specific period of time. And that's really that very laser focus capability. Because you cannot do everything at one time. You can only do one really good thing at that particular time. So you start to watch what's happening in a week. In a month, in a year, five years, 10 years, and these patterns start to evolve as processes. So when you go into the enterprise, whether it's the bank or the credit union or their broker dealer, you're looking for what you can bring, that will change the pattern. break the pattern, and you're looking at, break the pattern. So you're looking at every aspect like an arbitrage. Here's what's happening in your division here. You're pricing your people, oversight, everything is happening at one time. And what I have learned is if I could tweak just one element, it will have a fundamental response. I just had to find what that element was. And if I and in some cases, when I transitioned and an advisor team, I had to do acquisitions, I had to appraise the practice. I would do the contracts. And I would say, Well, what about compensation? Can we change the compensation to attract the kind of talent we would want? So I knew whether it was compensation, whether it was product mix, whether it was operations, whether it was their supporting team, there had to be something in the formula that could change to radically change results. And that's what I was always focusing on. So that so basically, my background is an arbitrary here. It may have been the marketing, it may have been the training effort. It may have been where the people said, it may have been, you know, what was that conversation we should have? And I'll give you a good for instance, and this is probably most boring. For instance, when I started to offer insurance products over 30 years ago in banks, that was kind of unique, you know, having an insurance agency for a bank, and you had to move that conversation to another opportunity. I only asked one question to do that. So when the bankers were opening up certificates of deposit, and they asked who was the beneficiary on the account, we only had one opportunity to change behavior. When they asked that and they got the beneficiary, they would ask an open ended question, what have you done to date to protect your loved ones? There was the opportunity. So I only would look at one conversation starter in each opportunity that would create the result. So, so it's very surgical.
Tina Powell 29:47
That's the right word for it for sure that you discovered just that one little piece of information that yielded a whole bunch of opportunities, and that I think that it goes I think it's a great reminder to us that sometimes it's just a little tweak and a strategy. Yes, it's a little tweak and how you're doing things today that you can yield tremendous benefits throughout whatever that goal is. And in your case, you were, I say, and I said this when we first met is that I said, who you were appropriately named by your parents, that you're keener?
Unknown Speaker 30:25
Tina Powell 30:27
I noticed that you were very keen chess. And I'm sure you've heard this, you've had to have heard this. I know, I'm not the only person who has had to say this. I'm sure somebody told you 46 years ago when you first started industry, right, that you're very keen on data and on, on whatever it is that you're examining. Even as we were preparing for this podcast, I wanted to tell you that Kima took it to a whole entirely new level. So that's really, really exciting. I think that's A key takeaway for all of us and to get a little keener on our insights. So now let's get back to life logic. Okay. Is that what you know what I'm hearing from you? And what the audience is hearing today is that, wow, you've been so fortunate to have been in so many in those nine different environments with those nine different causes and having to change. And now you are here today, it's 2020. We are living in a COVID world. But talk to us about when you started Lifelogixs, and what it is that you do now, why work for yourself over another company?
Keena Pettijohn 31:37
That's a great question. And over this 46 year journey, I adopted adapted other personas, other corporate directives, and I embrace them, my name was not on the door, my position as a VP SVP all the PS I suppose. Did I drink that corporate kool aid? And as I was approaching my 60s, I had said is that how is that how the story is going to end? Hmm. And I became very cognizant of what I brought to the table and my own mortality even though they will tell you that women live close to 80. But in your middle 60s, you start to become very aware of what you bring to the table. And you're, you're you say is that what you're going to end up with? So I had this bucket list. I could have retired and I could have sat there you know, I'm not I don't know how to crochet. I don't know how to knit I don't know how to cook. I have a lot of things I can't do. But
Tina Powell 32:44
there are a lot of things you can and she has horses ladies and gentlemen. Yes,
Keena Pettijohn 32:47
I do have horses. So um, well I Lifelogixs, my entire life has been transformational. It has been a change probably where I live. Not only did I change husbands, but I also changed my address. So I'm used to change I'm comfortable with change. And every change that I had, it created a new Keena. It created a new way that I thought of myself. So after about, remember, I started this business in my 60s, and I wanted to be mindful of what I became. I still haven't grown up. So don't ever think that I'm mature. I am not what I don't know what I'm going to be when I grew up, but I will tell you Lifelogixs, I saw what was out there, you know, whether it was a highly regulated fee compressed business. It started to become to a commodity To me, it all started to sound the same. And when people would start to look at you know, we have this integration, we have this tech stack. Yes, I can digest 400 solutions. Keep in mind my background 400 is not hard for me to digest. And I started to realize what is it that's so different? What is it that I've taken away from the enterprise culture relative to the emergence of technology that truly is different? What's the value add and I started with Lifelogixs to embrace the value of advice. So here we are in 2020. And we start now going back on the value of advice, and I said, but it gets a little bit further than that. I was looking at technology solutions that were able to transform an advisor