A Business Strategy for Standing Out in a Sea of Sameness
Bill Hansing is founder and owner of Financial Partners, a Producer Group that started in 2003 in St. Charles, Illinois. Hansing's story is one of the financial services industry's most varied and interesting. In a career that extends back to his mid-Seventies roots in his native southern Indiana, this principled and unpredictable maverick has pursued an often winding course across the financial services landscape. All the while, he has remained true to his own vision.
Many Diverse Paths
Hansing's success in developing successful investment management programs within financial institutions in the 90's helped define the genre. His time as a manager within the more traditional career distribution system also received notoriety and recognition.
It is typical of Hansing that he followed many of his most recognized achievements with some of his most unpredictable changes. He has avoided remaining in one structure or distribution system. Rather, the unifying factors throughout Hansing's career have been his passionate belief in his own entrepreneurial spirit, his coaching skill, his faith and the personal relationships with producers over 40 years.
This is why he has pursued an industry course that has seldom been developed -- an organization built to support producers first.
Bill Hansing has always had a great interest in musical artists and the music industry. His vision for Financial Partners was really shaped by this interest.
In the early 1970's the music industry was burgeoning with new singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Jackson Browne and others. Prior to this time, musicians were oftentimes "owned" by their record companies who told them to write "hits". Every aspect of their artistic vision was actually dictated to the artist by the record company -- who owned the distribution, marketing and promotion of their music.
Along came an entreprenuer named David Geffen. His approach was to start a Record Label named Asylum Records. Asylum was a lable created first and foremost to support the "artist". Record sales, radio airplay and promotion of an "act" took a backseat at Asylum to allowing the artist to create their "art" and it was not seen as simply a product to be peddled. This new, fresh approach was attractive to these many songwriters who saw their work as their own. At Asylum the artist was allowed and even supported and encouraged to "create".
This new approach quickly caught on and soon Asylum had an impressive stable of artists -- Browne, Mitchell, Linda Rondstadt, The Eagles, James Taylor, Lauro Nyro, John David Souther, David Blue, Lindsey Buckingham, The Byrds, Bob Dylan, Joe Walsh, Hank Williams Jr and Warren Zevon -- just to name a few.
This serves as an excellent analogy to who Financial Partners is in the financial services space today.
We place the producer at the forefront -- not a necessary "evil". We clearly see that we have two customers -- the person who buys our products and services -- as well as the person who sells our products and services. From our very name (Financial Partners) to everything we do -- this picture of the producer "creating" their practice their way -- is what shapes our day-to-day efforts. And that "creation" varies from one producer to another.
Throughout his self-described "sometimes bumpy ride," Hansing has consistently demonstrated the unbridled passion of a financial services veteran who understands that self-renewal is the only way to avoid burning out in this business. For this reason, he has remained a most significant manager and producer over a span of four decades -- yet his most significant work is what he is doing right now.