Meet Kol Birke
Why do you like it at Commonwealth?
I don't think of myself as working for Commonwealth. Instead, I see myself as being part of a wonderful relationship where I am delighted to give my all to a company/family who gives back. I know that the energy I expend is going toward helping people, not just adding to some bottom line. It feels good to be in a place where my coworkers are my friends, just as much as they are my colleagues. The casual dress code and bagels on Friday don't hurt, either!
What makes this place so special?
To me, an ordinary company profits from its customers. Ordinary broker/dealer–RIAs profit from their financial advisors. Commonwealth, on the other hand, truly strives to work with rather than profit from our advisors. While conscious of monetary restrictions, our impetus really is, "How can we help the most?" If we're giving more to our advisors than anyone else, then we will succeed.
Which of your Commonwealth accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am particularly proud of our forms initiative. Commonwealth is making strides to revolutionize the way that forms are handled. In general, my job is to make both our advisors' and our employees' lives easier. Nobody loves paperwork. We have more than 300 forms on our website alone, and each requires different information and looks unique. If you miss a piece of info here or there, you have to dig it up later, or, worse, you have to have the clients sign a whole new form. We have streamlined the process so that our advisors can provide more efficient and effective service to their clients.
What, if anything, have you learned about yourself being here at Commonwealth that you didn't know before?
I have learned that I enjoy pushing for big change to alter the scenery as needed. I have also learned that my age doesn't define me at work as much as what I can contribute to the company.