from just advice driven into a life coach. And when you look at the tech stack, I was very process driven. And I understand integration whether it's multiple CRMs, multiple tax loss harvesting, rebalancing, you know dashboard, single sign on, but I said but wait a minute, what about the most important part of the conversation? The the health of the customer, long term The wealth of the customer. And most importantly, the happiness started to jump off the page right at me. So when Lifelogixs became at the beginning, I said, you know, we're going to embrace health, wealth and happiness. And I started to really focus on software and processes, and all of the chance that really supported that. So when I started to look at what was out there, I looked at the deep conversations, I looked at the customer journey, as people called journey mapping. But I wanted to know that empathetic, that empathetic conversation, just like you and I are having, you say something, I listen, I may be repetitive and repeated back to you. But we have to connect somewhere. So when I was in Manhattan, which is a very competitive marketplace, and I would meet with many kinds of people, my first thing was, I don't want to talk about your money. We're going to get that anyway. What did you do? This weekend, and I was great. That line is more than 35 years old.
As I started to see the technology and I started to look at all of these choices, I started to listen to what we have this this tech stack. And everyone was talking in terms of a matrix. Well, this one is better than that one. And you know what, you don't have to skate all over the screen. We're going to talk about, you know, single sign on and the reason we're going to integrate and would became an integration business. From the client perspective, they're talking about their life. They're talking about their children. They're talking about their goals. They're not talking about, hey, what's the what's that CRM that you have? I've never seen a CRM. Say, wow, I love that advisor. She's got the greatest CRM in town and with respect, so I moved away from all the solutions That tech solutions, and I started to watch how the conversation occurred. When do you start bringing up your health, your family, your life goals, your challenges, where you have your money. And we all know that there's all kinds of firms, you know, that can bring all your outside assets into one place. We got it. But what was it that was going to have that conversation about your family, your children, the parents, you're caring for yourself, your spouse, your job? Well, that's a process. That is something that is above and beyond all of the technology solutions. So I said with Lifelogixs, Look, you've been an enterprise for a long time you doing if you understand the request for proposals, you understand the enterprise culture. All you had to learn was all of these different solutions and I'm going to share with you my journey Eight years ago, my first integration and by the way, I went to a and I know you're very familiar with this. Tina, I went to my first t three, I call them University technology.
Tina Powell 38:13
Good. Big shout out. No Perkins Dean's t three, the unit, the University of the University of Technology or the university technology. University could be both right could be both. That's so great. Yeah, you get a real you get a real sense of the whole entire universe over there at at t three, because there's every type of product Well, not what I want.
Unknown Speaker 38:40
I headed out with a new one is
Tina Powell 38:43
when did you again back in infancy, the infancy version of t t three. So
Keena Pettijohn 38:48
I'm going to share with you how I got into Lifelogixs how I became very comfortable. So my client was a bank and they said, Keena you have to do this project for us. They said we need You to write a paper on the digital integration of wealth management. Okay, I have no idea what you're talking about. So my boss says to me, Listen, you need to learn some of this technology. I found something I looked up and there was the T three, I think it was in 2015. Maybe it was earlier, I still have the first a bag that Joe gave out with companies that don't exist. I actually shared with him, I'm gonna take that bag, which is in perfect condition, I'm going to make it into a pillow. And I want him to put it in his office, because it's many sponsors that don't exist. But here's how it went. I go to this conference. And there's about eight people, maybe 10 I don't even know. But it was easy for me to walk around. There was a company with orange sneakers or raunch. They were there. And I you know, I met Joel and some other companies. There was the CRM site, you know, Of course, the Red Tails of the world were there. I mean, they were right there at the beginning. Yeah, I had red tail and Salesforce for the bank on the private banking as well. So that was cool. I knew them. But I was charged with doing something different. So I'm walking down the line, and I meet this company and i and i think i'm all about the life goal. I'm asking the questions. And I meet this company said, You know what, I think we should do something in terms of what you offer into the actual institution. I'm going to share the story. This company was PAETEC. The solution was money guide Pro. I had an as we went through the due diligence package, because remember, you're talking about technology, you're taking in bank data. We're very protective of our clients. Exactly about our legacy systems. Please don't touch those. We don't really want to break. Don't In fact, those systems talking about the marketing people, excuse me, You're going to bring in outside information into our precious real estate on the bank website. It gets even more challenging. I wanted to do something for the younger customer that didn't come into the bricks and mortar. I was all about getting out of the bricks and mortar. I wanted remote capabilities. I wasn't even sure what I meant. All I know is I knew as a professional, I couldn't get to the bank at five. Nobody else. So how do I get people to help me? So I met Kevin Hughes thousands of years ago, they gave us some information. Six months of due diligence. The executive board says I don't know if they're going to be in business. We're not saying we are a stable bank, with bricks and mortar many times over with billions of assets. We better do this right. So six months of due diligence went through every marketing meeting every it meeting, every head of retail, every head of finance boasts The President said, You know what, let's do it. So we offered with the sunshine, health and wealth, the customers weren't certain. And money guide pro created a very cute logo of a young couple in his in a convertible going on to their journey of life and they press the button. And they were able to do a little bit of a self directed journey. So
