I had the privilege to virtually meet Derek through a mutual business associate, April Rudin, CEO of the Rudin Group. Derek immediately invited me to participate in a FinTech group, and the rest is history, as they say! We had an immediate connection discussing our professional career paths and our personal interests. Derek’s story is quite fascinating, as is the person himself. We are honored to share his journey, and be on the lookout next month as our firms collaborate forward for the benefit of Advisors we both serve.
– Maree Moscati, CEO CTPRP
Founder & CEO
Share how your career path positioned you to where you are now.
Derek: I actually graduated with a degree in anthropology & archaeology, and had always liked the idea of being Indiana Jones. However, in getting close to graduation, I realized that the academic path just wasn’t very appealing to me at 22 years old. My wife and I both ended up working with at-risk youth in Duluth. The teenage boys in this residential facility had mostly come from really bad home environments, and were kind of set up to fail from day one. I learned by working there that I loved helping people. But after three years, my wife and I were ready to expand our horizons, so we sold our house and drove out to Vermont. We didn’t know anybody in the entire state, didn’t have jobs lined up, nothing.
I’ve always been fascinated with money, saving, and investing from a very young age. When we got to Vermont, I knew I wanted to still help people, but wanted to combine my passion for finances with it. The whole world of financial advising opened up to me as a way to combine those two passions when I joined the industry in 2006.
Who is your most influential mentor and why?
Derek: I have a mentor who’s a dear friend of mine. He really values his privacy so I won’t mention his name. But he has been an absolute game changer for me. He’s given me direction and support, and he helps me to arrive at my decisions by myself, which I think a mentor really should do instead of just telling somebody what to do. I’ll never be able to repay what he’s done for me. That’s part of why I try to give back to as many other advisors as possible. I want to have conversations and keep pushing that positive vibe forward.
How does your virtual platform empower women in our industry?
Derek: I think it’s important that there’s balance and equality all across the board, because at the end of the day, gender is something we should embrace, not use to marginalize. I have actually cautioned men to not be so closed-minded and guarded about working with or hiring women. We should support and empower women to showcase the skills that they bring to the table because that’s where the focus should be. Whatever gender we are, we should embrace it ourselves and respect it in others. At the end of the day we are all human beings and should support each other in everything we do.
My virtual platform is helping democratize access to building a practice, regardless of who you are and even where you are. It truly is agnostic. It doesn’t care what type of advisor you are, where you are located, or what your gender is. I’ve had a lot of women invest in my system because they see the value in it.
Spicy Question: Your website says you’re PADI SCUBA certified. What is your favorite dive spot?
Derek: I would have to say Grand Cayman. It’s really warm there, which is nice because I got my open water certifications in Lake Superior. Cayman has got these amazing reef dives, but also is close to the Cayman trench which goes down 26,000 feet there, and you can just go out over it, and you look down. It’s so intense. My most intense dive, The Devil’s Throat, is actually in Cozumel, Mexico. Google it!
Derek was born in Ireland to a South African mother and German-American father. He has a passion for world travel and adventure and believe it or not was actually compared to “The World’s Most Interesting Man,” although he is not sure he deserves it!
A few bits about him:
- Triple Citizen
- Delta Million Miler
- Husband and Father
- Car Enthusiast
- Aspiring Surfer
- Jumped out of a plane, willingly!
- 40 Under 40 Class of 2019
- Money Nerd
Derek entered the financial services industry in 2006 and experienced a high level of success early on which he attributes to the philosophy of “do what is right for my clients and eventually I will get paid.” After 3 years he started his own firm.
In 2013 he made the decision to transition his practice to a virtual model. He did this to best serve his unique clientele time while also ensuring a great life-work balance for him to spend more time pursuing his passions and enjoying more of life’s moments with his wife and son.
Derek is also the Founder of Conneqtor, a tech company focused on serving financial advisors on a global scale. Our industry is in the midst of a global mega trend, advisors must evolve or go extinct, Conneqtor is empowering the Financial Advisor of the Future.