While 2022 was a challenging year, particularly from an economic and financial markets perspective, we remain confident that better days are ahead. Staying disciplined and patient has always proven to be the best course of action during uncertain times.
This letter, however, is not about the markets or the economy or inflation for that matter. Instead, we would like to take a moment and share some of the exciting initiatives taking place at RTD. We have always been proud of the work we have done behind the scenes, but not so proud of our ability to take a pause and to share these efforts. It is our hope that this gives you a sense of what is most important to RTD as a firm and as planners, mapping out our vision for the future.
Brainstorming and the power of collaboration is something we have always placed a high value on. We have and continue to build teams of passionate individuals, working together and challenging one another to explore additional ways to deliver value to you. We are never satisfied. Because of this mindset, we continue to be in a hiring mode, broadening our depth and expanding our teams. At the same time, we are extremely selective with our hiring. You can rest assured that when we add someone to our RTD family, they have gone through an exhaustive process. Our goal as a firm is to assemble the best talent possible, both now and into the future, to be the envy of our peers and most importantly, deliver the best fiduciary advice possible to all our clients.
We believe that people are our greatest strength.
One of the initiatives we had during the pandemic was to re-evaluate our overall office space strategy. Unlike many firms desiring to cut back their space due to having a hybrid workplace environment, we committed to consolidating and expanding our Philadelphia office space. We just re-upped our lease for another 10 years. At the same time, we are also embracing a hybrid workplace with certain guidelines that support our team’s personal needs. We believe we were able to negotiate attractive lease terms while others were running from this opportunity. One can say we practice what we preach. Today, we’re happy to report that activity in the building has picked up and it’s feeling once again as it did pre-pandemic. And while the solitary, express elevator ride may have been nice, it’s so much nicer seeing people and feeling the collective energy.
As many of you know, we had a smaller office in Cherry Hill, NJ for which we did not renew the lease. While some of our staff utilized both offices, it was feeling more and more as if we were operating two distinct firms from a personnel, collaboration, and socialization perspective. We believe that consolidating and unifying our entire team, for the reasons stated above, would position us to best serve our clients. The team is excited to be working together more closely. Most importantly, we have conference space now in Marlton, NJ, Malvern, PA and other various locations that we can utilize to make this the least disruptive for clients desiring to meet outside of Philadelphia.
In the spring/early summer of 2023, our remodeled and enlarged Philadelphia office will be completed, which we are very excited about. For those who prefer to meet in person, we have contracted with the Westin Hotel directly across the street to allow those who wish to drive to conveniently valet park, complements of RTD. For those into art, we are also excited about showing off our prestigious and soon to be world famous art gallery. You won’t have to pretend you’re Rocky running up museum steps to see it as it will all be on full display throughout the office. Negotiations with the artists have been challenging but we’re making progress. The soon-to-be famous artists will be the children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews of our wonderful team at RTD! We will keep you posted on the progress of our new office.
We believe in the virtues of having a strong sense of family and a work environment where everyone works together and supports one another.
As mentioned above, we believe in our people and remain forever committed to supporting their growth and ambitions. In support of their passion and desire to help our clients thrive, as a firm, it is important that we remain committed to ensuring that everyone thrives as well. Culture matters, which is why we painted a vision of what we call “The RTD Life”. We define the “RTD Life” as:
- Doing what you love
- With the people you love
- Making a huge impact
- Always learning and growing
- Having time for other passions
We believe that to be the best firm we can possibly be, great things happen when everyone has an opportunity to live a balanced and fulfilling life. Having a culture of trust in one another allows us the opportunity to offer these well-orchestrated benefits to our team. To bring this to life, we have implemented some enhanced benefits to support this mission. Here are a few highlights of our employee benefits program:
- Additional 5 days off after 5 years with RTD
- Annual education budget
- Office flex time/ability to work remote
- 3PM Fridays – extended year-round
- Professional development coaching
- Day of service
We believe that in order to help our clients thrive, our staff needs to thrive as well.
