5 questions with Lance Franczyk
BY JOHN STANCAVAGE World Business Editor
Friday, April 13, 2012
4/13/12 at 6:01 AM
Lance Franczyk joined Northwestern Mutual as a college intern in 1991 as a student at the University of Colorado. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, he became a financial representative in Fort Worth and came to Tulsa in 2001. In 2009, Franczyk was appointed managing partner in Tulsa for a region that covers the entire state of Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri. He is a graduate of Leadership Tulsa class 42.
1. What does Northwestern Mutual do?
Our mission is to help individuals and business owners achieve financial security. To fulfill that mission, our representatives work with clients to understand their financial needs and to develop strategies to help them solve those needs.
Financial planning is growing more and more complicated, and having a partner to help you navigate the landscape has never been more valuable. Engaging our clients in a financial planning process helps them understand their options so they can decide what feels appropriate for them. The most important thing for people to do is to start planning, even if it's a small plan, as early as you can.
2. Tulsa serves as the field office for the region. What additional responsibilities does this bring to the local office?
We are the face of Northwestern Mutual in Tulsa and in the region. Serving in this role in Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas means, foremost, fulfilling our commitment to our clients. Beyond serving their needs, we select and train new representatives to help us execute on our mission of bringing financial security to our communities. Our fundamental responsibility as the local face of Northwestern Mutual is to manifest the integrity of this 155-year-old company within Tulsa and the larger region.
3. Your operation now is based in south Tulsa. Why did you decide to move downtown into a new building? When will you move in, and how many people will be in the office?
We believe the downtown development initiatives represent the future of Tulsa, and we see Northwestern Mutual as a part of that future. The incredible growth and energy that is building around the downtown area is magnetic. Our vision is to represent the strength and stability of long-term decision-making as Tulsa cultivates this growing professional culture. Our projected move date is Aug. 1. We will have approximately 75 people in our office.
4. What's the biggest challenge facing the insurance industry today?
For us, one of the big challenges is keeping pace with demand among consumers for financial guidance. The financial counsel that we help provide at Northwestern Mutual has never been more relevant for families and business owners than it is today.
This economy has been a rollercoaster ride for many. The question I've been hearing is, "How can I get off this rollercoaster? I don't want a plan that works in April but doesn't work in May. I just want a high-quality plan that works in all conditions, has some guarantees and delivers safe, steady growth over the long term so I can meet my goals."
The gut reaction is to act emotionally. But the key is to shape a personal roadmap for yourself to stay on course, navigate the bumps in the road and take emotion out of the equation.
5. Is your company recruiting? What area of study would you recommend for a student who might be interested in the field as a career?
Yes, in 2012, we're hoping to recruit 16 financial representatives and 32 financial representative interns.
Our most successful representatives have come from diverse educational backgrounds and career experiences. So, it would be difficult to recommend any particular field of study to someone thinking about this career.
When selecting a candidate, we aren't looking for a specific set of credentials; we look for characteristics that complement what we do. We are seeking individuals that fit our culture, who have the right mix of energy, drive and openness to learning and to executing a planning process with our clients.
JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World