Tina Powell 42:29
that was really big of the time. Again, I think a key thread is that you've been on the cutting edge early not realizing where that all of this was going to go. Because at the time that was revolutionary. When these journeys were right when they were people were just kind of forming. What What didn't even I don't even know if the CX UI UX was in now. I don't know that it was it might have been but it wasn't certain Really where it is today? That's, that's really exciting. You seem to be always focused on that consumer and really thinking about the person behind the technology because the technology is really only a means to an end, right? You take a CRM, for example, and I use red tail here. Yes, one of the reasons I use it is to make me look smart because corral remember that the horses right, I remember your husband's name, right? I remember, right, all these interesting things about me and that helps to build our relationship builds a deeper relationship and instill trust the, which needs to build over time.
Keena Pettijohn 43:38
So it's a good point that you bring on, you know, obviously, all of these companies have evolved. And we always say, you know, the customers expectations change faster than technology. And I always say that the customer buys the experience, not the product, so to individuals coming into this industry. every week, every month, I was forced to learn something. And that's another thing about coming into this industry never stop learning. Every day I spent two hours researching, reading, I do it at four o'clock in the morning. It's okay. But I dedicate two hours a day, whether it's on technology, whether it's a marketing piece, whether it's a press release, whether it's someone that's bringing out, you know, a thought leadership piece, a white paper, a glowing webinar, you have to always be looking for new information. So you
Tina Powell 44:44
and can you have any sources of because you can look in saying that we all need to look for source pieces of information is really important, as you just talked about that whole philosophy of lifelong learning, which I totally agree right now. In 2020, even before Coronavirus, happened that the learning is so accelerated, and we'd really need to come up, what websites and what sources? Again, you're keenly aware of the of the innovations that are happening in the industry? Where are you going for that knowledge? Can you give us some specific recommendations for sites and the way that you keep up your knowledge? Where do you Where do you go for that?
Keena Pettijohn 45:29
So that's a great question. Tina, there is the new and there's the old so if you're, if you remember at the at the very beginning, I was I am for 2020, the innovations advisor to the bank insurance securities Association, which was very innovative. You're talking about new companies coming in? So you asked me where do you get your stuff? So I'll share with you I look at the young companies, and I'm happy to mention those because they were in the innovations lab, and I look At the more mature companies. So those are my models. I look at the up and coming and I look at the ones that have risen. And I know it's so secret arbitrage in you. That's
Tina Powell 46:15
exactly because you need you're not only looking but you need to compare it to something to understand the the bid offer spread. So show you so you said red tail. Well, they've been around a long time and they're constantly improving on a on a tried and true offering. And then you look at the new comers coming in and you know, there's the red, the there's the Red Tails, and of course, there's the sales forces which are on the older but you also see the wealth boxes coming in. So I'm looking at the mature versus the new ones. And then when you look at and you're very familiar and you're a proud champion of them on the risk on the wrist journey, you start to look at the riskalyze which has matured over time. Time and then you look at a young company such as at a risk that was involved in the innovation club mature, up and coming, what are they doing differently? So Robo. We have seen many, many examples. Every bank has brought out Robo, and you know, some or some, you know, the Robin Hood, you've seen, you've seen all of them. Goldman Sachs brought out Marcus and all their other things, and there's huge betterment. Okay, new Robo bamboo was in the innovations lab. So I look at trends again, we go back to that old Robo new robot, right? If I could just pause really quickly as for me, and one of the things that you might not know, we talked about, I meant Meb just mentioned it early and early on in the bio is that Keena kicked off for March 3, so March 5, at the diplomat here in Florida. Keno was head of the BISA innovations lab, right and so, basically had their annual conference and as part of the that innovation lab, you had different product demos Yes. For those companies in various what you were talking about, you know, various segments of the financial services, some on the CRM side, some on the risk management side, and, and so on. And even some of the newer technologies like the intergenic data's of the world with AI and and data and machine learning. So keep on going with that. I just wanted to just pause for a minute to let everyone know that you know, this was Keena's comparative analysis between the I guess you know, the newcomer and the category the benchmark. Exactly, I can't even talk right now. But yes. Um, so So kind of walk us so walk us through continue that always you know, comparing right. The question was, you know, how we get our our knowledge And you clearly, I'm hearing from you that when we do get our knowledge to make sure that we're not biased around just the newcomer like there's benefits to going with the newcomer, and there's benefits to going with the innovator but there's also two benefits to going the with the benchmark or the person. What what there's that name for that. I can't think of that right now the company that's, that basically owns the category Well, they know about it in its okay.
