For Alex Morrison, switching career paths has been a complete game-changer. The 26-year-old financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual has surpassed each of his personal success goals since his arrival in October 2016.
A graduate of Central High School and the University of Cincinnati, Morrison was formerly employed in supply chain management at Coca-Cola in Columbus, Ohio. He quickly advanced through the leadership ranks and enjoyed the financial success the job earned him, but his heart wasn’t in it. “Something was missing,” he said.
That’s when he called a mentor, Michael Romaine, from his hometown of Louisville. That simple decision was a pivotal moment that drastically changed the trajectory of his career and life.
Michael Romaine, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, RICP®, CLTC, a wealth management financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual for the last 14 years, has been a trusted family friend of Morrison and his mother, Shelley Clay, for as long as he can remember. Even to the point that three years ago, Shelley joined Romaine’s team at Northwestern Mutual as an associate.
Morrison has viewed Romaine as a mentor since he was a 5-year-old in his formative years growing up in the West End of Louisville. “Our bond really strengthened when he became my basketball coach at Central High School” the young advisor said. “I admired his passion in his career and that it gave him the flexibility to be involved in the community as a basketball coach. Family time is and always has been important to him.”
A mentor’s guidance
On that life-changing phone call, Romaine encouraged Morrison to explore a new career in financial advising. “He told me that Northwestern Mutual gives you unlimited ability and freedom to grow,” said Morrison. With the support of Romaine, his mom and other Northwestern Mutual team members, Morrison asked himself, “How could I possibly fail?”
Romaine also knew Morrison had it in him because he saw the exceptional tenacity Morrison demonstrated as a ballplayer. “Alex came in with probably one of the most heralded high school recruiting classes in the state of Kentucky. He wasn’t even close to being the star,” said Romaine. “By the end of the season, he was an all-tournament player and played in the state championship.”
“My sports background definitely helped me in this career,” said Morrison. “As an athlete, you’re prepared to overcome obstacles. You have to push through it. It’s that fight in you, that mindset.”
A track to success
That mindset helps Morrison connect with those who may not have their financial future top-of-mind but know the value in planning ahead.
Morrison said it’s easy to relate to younger, 20- and 30-year old clients. “Most of my new clients know they need a financial plan well before I begin working with them, but the process of creating one can seem daunting and overwhelming.”
Alex’s advice to anyone feeling this way? Don’t avoid it and don’t go at it alone. “We all have similar struggles and, together, we work through them. We’ll create a solid, personal plan that will help you reach your short- and long-term goals. That’s the most gratifying part of this career,” he says.
Northwestern Mutual recognizes representatives who go above and beyond in serving individuals and families. At a recent company meeting, Morrison took to the stage to accept the award for outstanding client experience among other new financial representatives. An award he earned by his dedication in serving more than 100 families in his short time with Northwestern Mutual. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Morrison’s mother Shelley was also acknowledged for the service and dedication she gives to Romaine’s practice and his many clients.
In addition to his work at Northwestern Mutual, Morrison is involved with the Louisville community through his national fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, and said he enjoys mentoring young men through his involvement in 100 Black Men of Louisville, an organization Romaine is also actively involved in.
“From day one, I’ve received tremendous support from the Northwestern Mutual team and even my clients,” Morrison says. “I know this is just the beginning of a long career for me, and I look forward to the journey.”
Interested in joining the team?
Northwestern Mutual offers a career where changing someone’s life for the better can also be life-changing for you – personally, professionally and financially. To learn more about a career with Northwestern Mutual, email Elizabeth Rivers or visit www.northwesternmutual.com/careers.