Author Archives: Jane

About Jane

A girl trying to live the dream.

Advisor profile: Madison Weber

You’d be spot-on to refer to Madison Weber, a financial representative for Consolidated Financial Corp. in Southfield, Michigan, as a rising star.

Madison began her financial career in 2015, after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Miami University. She has since earned Series 7 and 66 licenses and holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) certification. Her successful entry into the business caught the notice of Advisor Council, where she was recently brought on as their youngest member. The Council is convinced she is the perfect inspiration for the next generation of advisors. Her branch manager wholeheartedly agrees.

“We definitely feel lucky to have Madison on our team,” says Shannon LaBarre, supervising principal. “She is a genuine, kind, thoughtful and energetic person. Madison defies the millennial myths and brings a fresh and unique perspective to our industry. She is extremely accomplished and quick to show initiative. We are thankful she chose Consolidated Financial and Lincoln Investment to share her journey.”

The young advisor is also a textbook example of how a succession plan should work, and her partnership with Tom Maxey, a 36-year industry veteran, operates seamlessly.

“Tom brought me into the practice with growth in mind,” Madison said. “He encouraged me to learn the business as it exists today and then to mold the business as it will relate to tomorrow. Our partnership has afforded me the opportunity to learn from a successful model and the support to challenge what exists.”

According to Tom, that mentorship relationship works both ways. Since he is a Baby Boomer and Madison is a Millennial, they bring different perspectives to the table and have used them to implement an intergenerational approach towards capturing a multi-generational market. Tom explained that Madison understands both generations very well. “She’s a forward thinker and I wish I could clone her,” he said.

Not only is it fun to have the energy of a diverse partnership, but it has also proven effective for the duo as well. “We‘ve successfully targeted the children and grandchildren of our clients,” Tom said. “We actually have a situation where we serve five generations in one family.”

Madison’s advice to advisors beginning a career is as straightforward as her approach to business.

“Start with the end in mind,” she said. “Being an advisor provides tremendous flexibility and the opportunity to be entrepreneurial. Just as you build strategy into your interactions with clients, be intentional about building strategy into your own practice. When you make decisions on advancing your business, whether it be pursuing your CFP® mark or implementing Redtail, jump ahead to the end.”

She believes that strategy will not only help you get to where you need to go, but it will also add to the value of your business when you are ready to retire.

“The more proactive you are about building a business for yourself, the less reactive you will have to be about building a business that complies,” she added. “Everything can either be negative or positive. You can look at Redtail as a new tool to learn or as an assistant that doesn’t require healthcare benefits, FICA taxes and paid vacation. The business is yours for the taking and the company culture is the way you choose to approach it.”

Because we’re people not algorithms

You’re likely to hear the term robo advisor tossed around these days. The trendy online technology promises fully automated, algorithm-driven portfolio management for investors looking for hands-off investing.

For the majority of investors, however, a relationship with a qualified financial advisor is still preferred. The experience and knowledge a financial advisor brings is a valuable commodity because comprehensive financial planning, which is necessary for your financial well-being, is a lot more than just portfolio management.

A variety of services
A relationship with a financial advisor is long-term and often grows stronger as you navigate through the stages of your life. Where robo advisors are one-dimensional, financial advisors can help with your financial goals when you marry, start a family, prepare to send the kids off to college, save for retirement or need long-term care. Financial advisors can help with financial planning, investment planning and estate planning, as well as insurance services and more.

The human touch
There is little doubt that computers have improved our lives in many ways, but should you trust your hard-earned savings to a robot that doesn’t have the capability of understanding your unique and specific needs? No computer can do what financial advisors do best: provide personalized advice based on real-life experience. If there is a sudden change in your income or you need to care for a sick parent, for example, robo advisors aren’t programmed to consider those changes. Financial advisors can also help with any anxiety you may experience if there are changes in the market.

The big picture
Robo advisors tend to focus on the short-term, proving that “one size does not fit” when you’re planning for long-term investment and retirement goals. Computers are not capable of working with you on a personal level, but financial advisors can evaluate the big picture, or catch something before investing, such as potential risks on the horizon.

Let’s plan your future together
At Lincoln Investment we understand that helping you get started early is the key to retiring well. We realize that you are more than your investment portfolio, and will bring experience and knowledge to the table, engage you in the right conversation and help you create and implement a financial plan that fits your unique goals. Let’s get started today.

Keeping you informed and connected in the event of an emergency

Critical events and extreme weather conditions that occur around the world are reminders of the importance of maintaining effective communication and staying connected during a crisis. Your primary connection to SunGard during a crisis is your manager and your immediate work group. Local office and team leadership will provide updates and instructions to your manager to be passed along to you. That’s why it is important to keep your contact information with SunGard up to date, including your cell phone home phone numbers and a personal email address in case internal email is unavailable. Review your contact information now on My SunGard or use the process in your region if your location is not on My SunGard to make sure it is current and complete.

