When Janney merged with Parker Hunter in 2005, it significantly expanded its presence in Western Pennsylvania, adding more than 100 Financial Advisors and 20 branch offices to its footprint. One of those branch offices was in Wexford, PA, a suburb outside of Pittsburgh. Prior to the merger, Janney had a much smaller presence in Wexford and the surrounding Pittsburgh region, but the Parker Hunter name was well known in the area.
When Janney merged with Parker Hunter in 2005, it significantly expanded its presence in Western Pennsylvania, adding more than 100 Financial Advisors and 20 branch offices to its footprint. One of those branch offices was in Wexford, PA, a suburb outside
of Pittsburgh. Prior to the merger, Janney had a much smaller presence in Wexford and the surrounding Pittsburgh region, but the Parker Hunter name was well known in the area.
“Everyone knew Parker Hunter, but not a lot of people were familiar with Janney,” said Richard Reynolds, Wexford Branch Office Manager. “We’ve done a lot to get Janney’s name out there over the years in terms of marketing and community engagement and I think we’ve made great strides in reaching that same local brand recognition that Parker Hunter had enjoyed."
While Wexford may have been a new market for Janney at the time, the nearly 20 Financial Advisors and support staff in the office had deep roots in the local community. Today, much of Janney’s name recognition in the Wexford region comes from the office’s active engagement in the community through volunteering, fundraising and memberships on the boards of local organizations.
One example is the office’s support of the local YMCA. For more than 10 years, the office has been the primary sponsor of the Baierl YMCA’s triathlon and several Janney team members have participated as part of a team or as individual participants. During this year’s event, which took place on August 5, the G & R Wealth Management Group of Janney’s Wexford office won first place in the Corporate Team division.
Rich Reynolds swam, Rob Gleyze rode his bike and Mike Callas ran to complete the three part race. In addition to their sponsorship and participation in the YMCA triathlon, the office introduced a food/toiletry drive in conjunction with the triathlon in 2017 to benefit local organizations.
“We started the food drive in 2017 to celebrate Janney’s 185th anniversary and the firm’s tradition of service to the community,” said Melissa Frankel, Private Client Associate. “We’ve developed a really great relationship with the local Y over the years and we thought the food drive would be a great way to expand our support. They helped us find shelters to donate to and employees, clients and members of the community were invited to stop by our collection site to donate non-perishable items.”
Members of Janney’s Wexford office have a long history of giving back to the community. Bob Herman, who served as the Branch Office Manager before Richard, spent 30 years as a volunteer coach and official in the Chartiers Valley School District Elementary Program. Jerry Starr, Financial Advisor, served for many years on the Board of Trustees for the DePaul School for Hearing and Speech, where he continues to support their charitable mission. Doug Stirling, a Financial Advisor with The Stirling Group, serves on the board of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The Stirling Group even invites clients and their families to an annual client appreciation event at the zoo each year. “Everyone in the office had a community-minded focus before Janney, but the firm really embraces giving back and has done so consistently throughout its history,” Rich said.
Name recognition through community involvement goes a long way, and Rich knows this from first-hand experience. He encourages advisors in the office to get involved in the community and has explained the benefits of community engagement to junior advisors through his own experiences. “I encourage people in the office to find a cause and become involved. The effects can be hard to measure, but they are tremendous. I’ve started new client relationships through my role as a commissioner of my son’s baseball league. Some of my largest clients came from a shared connection to community organizations.”
In addition to being active in their communities, Janney’s Wexford office embraces the entrepreneurial culture at Janney and were early adopters of cutting-edge technology. When Rich joined Parker Hunter in 1991, he remembers Bob Herman, the Wexford Branch Manager at the time, had already computerized the entire office and was way ahead of his time in terms of technology. “Even back then, we were adopting technology early and often,” said Rich. “We embrace all the tools available to us to enhance the way we interact with clients; from digital marketing tools such as social media, to financial planning tools and WebEx and video conferencing capabilities. We understand that embracing technology is key to engaging with multi-generational audiences and I’m proud that the advisors in our office have incorporated these tools into their businesses.”
Rich also embraces his innate entrepreneurial spirit in the way manages the Wexford office and interacts with clients. Before he entered the financial services industry, he served several years in the Navy before owning and operating a printing business. His experience as a small business owner served him well as a Financial Advisor and Manager and he’s found that the Janney culture has not only allowed him to be entrepreneurial, but has encouraged him to embrace that side of himself.
“I was introduced to the business through my father, a Financial Advisor who spent the majority of his career at large wirehouses,” said Rich. “I learned from my father’s experience, that I wanted to seek out a smaller firm that truly valued its advisors and their clients. That is how I ended up at Parker Hunter and that is why I have remained at Janney for all these years. I truly believe Janney is the most client and advisor-focused firm out there. There is no other existing firm or firm on the horizon that is as fair and supportive of advisors and their client relationships.”