Keena Pettijohn 49:33
I refer to them in my own mind as the mature leader,
Tina Powell 49:36
the leader, the leader, here we go, okay. The coffee is finally kicking. But yeah, it's it's the category leader, but you have to understand what problems you're trying to solve for. Right. So walk us through a little bit of that innovation lab experience and and how how did you arrive at these companies? Did they find you or did you go out and find them
Keena Pettijohn 50:00
It was one that found us the most for I have been watching them come upon a more mature market. And it was important that there was no duplicity. So if there was one that was very involved in social media, there would be no repetitive one that was also growing in the bank and credit union market share. That was a young company, maybe five, six years ago that has had strong growth. So why I'm sharing that with you is in terms of social media, there's a lot of companies out there, but each one has gotten their foot in the door in a different way. So the company that I hooked up with years ago, I thought they were cool. They were in Toronto, I thought they, you know, wow, Toronto was a young company by the name of grapevine six, and they were different. There were six guys sitting under a vineyard. Good wine. And there you go grapevine sick. So here you go from from drinking grapes to a very interesting company in terms of content management, engagement, constantly staying there in front of the customer. And then I had to go I went to another t three again t three University. And I started to see a company really connect with the adviser market really started to package it, do some analytics that I hadn't seen before their messaging the way that they would do their demographics. That happened to be snappy cracking, I saw him on a few occasions I said, Okay, this might be interesting in terms of a growth in terms of package automated digital marketing, I like that. So the innovations Keep in mind, there are so many companies that are the mature and the innovations lab, the whole point of AI have gone To more technology conferences than I wish to admit, I saved the badges. I actually saved the programs, because I kind of like all the lanyard sticking them all over. I like that stuff. So what I saw here and it was at an invest conference in New York City, is that they, they were demonstrating their solution. They had four minutes of magic that had never been done in the beiser. World. for 14 years. They rewarding companies, huge companies for innovations, but they had never seen the demonstration of the solution. So I'm getting so I said, Okay, you have all of these booths, all of these drapes, all of these brochures, let's identify it like it was a technology innovations lab. And let's not, let's not give them booths, drapes, forget it. I wanted to digital kiosks that I've seen at other technology, where their presenter was right there in the vertical space in whatever they could fit on that vertical space, and the individual would come and see exactly. So it was the first time ever, we learned a lot, we could have done things better. But the best part is taking a very traditional organization that has over 1100 major banks and credit unions and broker dealers and insurance companies and for the first time in a very small space, having a focus on innovation, embracing technology. So I share this with you, in terms of my my career, learn a lot. You said how do I learn all this stuff? I have, as you know, I'm always comparing the mature as you see the leaders, the owners in the marketplace. Now the incumbent too is one of the words that was missing from my vocabulary a little while ago. So I watched that and I see what are they doing differently? What is the incumbent doing differently? What are they changing in their recipe? What is their positioning, and I have seen companies come on a very, very, you know, FMG in oh my gosh, this, they've been around forever in the bank marketplace. And then I see the snappy crack ins, you know, coming in the world coming into that space. And then I started to see the grapevines coming into that world colliding with that traditional space, a small company, you know, social advisors, and then I start to see you know, the intergender dad is all starting to invade the space from the market leader. So what do I do? I go on the I go on the websites of all the all the market leaders, I watch what the riskalyze is bringing to the market. I see that they're doing a fantastic fearless conference. I see what they're bringing forth to the community. That's perfect. That is a true model.