Partnering for Success
This past year marked our second year of having a firm-wide, team-oriented incentive program that we call Partnering for Success. This ensemble-based program rewards the entire team based on pre-determined goals for the year that are accomplished. Some of the goals have been from our collective adherence to our strict client data security initiatives and procedures to participation in giving back to the community to enhancing our overall tax planning efforts. Every area of the firm from personal wealth management to employer retirement plans to our work with trust and non-profit investment management participates as a team in this firm-wide program.
We believe we are better together and willing to put our money where our mouth is.
In 2022, we launched our very first Curiosity Lab. Curiosity is a strength within the virtue category of wisdom and is something we place a very high value on. As a firm, we never want to lose sight of this, so we now have in place a concerted and intentional effort that encourages everyone to share their questions, thoughts and ideas. Always being curious means that we are forever inspired to never rest and to always explore what it is that we can do better to help the lives of those we serve. This mindset will permeate through all lines of our business from the financial planning work we do in personal wealth management, to employer retirement plans and trust and non-profit investment management.
We believe in curiosity so much that it is now one of our firm’s core values.
Richard Busillo, our beloved Chairman as many of you know, retired at the end of last year. For those who know him personally, there is nothing I can say further that could fully describe what he has meant to our clients, the firm, to our entire team and to me personally. We are all better for having him in our lives and so happy for him as he transitions into this next chapter of his life. And yet, I am thrilled to announce that this isn’t the end of his RTD journey!
While technically retired, yes, his transition this year will include him continuing to serve on the firm’s Board of Directors for 2023. His experience, knowledge and wisdom are invaluable and his passion for the firm can never be questioned. The firm is and he is excited about this opportunity – albeit now through the lens of a retired client which in and of itself, we believe will add even more value.
We believe in the importance of wisdom which in essence is using knowledge in a profound way.
We are also excited to share that Richard Busillo will also be helping to develop our formalized training and mentorship program as his way of continuing to give back to the firm he cares deeply about. Mentorship is a learning relationship and rarely if ever can be taught effectively in a classroom. It is something that Richard has always been passionate about. Our entire team will reap the benefits of this intentional effort for years to come.
We believe mentorship in general is overlooked, undervalued, and underappreciated in our industry. It never will be at RTD.
Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)
Another exciting initiative is our embracing of EOS which stands for Entrepreneurial Operating System. Simply stated, EOS helps businesses achieve their vision through a set of practical tools, concepts, and coaching. It includes everything from conducting effective meetings, to solving issues and to providing clarity and accountability through an aligned vision. We have already experienced positive results ensuring RTD is operating effectively and efficiently for generations to come.
We believe that in order to help our clients to thrive, the firm must be foundationally strong and therefore operate at the highest and most optimal level.
On the investment side of things, our team is continually conducting research and due diligence with one thought in mind, to enhance our clients’ overall investing experience. We continue to explore opportunities that could take advantage of higher yields as well as investment vehicles that could potentially dampen volatility without compromising long-term goals. As investment stewards, it’s also important to resist the temptation of jumping on the latest fad or too good to be true strategy-du-jour.
We believe in prudence, avoiding costly mistakes and at the same time, exploring opportunities that make sense for the right reasons.
As an independent firm, we pride ourselves on forging non-conflicted strategic partnerships with people and firms who help our clients in their respective areas of expertise. As a trusted advisor, we are committed to developing relationships with the very best and to ensure they engage in the most effective and professional manner possible. We are taking steps to strengthen our process of due diligence and monitoring of all relationships we recommend.
We believe cultivating and partnering with a network of premier professionals enhances our client’s overall experience.
We just wanted to take a moment to express on behalf of everyone at RTD how deeply grateful we are for the trust and loyalty you have placed in us. We will never take that for granted and will continue to strive to help you or your organization to thrive. It can be said that a fulfilling life is a cumulative collection, an art gallery of sorts, of precious moments, uniquely your own, that make you smile. As a firm, our interactions with our clients, as they share their aspirations and accomplishments, define what truly makes us smile. You are also what motivates us each and every day to deliver the best fiduciary advice and better serve you and your family. We will never rest.
We hope this gives you a glimpse into some of the highlights of our firm initiatives that are taking place. As always, we welcome your thoughts, comments and absolutely anything, no matter how big or small, you feel we should know or that we can help with. We are partners – and not only that, but partners who care deeply about our clients and their lives.