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MILLENIALS' MOMENT: When the money man looks like a kid Formisano has found ways to use his youth to win over older clients

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Financial adviser Robert Formisano: “I can provide a new flavor.”
Financial adviser Robert Formisano: “I can provide a new flavor.” - ()

It's tough for any financial adviser to convince potential clients they can trust him or her with their money.

Now imagine doing that when you are young enough to be the client's child.

That's a daily routine for Robert Formisano, a financial adviser in Morgan Stanley's Lawrenceville office.

“For someone in his or her early 30s to approach a couple in their late 60s, you have to earn a certain amount of trust,” he said. “It takes assuring a client like that that you have all the knowledge and expertise, despite having less years of experience.”

For the 31-year-old Formisano, that fact is obvious to all, as almost all of his colleagues are roughly twice his age.

It's a way of life for a millennial in the financial services industry. But also one Formisano says can be used to his advantage when competing for clientele.

His elevator pitch highlights his youth:

“As an adviser, do you want someone who is going to be able to work with you in the long term — in the next 30 or so years — or someone who is going to retire in five years?”

Formisano also stresses that he's able to do things more efficiently thanks to his technological acumen, the type that comes as a given with millennials.

“Some of the older guys may be using some of the same tools they were using 20 (to) 30 years ago, whereas I can provide a new flavor with fresh and exciting products,” he said.

There's no doubting, however, that being a younger person in the financial sector does have its own set of disadvantages, Formisano said.

Yet he's convinced that those who have braved it maintain a competitive edge over colleagues; and, furthermore, that none of the preconceptions — that millennials are lazy or flaky — hold true.

“Actually, they're really driven to succeed, while some of the older generation may be more comfortable where they are,” he said.

“The drive to get better isn't really there. They're at the end of their career — smooth sailing.”

E-mail to: brettj@njbiz.com
On Twitter: @reporterbrett

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