Tina Powell 55:05
Yeah, yeah, I think it sounds like so you're you're having to now depend a lot on the virtual events. So a lot of your learning has been done with you boots on the ground at conferences and events because I've seen you at every at everyone because we both have a collection of lanyards. Yeah and right exactly and been in a lot of these same things. And now you have all of these virtual conferences which I would be neglect if I didn't say, if you want to attend riskalyze fearless week go you can use the it's it's actually no cost to you. fearless C suite is the code everyone f EA, RL SS C suite gets you in for absolutely nothing. And then I also see you a lot on social media. So are you using social media I see that you are using LinkedIn and Twitter and I can keenly aware of what's going on with V. So
Keena Pettijohn 56:03
I learned that from a great person, her name is Tina Powell. And I started I started to see Tina as a major presence at the technology conferences, I started to see how she brought forth her persona. And I say this in all honesty, I quite didn't understand what was happening, you know, I was a meet and greet kind of person. And I understand that in terms of being one on one, and I can network but I started to see other things happening, you know, how were they were connecting and Tina, you are absolutely a virtual model for me, and the way that you put forth yourself. I had no idea what the tweeters were doing. The LinkedIn was doing, you know, all the postings, why you would connect virtually. So it took me a while to be about three years maybe to figure it out. But I'm very aware and this virtual world that you have to be out there all the time. You have to live out there remember life logic you have to live out there. It's logical. So I watched, I read a lot of postings that these market leaders are putting out there. Maybe it's information on, you know, on the older millennial, my eyes would start on my own and you know, and you're very important in that world. My own and yourself. You're the bellwether search engine. I look for topics. So when I see something that relates, so as a person in the industry coming in, what's important out there if you think millennials is important out there, and that's going to be your forte. Start looking at millennials. If you think caregiving is important to you, start clicking Google, Google it take the initiative caregiving, if you start to see Baby Boomers as your market start clicking. My new focus, strangely enough is the older millennial, I did not realize that they're outpacing the baby boomers on now. I'm growing out of baby boomers. It's okay. But for people getting into that social media, create a focus, create an area of interest, a subject of interest and start to become a subject matter more knowledgeable, not an expert, but get in there. And when you start watching that and saying, Well, what are they talking about? You know, why? Why is Robo so important? Why is artificial intelligence so important? Why is cloud what ever you're aligned to it?
Tina Powell 58:44
Yeah, yeah. So great. And one of the things I do want to say and thank you very much for your kind words. I feel like social medias, you're just like it's you can be a fly on the wall and hear the most interesting conversations that are going on and the reason Totally super relevant. And it's what's happening now. And one of the things that you bring up a really good important point with the search engines is that social media, the ability to search on social media for those topics that you're interested in whether or not it's Robo or AI or anything wealth management, millennials, older millennials, that search engines, Twitter, in particular and Twitter as an advanced search. LinkedIn also too has the ability to search not only like by people, but also to buy content. So you can see what's being said about that on both of those platforms will yield amazing insights and up to the minute knowledge because some of the PDFs the articles and while they're white papers are great and there's absolutely a place for white papers and webinars and, and even podcasts. Nothing's going to replace them. immediate gratification and the knowledge, the up to minute knowledge that you can get and Garner from social media. Now and you've done an amazing job, I have to say, I want to really stop and pause and make sure that you you understand I see the evolution and how you've been so strategic, and and so adaptable. This was a concept that we talked about on a few podcasts ago with Terry Shepard Episode 10 being adaptable. And if there's any takeaway from this conversation, too, you've been, you've been really good at, you've been excellent, better than good. You've adapted with with everything, but you're what you've been able to achieve on social media. I see people liking you have a huge amount of engagement. And what I love it is that look, social media is a multi generational discussion. It is it crosses gender iterations, nationalities, it's gender social media is an all inclusive discussion.
What exciting things are you working on? Now? I have one or two questions for you. And as we begin to kind of, I know you and I can talk for about we can we can talk for all day. But what kind of exciting things are you working on that you can kind of share with us?