Stay informed

In a crisis or emergency, SunGard will use all appropriate communication channels to share pertinent information with employees. One method is our desktop messaging system, SnapComms. It delivers pop-up visual alerts to computer desktop. These messages are used sparingly for special announcements, including emergency notifications for all employees, or to targeted locations.

SnapComms are ideal for urgent alerts in case of an emergency or to call attention to special announcements. On occasion, we will send test messages to ensure that employees know what to look for in case of an actual emergency. Keep a look out for an emergency test SnapComms message in the coming weeks.

Stay connected

SunGard’s Crisis Communications website has the latest news and information about any office or system closures, transportation issues and more, as well as referrals to appropriate resources and authorities for specific guidance. SunGard’s crisis communications team will post the details and provide regular updates as a situation may change and unfold. Be sure to check this site regularly during an emergency.

If you can’t access the Crisis Communications site, you can call the SunGard Global Helpdesk to listen to recorded messages with information and instructions during an emergency. You can also use this number to report critical and emergency issues. You should have received the Global Helpdesk number for your region from your local office management or your manager. The list of numbers is available on the Connect IT website. Keep this number handy in your wallet or other place that’s readily accessible.

In the highly unusual event that the SunGard internal network is inaccessible, special information for employees will be posted to SunGard’s public website,, and on social media outlets.




New video conference features available

                              ** This message is for all Financial Systems and Corporate Employees**

Over the past few years, SunGard has made a significant investment in high-definition video conferencing. Today, we have more than 40 global locations where we can host high-definition multi-party video conference meetings. As an employee, you also have the ability to host point-to-point meetings with your peers directly from your computer using Lync.

Now, with the introduction of brand new features, you can use Lync or a mobile device to connect to a video conference in any of our high-definition video conference locations. These new features enable greater connectivity, and allow SunGard to offer a variety unified solutions for your communication needs. Here’s how it works:

Use Lync to connect to a high-definition video conference. Lync now enables you to connect directly from your computer to a video conference in any of our global locations. Simply enter the Virtual Meeting Room information provided by the host in the Lync search bar. When the contact appears, right click start the video call.

Use a mobile device and add more flexibility. Devices such as an iPad can also help you connect to video conferences hosted in one of our global locations. Follow the instructional videos on Connect IT to install the Real Presence Mobile application onto your mobile device. To do this, you will need an iTunes password and access to the iTunes store. After installing the application, follow the instructions to register your device with SunGard’s video network before connecting. The videos are specific to the iPad, although they may be applicable to other devices, such as Windows Mobile and Android.

Additional information on video conferencing and the new features available can be found on Connect IT. While visiting the site, learn the benefits of Going Video.

Questions? Contact the Global IT Helpdesk by email, 24-hour helpline, or self-service.

Battling fraud one loan at a time

What is the number one way to uncover mortgage loan fraud?

Paul Sullivan, director of mortgage fraud operations in Fort Washington, knows the
answer to this question first hand and is on a mission to stop fraud altogether. In June and
July, he takes his training class on the road to keep loan quality high and reduce any risk
to the company.

“Mortgage fraud is at an all-time high, and tips from company employees is the top way
to uncover a problem,” he says. “Therefore, the key to successful risk management and
fraud prevention is training.”

Along with his team, Sullivan, who has been with GMAC for almost 14 years, created
fraud training for both correspondent and consumer lending employees to help eliminate
the problem. His team includes the Minneapolis crew of fraud manager Brenda Maze,
lead fraud investigator Kris Slettedahl, senior investigator Rich Brown, and fraud analyst
Tim Johnson, along with senior fraud analyst Joan Cahill, in Fort Washington.

As a well-known industry expert on mortgage fraud, Sullivan was recently invited to
speak at this month’s Combat Mortgage Fraud Conference sponsored by Inside Mortgage

“Mortgage fraud can take many forms, such as multi-lien fraud (several loans are taken
out on one property), fraud to qualify (the applicant provides false information), appraisal
fraud and foreclosure schemes to name a few,” says Sullivan. “In the sessions we train
associates to look for red flags and compare the information on the application carefully
to the information found on the credit report and other documents.”

The training is made up of two sessions, the first for newer hires that covers fraud 101,
and the employee’s role in prevention, and the second for advanced employees, that
covers current trends, investment scams, and foreclosure schemes. While the training is
computer based, Sullivan feels it is crucial to meet with trainees face-to-face to show
them that no one is immune.

“It’s not about finger-pointing, but it is about education,” he says. “We use real
documents and examples with the names blanked out to make it more effective.”

While bringing loan fraud to our employees’ attention is what these classes aim to do,
Sullivan realizes he has to be careful not to make employees overly paranoid.

“The majority of the loans we process at GMAC are good loans,” he says. “We’ve simply
created the tools to bring the issue to light and teach employees when they should raise a
red flag.”

Training is mandatory for employees and kicks off in Phoenix on June 15 and 16 before