Keena Pettijohn 1:01:33
It's a great question. I'm focusing on broadening my network. It was very interesting. I was invited and you were invited me first into a woman's in finance group. So you're asking me, what am I What am I focusing on to expand my knowledge, my network, I'm now focusing on women that are creating community. I never heard the word tribe before, but You said what are you working on? My goal right now is to understand what the community is doing. I have learned some very sage advice I was on a call I was invited with yesterday and I took copious notes. And, and I'm, I'm beyond the age of the 30s. And I'm writing down things of being a better you I'm being I'm writing things down. That was an I didn't create this line. But one of the participants said, 2020 is the first time we can redefine our lives that resonated with me. So for those entering and for those people that have been this COVID moment, allows the pause for you to focus on your better you and ask me what am I in? What am I involved so two things, a better me to really see what I can impart to the community what I can impart to the industry after my experience, and also pay it forward. Someone asked me that the other day, give it back in one minute. It doesn't have to be a cheque. It happens to be availability. It happens to be with empathy. And I needed that myself. And here I am, I'm going to share this with you. I'm closer to 70 than 30. I'm closer to 70 than 60. And even in that moment, the other day I said, Can somebody please reach out to the 65? over 65? I know there's 30 under 3040 hundred, but can we just so again, I'm trying to understand the needs of the older person in a very young industry, being 65 and older in a millennial Li focused industry, tech industry and I always quote myself as a born again millennial. What can you do for the 65? over 65? There is some serious considerations. They remember they're not as trainable to go into the bricks and mortar. It's not like corporate is going to hire them tomorrow. You know, what is it that I can give them in terms of dealing with this time of change. And I will tell you if I could whether all of the 46 years create a business past 65 closer to 70 actually know that the mandatory retirement age is turned to 72, which appeals to me versus 765 over 65. It's not just the young ones coming in. Remember, we're like washing machines, the 65 over 65 are in their world of obsolescence. The younger generation has to actually hook up with the 65 over 65 To read to weather, the challenges of this ever changing, ever demanding industry and I don't say that lightly as a 25 or 1820 year old, take the one that has the most experience, the most patience, the most availability, because you know what they want to give. They're not competing with you. They've already made their statement. They've got their w two. So when someone could be in our industry, a bigger sister, a bigger sister, take, take that person and say, You know what, adopt me. I am looking for a younger sister that I can help go in there and they can call me say, hey, Kenny, you know, I just had this job interview. And this really blew me away. What do I do? I've been through so many I've injured my resume. I can't even figure out how to do the resume. Well Right.
Tina Powell 1:06:01
Well, you've been so giving and I think that we do as an industry acknowledge that there, there's always there's continuous improvement. I think we've all tried to do the best job in the world that we can. And we can, perhaps, instead of not only having the 30, under 30, or the 40, over 40. But yeah, I think you being in this industry and other people like you who have had a career close to 50 years, deserve some accolades and some form of recognition. So it was one of the reasons that I wanted to have you on this podcast because I don't see any people I don't see many keenness in the world. And when I knew you stand out, you stand out in person on social media. And I just want to tell you that I think that you're doing a wonderful job. You're an inspiration to people like me that wants to see some sign of life in the latter years, because I want to be here for another 30 years, I love what I do. I want to keep working. And so when I look at you Keena, I see that there's hope I see that there's evidence that that can be done. You're listening to In the Suite, a podcast that shares amazing stories of women in business and financial services in the wealth management industry. Our producers for today's episode are Tina Powell and Kevin Hirshhorn. Our editor at large is Kevin Hirshhorn. Our content writers are Tina Powell and Carmen Varner and our research assistants are Anvitha Kosaraju and Nitika Uprety. In the Suite podcast is sponsored by C suite social media, a digital marketing and social media agency for C suite leaders in finance and technology. You can visit csuitesocialmedia.com To learn more, and for show notes from today's broadcast. And thank you so much for listening and subscribing to In the Suite podcast. Please let us know how you enjoyed this episode with Keena Pettijohn And share your thoughts on LinkedIn and Twitter using the hashtag in this week, I would love it and it would mean so much to us if you left us a five star review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to this incredible episode with Keena Pettijohn. You can also follow her on Twitter @Pettijohn_b, that's PETTIJOHN underscore B. And always if you would like to share the name of a successful woman in the financial services, we should interview please send it to me at Tina at csuitesocialmedia.com we have received a lot of a lot of great names. we've adjusted to a weekly schedule and trying to make it all possible for you. It's been tough, but we are absolutely rising to the challenge because of you. You can reach Keena Pettijohn at firstname.lastname@example.org. That's lifelogixs.com. So thank you again for listening and subscribing to In the Suite